23-year old IBD start-up wins The Prince's Trust business awards

200 businesses from around the UK, which have been helped by The Prince's Trust, entered for this year's awards. Jamie Rowland of The Bicycle Doctor in Wales topped the lot, winning £4000.
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The pic above shows Jamie Rowland, left, the winner of The Prince's Trust & The Royal Bank of Scotland Group Business Award, with HRH The Prince Of Wales and Fred Goodwin, Group Chief Executive.

In order to set up his business, Rowland received a test marketing grant of £500 followed by a £3000 soft loan from The Prince's Trust Business Programme. Fifteen months on, with a turnover of £100 000+ he has exceeded his expected turnover six times over.

The Business Awards, sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland Group, recognise successful entrepreneurs who have started businesses over the past three years with Prince’s Trust support.

Rowland said: "Starting the business has not made me rich but has given me more satisfaction than any amount of money could bring."

Within six months of opening his shop, he faced a crisis that threatened to shut him down - foot and mouth hit the area, demand for MTBs plummeted.

"Several competitors folded last year because of foot and mouth, so I decided to diversify into road and children's bikes and accessories, which were relatively unaffected by the outbreak," said Rowland.

"It has meant spending up to 74 hours a week on the shop floor, a further 12 hours doing paperwork and then have to find time for community projects such as teaching road safety. I wouldn't do it unless I really enjoyed being my own master.

"It's been an amazing year for me and just recently, I took on my first member of staff, which makes me feel good about putting something back into my community - and better still, I'll now have time to develop new ideas for the future."

The Bike Doctor stocks bikes from Saracen, Universal, Huffy, Kona and Ideal.

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