independent

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Young entrepreneurs progress to bootcamp

Lauren Malone
Lauren Malone
Stephan A. Martinez

Cathy Lee

Two young businesspeople that are based in Gorey, have been shortlisted in the Wexford County finals of the Ireland's Best Young Entrepreneur competition, and next they will take part in entrepreneur bootcamp, to help them to develop their business ideas. The businesspeople are Stephan A. Martinez in the Best Business Idea category and Lauren Malone in the Best Start-Up category.

With €50,000 worth of investment to be won across the three categories, following entrepreneur bootcamp, the young businesspeople will then submit their final business plan, and make a pitch to the judges.

Stephan A. Martinez operates the physical therapy clinic Recovering Mobility, and has worked there as a physical therapist in Gorey for the last three years. During this time he has felt very welcomed to the area, and he sees Gorey as a 'Big little town'. Stephan's idea came from a place of personal motivation during a stressful time, as he was preparing for his driving test.

During 2018's storm Emma, Stephan's location for his driving test was changed suddenly on account of the snowy conditions, and he had to prepare to do his test elsewhere in the county. After searching the RSA website, he came to realise that the driving test routes were not listed online. From there, he attended a start-up business meeting at Gorey Library, and decided to go about creating an application, that will seek to link in with Google Maps or other GPS systems, to easily display the driving test routes for test centres in County Wexford. He believes that the initiative will improve pass rates for Wexford and help learner drivers prepare better.

Although just a prototype at the moment, he also hopes that with investment like this, it could be something that spreads from Wexford on to a national scale. 'It would be fantastic to go forward and represent Wexford in the final, as Wexford has never been to the final stages before,' Stephan explained.

Make-up artist and teacher Lauren Malone of the Lauren Malone Academy, set up her beauty school just six months ago in Gorey. She supplies ITEC level 5 certificate and diploma courses in make-up, as well as shorter courses in areas like tanning and under 18s hair and make-up. Lauren explained that she had previously worked as a beauty therapy teacher in Dublin city centre and she noticed a gap in market, that a lot of students from Gorey and Arklow would travel in order to complete the courses. 'With Gorey being such a booming boutique town, I thought it needed something like this,' said Lauren adding that both the people and local businesses have been a great support to her. Lauren explained that she plans to expand the academy, create more courses as well as take on more staff, and that winning the competition would be a great help in doing this. She is looking forward to taking part in the bootcamp stages of the competition, to learn more about doing business locally.

Another Gorey business person, personal trainer Anna Syne of The Stables Fitness and Wellbeing centre, had been shortlisted for the competition in the Best Established Business category, but unfortunately had to withdraw due to work commitments.

The Best Young Entrepreneur competition is open to young businesspeople aged between 18 and 35, and it is supported by 31 the local enterprise offices.

Gorey Guardian

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