Young Entrepreneurs Get Expert Advice

The winners of Thame’s Small Business Saturday Young Entrepreneurs Competition in December 2016 attended a brainstorm session at the offices of CarmichaelUK on Saturday 25 February, where they received expert advice on how to develop their winning business ideas. The brainstorm, attended by young entrepreneurs Tom Wylam, Amelie Mason and Philippe van Caloen, was hosted by competition judges Tim Luscombe (Thames Valley Business Advisers), Rod Carmichael (CarmichaelUK), Lottie Moore (Mindset Metaphors) and Katy Dyer (style and image coach).


The ideas brainstorm was part of the prize pot the young entrepreneurs won in December. The first prize of £500 and 12 months’ mentoring went to Tom Wylam of Princes Risborough School for his idea, CupCycl, based on recycling disposable cups. The second prize went to Amelie Mason of Lord Williams’s School for her idea, Magical Maths, based on a new maths app, and the third prize went to Philippe van Caloen of Oxford Brookes University for his idea, WeCoach, aimed at helping students apply for their first job.


Tom, Amelie and Philippe were very enthusiastic about the brainstorming day, saying they gained valuable insights to make the most of their business ideas, which would help them develop and bring them to fruition.  Philippe commented, ‘The Small Business Saturday competition helped me translate my project into a really clear and simple business idea.  The brainstorm gave me the chance to reflect on my idea and clarify my vision on how to make it a simple but sustainable business opportunity. Advice given by the coaches and judges was really valuable.  Last but not least, it helped me build my confidence about this project, which is one of the main ingredients for any entrepreneurship journey.’


The Young Entrepreneurs’ Competition is a new venture, sponsored by CarmichaelUK, a Thame-headquartered recruitment company serving the construction industry. Managing director Rod Carmichael said, ‘The competition offers a brilliant platform for young talent. It’s important that young people can express themselves outside the standard GCSE route to market, and they should be encouraged to try new ideas. Entrepreneurs don’t all have to come from one place, you can start your journey by doing something different. The markets have changed dramatically in recent years, and clients are challenging us to find people who can show talent, ideas and innovation.’

The Young Entrepreneurs Competition was sponsored by CarmichaelUK, a specialist recruitment company serving the construction industry since 1995, with three UK offices, including a head office in Thame.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, visit

For more information about the Young Entrepreneurs Competition, contact Helen Johns at or on 0771 743 4983.