Teenage entrepreneur wins enterprise competition with her idea to help artists earn more money

Teenage entrepreneur wins enterprise competition with her idea to help artists earn more money

Posted: Thu 18th Apr 2019

A creative 17-year-old teenager from Moscow has won a national enterprise competition in the UK thanks to her brilliant idea for an artists' network.

Valilisa Dubova, who is studying for a foundation diploma in art and design, whilst being home-schooled in her home in Canada Water, London, beat off other finalists in the 16 - 18-year-old age group to win the Next Generation Awards 2019.

The new annual set of awards are run by small business support network Enterprise Nation in conjunction with youth enterprise charity The Enterprise Trust and leading challenger bank, TSB, with the aim of specifically shining a spotlight on the UK's game-changing young entrepreneurial talent.

Valilisa came up with the idea for Artist Hue because she could see there was a gap in the market for a community of talented artists to share their knowledge and skills and help dispel the myth that 'artists are poor' and being an artist 'isn't a valid career move.'

She said: "I was tired of hearing people say that artists don't earn enough money, they are starving and that it's not a good career. I wanted to set up Artist Hue to prove that artists can earn, that it is something that people like me and younger adults, can aspire to do, and that it is accessible.

"I felt that setting up a community initially and building in commerciality on top of that was the best way to create a platform that all artists could benefit from, not just me."

Helen Booth, CEO of York-based Enterprise Trust, set up by Richard Harpin, the entrepreneur behind emergency home repair firm HomeServe, and judge, said: "Vasilisa stood out because of great original concept and creative feel about her business. We were all impressed with the diverse revenue streams Vasilisa had already incorporated - but we suggested it may be worth her focusing on one or two products and services in the early stages, rather than making the offer too complicated.

"We were also impressed with the good use of Pinterest to promote her business which was found to be an entirely appropriate outlet for her arty brand and made her stand out from others. She is a very switched on young lady and no doubt will go a long way."

Valilisa was named following an initial selection and a public vote, and pitched to judges last week Friday/April 12 at TSB's offices in London. The winners received a support package worth £7,500 to include £2,500 in cash and a year of mentoring from TSB's Business Banking Executive Team.

Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: "We were bowled over by the incredibly high standard of the young entrepreneurs this initiative has uncovered, spread right across the UK and from every conceivable sector - and Valilisa was no exception.

"The fact that she's already got 9,000 followers on Pinterest suggests that she's onto something and her presentation was one of the most accomplished, quite a thing from a 17-year-old. We wish her all the best for the future."

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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