Two young entrepreneurs from Lancashire have won a national prize, receiving a £5,000 grant.

    From a battery-powered mobile seat booster that helps people sit and stand up more easily, to a tool for electricians to reduce wiring waste, Lancashire innovators promise to make the world a better place .

    Conor Walsh, 23, from Clitheroe, is a trained electrician and winner of the Apprentice of the Year award at the Innovate UK Young Innovator Awards.

    He created Reelhelp, a tool for electricians to reduce wiring waste. The device goes around the electrician’s waist so he can pull the exact length he needs.

    Abigail Devenney, 23, from Preston, created It’s Just For Me to combat swelling after non-surgical procedures, such as lip fillers. Its goal is to educate users on how to stay safe.

    The Young Innovators Competition received nearly 700 entries this year, up 25% from the previous year.

    The Ideas Standard led Innovate UK to award over 50% more winners this year (94 vs 63), making it the largest cohort of young innovators to date.

    The Lancashire winners will take a share of the £1.25million prize.

    They join 92 other young people aged between 18 and 30 with business ideas that could change the world and will benefit from a £5,000 grant, individual business coaching and a stipend to cover the costs of subsistence.

    The Young Innovators Awards recognize young people with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future innovation leaders.

    In addition to the awards, Innovate UK offers workshops and information events to provide practical business advice to a network of over 12,500 young people across the UK.

    Emily Nott, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Programs at Innovate UK, said: “The level of creativity, passion and commitment to positive change within our society and our environment among this year’s Young Innovators Award winners is more than inspiring.

    “I am very proud to know that Innovate UK is creating opportunities and providing support to enable these young people from a wide variety of backgrounds in all parts of the UK to grow and develop their businesses.

    “With the financial uncertainty this year brings, it’s fantastic to see these entrepreneurs starting businesses that will improve the world and drive innovation in the UK. We can’t wait to see what they achieve next.

    Indro Mukerjee, Managing Director of Innovate UK, added: “The Innovate UK Young Innovators program is an important part of our many activities aimed at strongly developing the talent pool needed to further boost our innovation nation.

    “I warmly congratulate all of the Young Innovators Award winners and look forward to keeping in touch as they progress.”



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