NatWest Enterprise Award
The Enterprise Award, sponsored by NatWest in association with The Sun recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or a community or social enterprise. The winner of this year's Enterprise Award is Katie Lyth.
The Enterprise Award, sponsored by NatWest, recognises young people who have overcome barriers and achieved success in creating a sustainable business or a community or social enterprise.
Faye, 26, from Sheffield, was working as a Speech and Language Therapist when she was diagnosed with chronic Lyme Disease; it severely affected her mobility and her ability to carry out normal day-to-day tasks. At its most severe Lyme Disease left her unable to wash, dress or feed herself and she could only leave the house using a wheelchair.
Trying to stay productive, Faye began blogging and, when able, made jewellery which she sold online, donating the profits to chronic illness charities. Then, when a friend sent Faye an especially thoughtful care package, Faye had an idea for a business: bespoke ‘hug in a box’ gift packages filled with feel-good treats.
Faye’s commitment and determination to break down the limitations of her illness are extraordinary. She has made BearHugs a success and hopes to use it to support others with chronic illness in the future.
Gracie had a happy childhood, growing up with a loving and supportive family. However when she was 11 years-old she was hit by a car in a near-fatal accident and was left with a severe brain injury.
Gracie experienced post-trauma amnesia and had to begin building back her memories, re-establishing relationships and learning to read and write again.
Though outwardly happy, she was bullied at school and experienced severe depression and confusion as a teenager, leading to more than one attempt to take her own life.
Later she began working as a nanny she found she was helping children and families overcome issues which she understood so well and she began writing children’s picture books. Gracie turned to The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme for help, where she was connected with a mentor and she “felt free, with new hope and was able to discuss my ideas with professionals”.
She now writes children’s picture books, runs creative writing workshops and holiday camps for children, promoting positive thinking and encouraging children to overcome their barriers. Proceeds from her books also help to provide clothing and food for street children.
Katie, 29, from Ilkeston, Derbyshire, experienced a traumatic childhood which led to her being taken into care and eventually adopted.
Initially, Katie did well in education, gaining a place at university but at 19 she dropped out, taking jobs in pubs and nightclubs. At 22 she became pregnant and subsequently married and had another child.
Katie felt trapped and frustrated as a stay-at-home mum, despairing of finding rewarding work to fit around her family’s needs.
She had often wanted to start a business and a concept began to develop in her mind relating to affordable bridal wear, but she lacked confidence and knowledge.
The Enterprise programme supported her with a business plan and a mentor talked everything through with her.
Katie has not looked back. She now employs staff, some of whom have special needs, training and mentoring them personally.