From microbreweries and blogging, to developing mobile apps and cafes dedicated entirely to cereal– the number of young people starting businesses and building a brand presence and portfolio that rivals some of the UK’s most established businesses is soaring.
As the next generation build successful businesses on social media and smartphones with little or no budget behind them, it’s only fitting that these talented young entrepreneurs receive the recognition they deserve. Whether providing access to funding or imparting knowledge and wisdom, the North East’s leading enterprise agencies PNE Enterprise, Tedco and The Princes Trust created the Northern Star Awards to celebrate the hard work and achievements of young entrepreneurs aged 18 to 30 in the North East of England.
The first of their kind, the Northern Star Awards 2015 sponsored by Sage were split into six categories, ranging from Most Innovative Business and Best New Business (applicable to businesses still in their first 12 months of trading), to Digital Business of the Year, Best Social Enterprise/Entrepreneur and a category dedicated to Overcoming Barriers within business.
An overall winner and runner up were then chosen from candidates in each category and honoured with the ‘Northern Star Award 2015’.
Staying up to date with new technology and social media marketing etiquette in today’s fast-paced digital marketplace is no mean feat, so for those with the skillset and experience to help individuals and business owners stand out, the world is their oyster.
For Chloe Hall, Founder of Bumble and Bloom Media (a PR and Online Marketing consultancy tailored to small businesses) winning the ‘Digital Business of the Year Award’ just six months after launching her business is an incredible achievement and “instant motivator to continue pushing forward and working hard, despite the long days, late nights and sacrifices I’ve made as a new start-up.”
As winner of ‘Innovative Business of the Year’, Amy Fettis (For Your Inspiration) echoed this sentiment by saying, “Being recognised for what I have achieved to date at the Northern Star Awards was incredible and just the inspiration I needed to keep pushing my business FYI forward.”
From concept to creation, the idea to shine the spotlight on young people aged 18 to 30 in business was not lost on the young entrepreneurs celebrated at the Northern Star Awards. Delighted to win the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year’ award for her hard work in the community with her digital and social media training agency RAW Digital, Joanna Wake said “It’s fantastic to see an awards ceremony dedicated to young people and I look forward to seeing it become an annual event.”
The Northern Star Awards were also about celebrating those who have overcome business obstacles and barriers to success which made their business journey and road to success all the more turbulent. For life coach and personal trainer Niyc Pidgeon who overcame personal difficulties and hatred of sport to launch her business Optimall You (a global community dedicated to making positive lifestyle changes and promoting health, happiness and overall well being), was a deserving winner of the ‘Breaking Through Barriers’ and overall ‘Northern Star Award’. Niyc said, the awards were “a wonderful evening of celebration for so many inspiring entrepreneurs and a great opportunity to listen to the achievements of other businesses.”
For most solopreneurs and sole traders, that first year in business and transition to self-employment can feel lonely at times, which makes the awards even more important for our Northern Stars to network with other likeminded individuals of a similar age.
After “a hard first year” launching her innovative delivery service of sweet treats around Durham, Kayley Smith (Sweet Tooth Delivery) said winning ‘Young Business Person of the Year’ and being runner up of the overall ‘Northern Star award’ was “the perfect incentive for me to continue driving my vision forward and growing my business.”
Deserving winners of the New Business of the Year award, new froyo and smoothie business Iglouu sum the evening up perfectly, adding that “it was a chance to meet other young entrepreneurs from around the region and see all of our hard work being recognised. It goes without saying what a big thank you Tedco, PNE Enterprise and The Prince’s Trust deserve for organising the event, something we hope to see continue for many years to come.”
A great way of giving due recognition to the winners and encouraging other young entrepreneurs to push forward with their ideas, we can’t wait to see what our Northern Stars do next and look forward to celebrating young talent here in the North East for many years to come.