A 25-year-old entrepreneur from Wolverhampton last night won the coveted title of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010, walking away with a no-strings-attached £10,000 cash injection for her business, Freelance Training and Consultancy.
Jessica Grosvenor received the award, which recognises and celebrates the achievements of the UK’s finest young entrepreneurs, in recognition of the success of her business, Freelance Training and Consultancy, which provides bespoke training packages to college students, teachers and nurses.
Jessica started Freelance Training and Consultancy in April this year, in initially to help people who’ve been made redundant retrain to find a new job. Within six months Jessica had secured contracts worth £1.4 million. The company now offers a huge range of training, including courses which help 16-18 year olds gain access to education and jobs by offering government-funded NVQs and technical certificates, in addition to functional skills like Maths, English and ICT. The business also provides teacher development qualifications and end-of-life-care training to nurses of hospices, private care homes and support services.
Freelance training and consultancy has already gained invaluable support from Wolverhampton City Council, local nursing homes, local colleges and universities.
On winning the award Jessica said: “It’s a huge honour to have been awarded the title of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the year and brilliant to have my business successes recognised. The £10,000 cash injection will enable me to develop hairdressing and healthcare academies. They will be real businesses where people can learn and develop their new skills but they will be open out of office hours, helping people to gain new qualifications whilst still having an income.
“The UK is filled with aspiring entrepreneurs and I’d like to encourage them to use support networks like Shell LiveWIRE to help them achieve their business ambitions.”
Jessica fought off strong competition from across the UK in the eight-strong final from entrepreneurial talent spanning a range of sectors including farming, medicine and e-commerce.
James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK, said: “Entrepreneurs can breathe new life into our economy. The Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award provides a vital boost to entrepreneurs across the country. I wish Jessica and all the other finalists the very best of luck.”
Mark Prisk MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise, who gave a keynote speech at the awards, said: “As someone who ran his own business, I am always encouraged when young people start up successful businesses.
"We need to bring out the enterprising spirit in everyone across the country. That's why I am delighted to support the awards. Congratulations to Jessica and also to all the finalists. I am sure they will inspire many more young people to become their own boss."
Established in 1982, Shell LiveWIRE is one of Britain’s longest-running youth enterprise awards schemes. In addition to the £10,000 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, Shell LiveWIRE runs Grand Ideas Awards, where up to five £1,000 awards are given every month to very early-stage businesses.
Shell LiveWIRE offers online resources for start-ups such as business toolkits, a discussion forum where members can put questions to experts in every field, and essential guides to market research and legal information. The Shell LiveWIRE international social network now has 110,000 members and is growing every day.
The runners up of Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur of the Year were:
- Jannen Vamadeva from London: Anytime Doctor, which provides patients with online consultations and postal treatment for minor medical conditions
- Christopher Baker-Brian, Mohammad Mansoor Hamayun and Laurent Van Houcke from Macclesfield: BBOXX Ltd, which supplies renewable energy to developing countries such as Rwanda, where only six percent of the population has access to electricity
- Charmaine Kemp from Kent: Wheelie Good Mobility, which is a used mobility scooter business designed to help the elderly and disabled buy mobility scooters at reduced prices
- William Allingham from Garrison: Allingham QUADCRATE, which allows farmers to carry livestock across rough or steep terrain on the back of a quad bike
- Tom Allason from London: Shutl, which can make consumer deliveries in as little as 90 minutes
- Michael Holliday and Chris Hall from Scotland: Roots Design Workshop, which provides green architectural design
- Nick Proctor from Buckinghamshire: Amber Energy Consultants Ltd which works with businesses to manage, and reduce their business energy costs.