Esteeming ahead with ‘Selfie’ Celebration

A musical medley welcomed supporters during the pre-launch party of Sense Of Self on Tuesday 10th June at Grill 48 in Dunfermline. The business idea was created by local teenager Rachel Thomson, winner of the inaugural West Fife’s Young Entrepreneur Award 2012, an initiative created by us here at Thomson Cooper Accountants in association with the Dunfermline Press, featuring a business support package valued at over £10,000.

Initially, Rachel won the award with her ‘Custom Made’ concept. The idea at that point was to create quirky, life affirming designs that could be printed on t-shirts with the aim of boosting self-confidence. These designs could then be used on multiple product lines, diversifying the range and increasing revenue streams. However, with guidance from her mentor, leading entrepreneur Romy Wyser, Rachel has developed Sense Of Self. The objectives are to inspire change, motivate others and to make a difference for young people based on the belief that if you feel good about yourself then you can achieve greater things. The idea has evolved into a revolution to tackle low self-esteem in young people and a mission to inspire the world. Rachel aims to motivate other people to follow their dreams using a network of ‘ambassadors’, by running workshops and maybe even by writing a book!

Rachel juggles her new business with her job at The National Galleries of Scotland, as well as participating in the Acorn Enterprise Initiative.  Asked why she had entered the competition Rachel replied, “I was having quite a tough time at school and thought that it might give me an opportunity to do something different. After attending the initial presentations I felt excited to think that maybe there could be something out there for me that I hadn't thought of before. Since winning the competition the main lessons for me have been that it has to feel right. If you are not happy with what you are doing then something has to change. The other thing I have learned is that if you are struggling or need help - ASK FOR IT!”

What about her plans for the future? “I will hopefully be running a successful business alongside my University studies but I am open to new possibilities so that could change! Ideally I would like to be running regular workshops for Sense Of Self and hosting business events to encourage young people to be brave and take a risk.”

Her advice to anyone thinking about applying for something similar? “DO IT! Not really considered applying? Do it anyway. It has absolutely changed my life and I wouldn't dream of looking back. It has been one of my biggest achievements ever and I am so grateful to Thomson Cooper for having the idea to run a young entrepreneur competition. I look forward to working with Andrew there throughout my business journey.”

Thomson Cooper Partner Andrew Croxford was delighted to attend the event commenting, “Our long term vision for the West Fife’s Young Entrepreneur Award was for multiple businesses to ‘host’ the award using their own network of contacts. We hoped this would maximise exposure and awareness, develop the support package over time and ensure the award’s sustainability. CCW Business Lawyers ran the award last year and we have an exciting announcement to make about this years ‘host’ in the very near future.”