I nicked this from 'Kensington & Chelsea Today'
Tuesday, 23rd April 2013
A fiercely fought competition to land an opportunity to trade on the world famous Portobello Market has seen three young entrepreneurs grab the chance to launch their products after they were named winners of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea’s Market Enterprise Launch Pad (MELP) 2013.
Shani Grant, 22, who is starting a ‘tomboy’ fashion label called ‘Studz UK’, Remaro Hibbert, 25, owner of a positive message fashion label called ‘Point of View’ and Medina Mukhayer, 19, owner of ‘Mandola’ a company selling East African food and cultural goods, have each won: a £1,000 in start-up funds, six month rent-free market stall space on Portobello Market, a comprehensive support package from the Enterprise Lab and free business insurance. The Project was run by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
Out of a total of 85 applications, nine young entrepreneurs were selected to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, last Thursday 4 April, including representatives from the Council, Enterprise Lab, Rockstar Youth and Pret a Portobello. The judges had great difficulty selecting their top two candidates, the judges commented on the difficulty selecting two winners and although all finalists had brilliant business ideas and were feasible, some were better suited to a market environment than others.
Medina Mukhayer, 19, “I’m still in shock about winning, feels like the start of the rest of my life. I know I'll feel it after all the hard work, but because it's my own business I actually can't wait. I don't think I could have started my business if it wasn't for MELP, they really gave me all the tools and confidence I needed, especially as I had no qualifications.”
Remaro Hibbert, 25, “I'm happy to be one of the winners of MELP because it has given me an opportunity to really showcase my brand and actually make an impact.”
Shani Grant, 22, “Winning MELP feels fantastic, all the other entrepreneurs had solid ideas , so for my business to win MELP, I feel there is faith in my product which I never thought existed. I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone from the MELP team, Enterprise Lab and the judges, it was a great experience.”
All three will begin trading on Portobello Market in July.
Councillor Elizabeth Campbell, Cabinet Member for Family and Children’s Services, said: “The fact that the judges selected three young entrepreneurs instead of the usual two shows just how high the standard of competition was. I wish all three young entrepreneurs the best of luck with their ventures. Portobello Market is known across the world and has been the launch pad for many successful entrepreneurs.”
Follow MELP 2013’s journey on Facebook: Market Enterprise Launch Pad or Twitter: @RBKCMELP