SHELLFISH and langoustine supplier, Magnus Houston, has been named Highland’s top young entrepreneur at the regional finals of the 2013 Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland Young Entrepreneur (PTYBS) Awards.
The 32 year-old founder of Coast & Glen Ltd in Inverness was announced as the regional winner at a ceremony at the Town House in Inverness.
He was presented with a £1,000 cash prize by Marie Mackintosh, Chief Executive of Highland Opportunity Ltd.
When an accident put an end to Magnus Houston’s professional motorcycling career, he wasn’t quite sure what he would do.
So, when a friend invited him to join him on his lobster boat the experience was to prove life-changing.
For two years, Magnus learned the fishing trade, establishing contacts with other fishermen and local restaurants and hotels, before deciding to start his own business.
In November 2011, thanks to funding from PTYBS, Magnus established Coast & Glen Ltd, selling prawns, crabs, lobsters and game to local hotels and restaurants and exporting the excess produce to his European customers.
The demand for his catch was so great that it soon became clear that Magnus needed to come up with another means of satisfying demand for orders.
This led the young entrepreneur to change his business model, so that rather than fishing the waters himself, Magnus now buys the local fishermen’s catch, sells it locally according to demand.
Clients can not only trace the fishing area their purchases are from, they can even specify which boat they would like to buy from. If there is excess shellfish, prawns and langoustines on any given day that is not required locally, Magnus sells this to his European customers.
Seven days a week, live lobster leaves the base in Inverness for delivery to Boulogne and Magnus is about to start supplying modest quantities of lobster to Hong Kong.
The runner-up is 26 year-old Lola Nicol, who is the founder of her own fine arts business in Sutherland, called Lola Nicol Fine Arts.
Lola received funding to start her own business in July 2012, having already identified there would be demand for her work. Working from her home in Brora, Lola produces original pieces of artwork primarily focusing on well-known faces from the world of music, film and popular culture.
As well as producing original pieces of art she also provides limited edition prints on her website (www.lolanicol.com) and supplies small prints and gift cards to various independent shops throughout Scotland.
In 2012 Lola exhibited at the Olympics as part of the ‘In the Rings with Ali’, a major retrospective exhibition celebrating Muhammad Ali with contributions from photographers and artists worldwide.
In April 2013, Lola won the award for ‘Best New Artist/Designer’ at The Scottish Variety Awards. More recently, she has been approached by HMV Princes Street in Edinburgh to exhibit her work.
Lola is currently a resident artist with Edinburgh band The Merrylees, and has designed two single covers for them, as well as artwork for promotions, badges and clothing.
Maria Peter, Highland Council’s Business Gateway manager, presented Lola with a £500 cheque and awards certificate.
Speaking at the awards ceremony, Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland regional manager, Alithea Watson said: “Both these young entrepreneurs have exemplified determination, the will to succeed and the ability to turn a good idea into a viable business.
“They are great role models for other young people and deserving winners of these awards.”
Marie Mackintosh, of Highland Opportunity Ltd, added: “Our partnership with the Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland means that young entrepreneurs in the Highlands gain access to a wider range of integrated advice, finance and business support.
“We are delighted to celebrate and reward the achievement of Lola and Magnus through these awards, and hope their success stories will inspire others to pursue their business ambitions.”
Issued on behalf of Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland by Jen Nash, Panache Communications t. 07971 466 220 e. firstname.lastname@example.org For further information contact, Prince’s Trust Youth Business Scotland Regional Manager, Alithea Watson on tel. 01463 228343
NOTES TO EDITORS
In 2012, The Prince’s Trust Scotland and sister charity, The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust merged to become Youth Business Scotland and provide comprehensive support to young people in Scotland.
Youth Business Scotland supports young people aged 18 to 30 years-old to start-up and grow in business, by providing essential funding and professional mentoring support. Youth Business Scotland gives vital support to young people interested in entrepreneurship.
The Youth Business Scotland programme gives practical advice on how to start up a business, how to write a business plan, introductory finance training as well as offering loans of up to £5,000 and grants of up to £1,000.
Youth Business Scotland works closely with partners across the Enterprise Network in Scotland and facilitates regular Elevator events for young people, offering them a chance to hear from business leaders and an opportunity to sharpen their networking skills.
In addition to helping young people start-up in business, Youth Business Scotland assists entrepreneurs who have previously been supported by The Trust to grow their existing business.
Coast & Glen Ltd
Lola Nicol – Fine Arts
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