A YOUNG entrepreneur from Coventry has won a prestigious award organised by Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust.
Abbey Gregg, 26, is developing womenswear brand Myreau for modern-day petite women, which uses natural, recycled or deadstock fabrics that have been ethically sourced.
She has won a £5,000 grant, one-to-one business coaching and an allowance to cover living costs as part of The Young Innovators programme.
The scheme is organised by Innovate UK and The Prince’s Trust.
The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people from across the UK with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation.
This year there was an unprecedented number of applications – an 87 per cent increase on last time around.
Recent research shows over a third of 18 to 34-year-olds want to launch an independent enterprise in 2021, compared to 28 per cent of those aged 35 to 54.
The programme is set to continue rewarding young people from diverse backgrounds until at least 2023.
This year, 49 per cent of the winners were female; nearly a third were black, Asian or from an ethnic minority background and 17 per cent have a disability.
Abbey said: “We aim to collaborate with factories and mills who are at the forefront of sustainable manufacturing.
“We will use natural, recycled or deadstock fabrics that have been ethically sourced.
“Myreau is a direct to consumer petite womenswear brand that has an evolving focus on sustainability, ethics and transparency.”
Emily Nott, head of equality, diversity and inclusion at Innovate UK said: “With 2020 proving to be an incredibly difficult year, maintaining our focus on Young Innovators was a priority for Innovate UK since finding the great entrepreneurial minds of the future is more important than ever.
“Working alongside this year’s winners, Innovate UK will help them grow and develop their business idea to make the world a better, and more innovative place. We can’t wait to see what they achieve this year.”
Science Minister Amanda added: “While the past year has brought significant challenges for us all, it has also shone a light on the best of British ingenuity, with young people across the country harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit to help the UK respond to these challenges.
“From mobile apps supporting our brilliant NHS staff to online mentoring tools helping graduates find employment, the inspiring business ideas we are backing today will help to unleash our next generation of innovators as we build back better from the pandemic.”
Ben Marson, Director of Partnerships at The Prince’s Trust said: “At The Prince’s Trust we know the enormous potential and entrepreneurial spirit of UK young people, even in times of considerable uncertainty.
“It is more important than ever that all young people, no matter their background, have the opportunity to thrive in work and turn their ideas into reality.
“Working with partners like Innovate UK allows us to encourage entrepreneurship among young people, and bring diverse ideas and businesses into the economy.”
Visit ktn-uk.org/programme/young-innovators/ to find out more about the scheme.