London SE1 website team

500 prize for SE1 entrepreneur

SE1 resident Mark Champkins was named the runner-up in the Shell LiveWIRE Young Entrepreneurs of the Year awards for London South Central.

Mark Champkins
Shell's Andrew Eddy and Mayor of Southwark Cllr Anne Yates, congratulate Mark Champkins at the ceremony held at the London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle

A highly commended runner up award and cheque for 500 went to 27 year old Mark Champkins. Mark's business Concentrate Design, based across the river in Hoxton, creates products that help primary school children between the ages of 5-11 to concentrate better in class. The first is a book bag that hooks over the back of a school chair. Not only does it hold the child's books, it also folds out and provides a comfortable padded seat. Mark's other product is a wet-suit style insulating cover for water bottles to keep them cool. This also doubles as a pen, pencil and school stationery holder.

While studying the impact of school environments on children's learning, Mark discovered that dehydration and uncomfortable chairs were two main reasons why young children found it difficult to concentrate during lessons. As a result, he decided to develop innovative products with teachers, parents and children to reduce these causes of distraction.

Business partners Kristjana Williams (30), Jo Jackson (25), and Kate Harwood (28) from Camberwell won the 1,000 first prize. Their business, Beyond The Valley, provides a unique support network for new up and coming designers and artists. The partners have opened a flagship store in Central London near Carnaby Street, and provide national and international showcasing opportunities too. Beyond The Valley stocks over 120 products covering fashion, fine art, product design, music and film, ranging from furniture and illustrations to ceramics and jewellery.

To win, Beyond The Valley beat five other young businesses from London South Central that have recently started up. Beyond The Valley will now represent London South Central at the London Region Gala final in London on 31 May.

Andrew Eddy, director of Shell's London Office, who presented the awards, said: "It's great that the Shell LiveWIRE Awards give the young people behind these exciting new businesses in South Central London the chance to shout about their success. Shell LiveWIRE is also proud to be helping all young entrepreneurs in South Central London with its free year-round support service, and enabling young people to turn their business ideas into reality."

Shell LiveWIRE is a support service for all 16 to 30 year-olds considering starting, or already running a small business. Shell founded and has supported LiveWIRE for more than 20 years, and the programme has now been exported to more than 20 countries worldwide.

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