Release Date: 29/06/2012
The hunt for the borough’s next social entrepreneurs is now over as at last night’s Richmond’s Den Grand Final a local social care group were crowned the overall winners.
Following a tense final, Lorraine Clements and Lucy Patterson, of Jigsaw Care Services Plus, went against two other candidates for the £10,000 prize package.
The finalists pitched their business proposals to a distinguished panel consisting of Sir Trevor McDonald, John Bird, the founder of the Big Issue and Anthony Thomson, Chairman of Metro Bank.
Lorraine and Lucy set up a professional social care business to support families of children and young adults company in Hampton and Richmond a year ago. After the win was announced they were presented with a cheque for £10,000 by Richmond and Kingston North MP Zac Goldsmith.
Speaking after the final, at Richmond The American International University, on Richmond Hill, Cllr Pamela Fleming, Richmond Council’s Cabinet Member for Community, Business and Culture, said:
“Richmond’s Den really has bought out the best in the borough in terms of entrepreneurial spirit. Social entrepreneurs are so important, particularly at the moment. Everyone who has entered has been an absolute inspiration and I’m proud that Richmond is at the forefront of social entrepreneurship. The finalists should all be proud of themselves.
“I’ve been very impressed by the standard of business ideas and I’m delighted by the success of the competition. I hope it inspires many more people to follow their dreams into business. A special thank you must go to all of the judging panel and the sponsors, without whom the event would not have been possible.”
Winners Lucy Patterson and Lorraine Clements of Jigsaw Care Services Plus, said:
“We’re ecstatic about being the overall winners - although the competition was fierce. We have a background in the care sector and spotted a gap in the market for providing flexible and niche quality care. Winning Richmond’s Den will give us recognition and the money and mentoring will be invaluable in helping us grow the business. We feel honoured to receive recognition from such well respected social entrepreneurs like John Bird and Anthony Thomson”
The runners up were Isabel Elder, of Twickenham, who pitched a Local Divorce Support Service, an idea she developed after going through the difficult process herself and realising there was a lack of support and advice available. Plus Nicola Cornwall, of East Sheen, and Katherine Coltart, of Kingston, who were looking for assistance to help develop their start-up business, Dollies and Dinosaurs, which recycles as-good-as-new children clothes. They will receive prize packages worth £1,000 and all 95 who entered the competition will be invited to a networking and mentoring event later in the year, supported by the Richmond Chamber of Commerce.