Friday, 6th March saw this year’s YEZ Showcase at the St Enoch Centre with 20 young entrepreneurs exhibiting their products from stalls outside Debenhams on the 1st Floor. I spoke at the launch which was hosted by young entrepreneur and comedian, Anna Devitt. Councillor Gordon Matheson also spoke about his commitment to increase the business base by 2,000 by 2017. Nearly 450 young people have benefitted from the services of the Youth Enterprise Zone since it was launched by Councillor Matheson in August 2012.
The two YEZ Showcase Ambassadors, Aleena Lippiatt and Lewa Thomas, also gave us their thoughts answering a number of questions. Aleena said that the YEZ Showcase helps young business people to engage with a wide variety of new customers saying, “The Showcase also provides opportunities to network with other businesses and organisations who can in turn help your business.” Aleena runs a fashion boutique and website from Aleena’s Boutique in the East End of the City. She was winner of JBG’s Most Enterprising Young Person at the 2014 Enterprise Awards.
Lewa is a long term client of the Youth Enterprise Zone and runs Lewalicious Cakes from her home, making cakes for celebrations and events. In Lewa’s view, “since I have been a part of the YEZ showcase, I have become more proactive when it comes to sales and taking every opportunity presented to me to expand and advertise my products.”
The YEZ Showcase was organised in partnership with Business Gateway, Young Enterprise Scotland, Bridge 2 Business and the Scottish Institute of Enterprise who all had clients exhibiting at the event. As well as getting the opportunity to purchase young entrepreneur’s goods, shoppers were also able to find out more about business start-up services available in the city.