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Andrew's Sterling Valets

Andrew Sterling is making a business out of the job most people don't like or just don't have the time to do themselves: washing and cleaning their car.

photo of Andrew Sterling, Sterling valeters, Langholm

The 29-year-old had been a truck washer in London, where he hails from, before working as a car valeter for large companies when he moved to Langholm with his wife Michelle and their sons Rhys, eleven, and Callum, seven.

Deciding to set up on his own, he sought help from Business Gateway and, having been referred to the Council's Young Entrepreneur Co-ordinator Lindsey Mason, is delighted at how quickly things have progressed.

Not only was he lucky enough to win a 'Business in a Bag' - including a Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 and a voucher for business stationery - at a Young Entrepreneur Start Me Up roadshow event in Gretna in March, but he was recently awarded a business startup grant of 1,500 to help kick start his business.

"It's been brilliant. I wouldn't have got this far without the help of Dumfries & Galloway Council's Young Entrepreneur Project. I am looking forward to launching Sterling Valets and Michelle, who is training to be a teacher, is helping me with my admin. I'll be working in Langholm, Carlisle and Annan, doing everything from washes at 6.50 to mini and full valets at 50, and I want corporate clients too" Andrew says.

Young Entrepreneur Project

In addition to Andrew's Sterling Valets, the Young Entrepreneur project has, since June 2012, helped support over 27 young people in the Annandale and Eskdale area into self-employment

- from a plumber and a sports coach to a cosmetic tattooist and a mobile pizza van
- through a unique package of support from the Beyond Chapelcross Project.

Funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority from a 1.2m fund to stimulate the economy in Annandale and Eskdale, the project involves Magnox Ltd working with Dumfries & Galloway Council to strengthen and diversify the local business base, to mitigate the impact of decommissioning on the communities around Chapelcross.

As well as business start-up funding, young entrepreneurs are offered aftercare - in the form of training and networking opportunities, plus one-to-one advice and guidance sessions - to ensure their fledgling businesses have the best chance of survival.

More than 87 per cent of businesses started with the support of the Beyond Chapelcross CX Project are still trading and have gone from strength to strength with ambitious plans for the future.