BUTCHER Paul Conway from Kilsyth has joined forces with the children of St Helen's Primary and Nursery in Condorrat, as their Business Enterprise Partner.
Paul, 26, has owned his shop, Paul's Quality Butchers, since September 2002. His grandmother worked there and he was a willing 'apprentice' from the age of 13 – washing up and helping out after school.
He was determined that one day he would own his own shop and when it was due to close, Paul took the giant step into enterprise. He has been very impressed by the 'determined to succeed' culture which he says is so much in evidence within St. Helen's.
Paul was also 'determined to succeed', and his business has grown from being himself and two part-timers to now having 13 staff.
Through North Lanarkshire's Small Business Gateway and The Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust, Paul found tremendous support, as he had access to a business mentor. He feels that it is now time to give something back, and he will do that by being a business partner to St. Helen's.
The school has a 100 per cent enterprise culture, and every child, from Nursery to P7 is involved annually in a business enterprise project through which they manage their productions, agreed by the class.
Paul's three sons attend St. Helen's and he whispered that Mrs Quinn, the headteacher, used to teach him in Kilsyth (and also his mum!!).
Paul is the current holder of the 'Young Entrepreneur of Scotland' title sponsored by the Princes Scottish Youth Business Trust and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Paul is seen here with P6 pupils and staff after they were involved in a strong question and answer session relating to business enterprise.
Alice Quinn, headteacher of St Helen's said: "We are very fortunate to have enlisted the support of such a fine Scottish business entrepreneur. I feel that Paul is an excellent role model for our children and we look forward to working in partnership with him. The children are already busy designing a label for Paul's new venture – supplying quality wrapped produce to local businesses. They are also designing the 'Paul's Quality Butcher' tie! It will be interesting to see where this partnership takes the children and I hope that we are cultivating some Scottish business entrepreneurs of the future.
"In St Helen's, we have had enormous success as an enterprising school, and as a result of our policy on 100 per cent enterprise, groups of pupils have represented the school at the Scottish Parliament and given their views on enterprise education to the Parliamentary Enterprise Committee.
"In May 2003, we won the Motorola Award for Excellence in Enterprise and Education for Work and in December of that year the Deputy First Minister, Jim Wallace, MSP followed up on our visit to Parliament by visiting the school to observe our 'Enterprise In Action'.
"I would like to thank Paul for giving us his very valuable time and wish him well for the future."