HENRIETTA Mackay-Ludgate is named as the Highland’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2010 Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Awards.
The 31 year old founder of Henrietta Ludgate Ltd from Knockfarell near Dingwall was announced as regional winner at a ceremony at The Town House in Inverness today.
She was presented with a £1,000 cash prize by Maria Peter of Business Gateway – Highland, sponsors of the winner’s award.
Ms Mackay-Ludgate will now be considered by the judging panel to be entered into the national final taking place at Glasgow’s City Chambers on Tuesday 16th November 2010.
Six of the 18 regional winners are selected to compete for the coveted national title of PSYBT ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ and the opportunity to win an additional £2,000.
A graduate of Central St. Martins School of Art, Ms Mackay-Ludgate began her fashion career working as a stylist and costume designer before moving on to work for acclaimed British talent Osman Yousefzada, running his London design studio.
She established her Scottish luxury women’s wear label, Henrietta Ludgate Ltd in 2009 and since then has garnered an impressive number of awards from highly respected institutions and built a formidable reputation amongst high end retailers.
On launching her own label, the young designer’s priority was to imbue her stunning sculptural designs with a distinctive sense of her Highland heritage.
An ethos of supporting British craftsmanship is central to her work, with fabrics sourced from the British Isles and all pieces produced locally.
Following on from her Autumn/Winter 09 show at Glasgow Fashion week, Ms Mackay-Ludgate was awarded the Ethical Fashion Forum’s ‘Fashion Innovation Award’ for London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010.
Following a very successful first season in London, Henrietta Ludgate Ltd opened their first showroom in London’s Covent Garden in October 2009.
Since then the designer has divided her time between overseeing the burgeoning success of the brand in London and designing the Autumn/Winter 2010 collection in her Highland studio.
Says a spokesperson: “Drawing on the darker side of the Scottish landscape that inspires her, the collection includes elements of Celtic folklore interpreted in her signature minimalist and flattering cuts worked in thick, luxurious English cashmere, Scottish wools and Yorkshire wool jersey.
“The collection has already won critical appraise and seen Ms Mackay-Ludgate nominated for Young Designer of the Year at the Scottish Fashion Awards, making the final ten of the British Council’s Young Creative Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and being short listed for the British Fashion Council’s Elle New Talent Award.”
The runner-up is Craig McEwan (26) from Tain who set up his business, CMC Joinery in 2009.
Mr McEwan completed his apprenticeship as a joiner and now has over ten years experience in the trade.
Whilst the building trade, in general has undergone a radical downturn, the young entrepreneur has proven that there is still a demand for building and renovation work and he has undertaken work all over the Highlands.
The company is now compliant with CHAS (Health & Safety) and has successfully gained contracts with larger companies such as Scottish Water, Care and Repair Scotland and Your Move.
David Owen, company manager of Highland Opportunity Ltd, presented Mr McEwan with a £500 cash prize and runners-up certificate.
Both the winner and the runner-up received funding, advice and support from PSYBT, which during the last 21 years, has supported almost 12,000 young people to start over 10,000 businesses, providing £31.5million in funding and additional assistance.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, PSYBT regional co-ordinator, Alithea Watson, said: “Our regional finalists have demonstrated ambition, courage and determination to set up and develop their own businesses. Youth enterprise is something to be recognised and applauded and we wish them all the best for the national final.”
Maria Peter of Business Gateway – Highland added: “We are delighted to support PSYBT and these awards which recognise the achievements of Scotland’s young people and encourage an environment that celebrates business innovation. Entrepreneurship is essential to our future prosperity not just in the Highlands but throughout Scotland.”
The regional awards also recognised the dedication, expertise and inspiration of funding Panel member, Edward Mackay, who was named Highland’s regional Volunteer of the Year.
During his 21 years of volunteering Edward has attended over 70 Panels and has shown great empathy and offered crucial advice to the young entrepreneurs supported by the charity.
Mr Mackay will now be considered for the coveted title of ‘Volunteer of the Year’ at the national award finals in November.
For further information contact, PSYBT regional co-ordinator, Alithea Watson on tel. 01463 228 340 or Margaret Gibson/Emma Fitzpatrick at PSYBT head office on Tel no. 0141 248 4999. Visit the PSYBT Website at www.psybt.org.uk
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