It’s just the business for contest’s fab four

FROM left to right - Shaun Lawson, Vikki Jackson Smith from J&B Recycling who presented the awards, winner Alana Forster, and Sandra Lee

FROM left to right - Shaun Lawson, Vikki Jackson Smith from J&B Recycling who presented the awards, winner Alana Forster, and Sandra Lee

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FOUR rising entrepreneurs are all winners in the Hartlepool business world.

People were asked to submit their ideas for a company at an event held late last year at Cleveland College of Art and Design.

Prizes of £150 and £75 were up for grabs and Alana Forster took top spot with her idea for a caravan cleaning enterprise.

Alana hopes to form her own business, cleaning mobile and static caravans. Her plan also includes other types of household and commercial cleaning.

Judges praised her for spotting a gap in the market.

A spokesman for the competition said: “The judges were impressed with how Alana was able to present her business case.”

After her contest success, Alana said: “I could not believe it when I heard I had won the competition. It is brilliant that people believe that I can succeed in self employment.”

Runner-up was Shaun Lawson whose plan was for an allergy-free food cafe. Judges praised him for “boundless enthusiasm. He has been unfortunate to have suffered from a food allergy throughout his life but, loving the art of cooking, he is looking to use his skills and knowledge gained from his allergy to promote and run his own allergy free café which will cater exclusively for people in Hartlepool who have special dietary needs.”

Another runner-up was Sandra Lee whose plan was for an online company retailing boys clothing.

Judges praised Sandra as “a lovely lady who wants to use her knowledge of the difficulties of buying clothes for her grandson to develop an on line boys clothing business.”

Praise also went to Janet Lister and her business called Cakes n Keepsakes. She makes bespoke cakes and keepsakes and her attention to detail was described as “second to none.”

The event in December was organised jointly by the Hartlepool branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and Hartlepool Council and was called the Business Support & Employment Showcase Event.

Councillor Robbie Payne, chair of the Hartlepool Borough Council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “In the current economic climate it’s really important to provide encouragement, support and guidance to the business sector and anyone thinking of starting a business.”