LiveWIRE winners in Highlands and Islands unveiled
Press and Journal 29th March 2002 by Bob King
A SELF-EMPLOYED boat repairer was yesterday named the Highlands' top Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneur Of The Year, while a web design firm took the honours in the Western Isles.
Steven Gillies, 23, of Glenshiel, won £1,500 in the competition, supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Highland Council.
Mr Gillies started his business last July and specialises in glass reinforced plastics, particularly for boat repairs and modifications. He provides a mobile service throughout the Skye and Lochalsh area.
He beat four other finalists to lift the award, and will now represent the region at the Scottish final in Edinburgh on April 23.
Mr Gillies said he was delighted to have won the prestigious award. He added: "It's a great boost for my business, and I'm looking forward to competing in the Scottish final."
The judging panel scrutinised each finalist's business plan, in addition to conducting interviews to assess individual business acumen, potential and long-term business viability.
Highland Shell LiveWIRE co-ordinator lan Beattie said: "Steven's business has outstanding potential. His enthusiasm and ability make him a real LiveWIRE."
Runner-up prizes were awarded to Christophe and Carol Magie, of Restaurant Chez Christophe, Inverness - £600; Misha Somerville, of Croft No Five, Abriachan, by Inverness - £600; Kenneth and Rebekah Tippett, K and R Shellfish, lnvergordon - £600; and Morven and Angela MacDonald, Clanranald Hotel, Acharacle - £200.
In the Western Isles, ReefNet, a web-design and development company, won the £1,000 first prize in the regional final.
ReefNet, a partnership company owned by Alex Tearse, 29, and Anne Buchanan, 28, is run from Ms Buchanan's home in Aignish, Point, Lewis,
Mr Tearse said: "This award is a great recognition of what has been a successful first year for the company."
The pair will now go forward to represent the Western Isles at the Scottish finals.
The second prize of £800 went to Seumas Campbell, of Spotless Cleaning, Castlebay, Barra,
Third place and £500 went to Christine Fargie, of Thistle Spa, Back, Lewis.
Three additional merit prizes of £400 went to Rona Wilson, of Lochside Salon, Liurbost, Lewis; Donald Eadie, of Croft Record- ings, Maryhill, Lewis; and Graeme Nicolson, of Merlin Welding, Barvas, Lewis.
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- Winners at the Web success caps busy first year for ReefNet
- Major e-business award for ReefNet
- Lewis web design company wins young start-up business award
- LiveWIRE winners in Highlands and Islands unveiled
- Boost for Internet Company
- Out of the ashes - ReefNet launches to provide services to new e-business starts