Fourteen year old Edinburgh entrepreneur wins The Merchant Company Initiative Prize 2017

A young entrepreneur aged fourteen has won the eleventh annual Merchant Company Initiative Prize.

Louis Moore, a pupil at Firrhill High School impressed the judges at the final of the prestigious award with his skills in developing his own organic egg selling business.

As he enjoys business studies at school, Louis researched a business he could develop himself which lead him to contact a supplier of organic eggs. Through building up clientele by personal recommendations, Louis now boxes, labels and hand delivers eggs to over forty regular clients weekly. He makes a small profit on each sale which he banks. His future objectives are to expand the business and save up money for the future.

The annual Initiative Prize is aimed at young people aged 13-18 living in and around the Capital, who have displayed initiative and enterprise over the past year, by turning their ideas into a reality. The competition which embraces both new and established projects is open to individuals, or a small team.

Louis was presented with his £500 prize for 2017 by Mrs Pat Denzler, Master of The Merchant Company who said:

“The Merchant Company’s Initiative Prize is a challenge to young people to think creatively. We are keen to see enterprising ideas in business or philanthropy as this is at the core of what the Company is all about.

“We hope that the Initiative Prize will encourage young people to play an active role in their city of Edinburgh and beyond, to develop their skills and confidence for the future.”

Richard Barron, Chairman of the Initiative Prize at The Merchant Company, commented:

“Louis really impressed the judges with his business skills, drive and ambition at such a young age.  He is growing his own business to the extent that he is now mentoring other young people helping them develop their own egg selling business.

“From helping to save an endangered species, selling organic eggs and helping to improve the lives of children in Africa, the standard of our finalists this year has been outstanding.

“We congratulate Louis and the two runner-ups in this year’s competition and wish them all the very best for the future. Thank you also to our other entrants who showed an interest in this year’s prize. We encourage everyone to participate again in 2018.

“Cruden Homes were our sponsors for this year’s awards and our grateful thanks go to them for their support.”

The two runners up for this year’s competition who won £250 were:

Flower Power: A project to save the bees by Joanna Blair (15) and Nikola Piper (14), students from George Heriot’s School. The two girls wanted to do something to protect wildlife and decided to do their part in helping to save bees which are in decline. They organised a bake sale and with the profits bought a stock of seeds for plants that bees love. They aimed to provide window boxes and flower seeds so bees can pollinate and gave out pots and seeds to friends and families, as well as planting seeds in a communal garden which have now blossomed.

Project Magale: Undertaken by a team of six S4 pupils at Broxburn Academy, their ongoing project is to provide financial support for an orphan named Ruth in Uganda to enable her to have an education. The team were upset to learn while studying developing countries in geography how many girls are denied an education because of their gender. Led by teacher Jill Masson, the six pupils sponsor Ruth, who wants to be a doctor. She has lost both parents and a sibling to HIV and has no one to support her. The team raised money by tea, coffee and bake sales and asking everyone to donate spare change. The money was sent for her school fees for a first term as part of the continuing project and a letter of thanks has been received from Ruth.

The team members are: Logan Ross, Katie Chapman, Rebecca Wightman, Amy Waterstone, David Martin and Alex Park.

Photograph caption: Left to right: Nikola Piper, Joanna Blair (Flower Power),  Richard Barron (Chairman of The Merchant Company Initiative Prize), Louis Moore, Pat Denzler (Master of The Merchant Company), Logan Ross, Meg Wishart, Alex Park, Katie Chapman and David Martin (Project Magale)

Erith McKean

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