Painting and decorating student Hayley Grindon, from Stoke on Trent College, has received over £7,000 of business support after being announced the winner of the 2014 Dulux Decorator Centre Pitch2Win competition – the initiative, which was officially launched this year, has been set up by Dulux Decorator Centre to encourage and support entrepreneurship within the painting and decorating industry.
As the winner, Hayley received a cash prize of £2,000 to purchase business-related items, as well as on-going mentoring from an AkzoNobel Training Consultant, 12 months of business and accounting support, free entry into six Dulux Trade courses, plus a host of marketing and PR support and a full set of personalised work wear.
Having successfully made it through the initial shortlisting process, Hayley, who is currently finishing her NVQ Level 3 at Stoke on Trent College, suitably impressed a panel of industry experts with her business pitch at the ‘Dragons’ Den’-inspired final, which was held at AkzoNobel’s new 100,000sq metre world-class paint manufacturing headquarters in Ashington.
Hayley said: “I’m absolutely astounded, I didn’t think I would get placed let alone come in first place. I am really happy and just want to thank Dulux Decorator Centre for giving me this opportunity. I am already thinking how to spend the money and top of my list is to buy a projector. I’m really looking forward to being more independent and to build my reputation up throughout Stoke on Trent and further.”
Organiser of the competition and Dulux Decorator Centre’s Marketing Manager, Beverley Whitehead comments: “The more training opportunities and support for start-ups we can provide the more we can help the industry thrive. Though the step to ‘going solo’ and setting up your own business can be daunting and demanding, in more ways than one. The idea behind the competition is to provide a pool of resource and support to ambitious entrepreneurs really wanting to take that step and launch a successful painting and decorating enterprise.”
Open to UK-based painters and decorators who qualified in the last three years, Pitch2Win also embraced career changers and more mature professionals of varying backgrounds and circumstances. The competition has helped narrow the gap between education and industry in practice, building on partnerships with colleges across the UK.
Dulux Decorator Centre is the UK’s leading decorating specialist offering expert advice to help accomplish any decorating job – big or small. Each centre carries a wide range of products, from paint to wallpaper, accessories and tools, as well as a decorator recommendation service.
For information and Painting and Decorating courses at Stoke on Trent College visit www.stokecoll.ac.uk or call 01782 208208.