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."
For more details contact Liz Slee
About Enterprise Nation
Enterprise Nation is a growing small business network and business support provider with more than 70,000 members. Its aim is to help people turn their good ideas into great businesses - through expert advice, events, acceleration and networking. Enterprise Nation was founded in 2005 by Emma Jones MBE , also co-founder of national enterprReal Good Ketchupise campaign StartUp Britain. She is author of best-selling business books including Spare Room Startup, Working 5 to 9, Go Global, Start a Business for £99 and the StartUp Kit, Going for Growth. In 2016 she was announced as the Government's Trade Ambassador and SME Crown Representative.
About the Enterprise Trust
As part of its mission, the Enterprise Trust is investing in young talent on many levels, with a view to create 25,000 skill-based apprenticeships and inject £1m a year over eight years into youth enterprise support (up to 2025) with a target to generate a £1bn contribution to the UK economy.
The charity was launched in 2011 by entrepreneur Richard Harpin, who founded emergency repair firm HomeServe in 1993, now a FTSE 250 company valued at £2.6bn. The charity is run by Helen Booth and aims to create an impact and leave a legacy by helping individuals to realise their potential as independent wealth generators.
TSB serves over 500 communities across Britain combining branch banking, expert advisors and online services. TSB only serves local customers and local businesses, to help fuel local economies, because communities thriving across Britain is a good thing for all of us. For further information about TSB Bank plc, please visit our website www.tsb.co.uk.
Notes to editors
Artist Hue: Vasilisa Dubova
My idea for Artist Hue is to "Connect Creative People Together." I want to do this through my art blog, art courses and online store first, then expand Artist Hue as a platform that will launch a podcast to interview artists and learn from their stories.
Oskano: Ben Miotti
Oskano. We're your modern-day, forward-thinking, digital and creative agency. We help start-ups lift off from the ground and support small and established businesses reach their full potential via the power of digital using the latest trends. We donate 10% of our retainer fees to the charity, MIND.
Think Creative Africa: Stephanie Njoaguani
Think Creative Africa is an online platform that aims to inspire and educate African teens to successfully bring their creative ideas to life. We push past the African stereotype that creative does not equal successful by educating teenagers to be just that: creative and successful! Because it's possible, and we hope you think so too.