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Young Darlington mum up for national enterprise award

Claire Hutchinson, recycling entreprenuer
Published 12 Mar 2008
Tags recycling, entreprenuers, awards, Princes Trust, Darlington
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Recycling entreprenuer Claire Hutchinson

A young mum from Darlington who set up her own recycling business is up for a national award. Claire Hutchinson, 29, beat unemployment by setting up a clothes recycling business.

Mother of three Claire had been unemployed for eight months and had no prospect of finding a job. With no experience of being self-employed, she approached youth charity The Prince's Trust with an idea for her own business.

Claire's business, UK Recycling Assistance, was set up with financial help from The Trust and collects unwanted clothes for recycling from homes throughout the North East. The business has expanded so much in its two years of operation that she now rents a 5,500 sq ft warehouse and employs 25 people. The majority of the business' profits go to a local children's charity.

Claire is now up for a Capgemini Enterprise Award at The Prince's Trust & RBS Celebrate Success Awards next week.

Claire said: "It's wonderful to be through to the final. Unemployment and financial problems made it hard for me to support my children - I'll never forget when I had just £2 in my purse to feed them for several days. But with the help of The Prince's Trust, my idea has become reality."

Having won the regional final Claire went up against eleven other young entrepreneurs for a place in the final. She is now one of just three finalists for the Capgemini Enterprise Award.

David Boulter, CEO of Capgemini Aspire and executive sponsor for Capgemini UK's support of the Prince's Trust, commented: "We are excited that Claire is in the final for the Capgemini Enterprise Award. We were very impressed with all the regional finalists, but Claire's business was one of the standout entries. It's fantastic to watch young people from such challenging and difficult backgrounds become successful."

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