Callum Murray of Yarm Butchers named as winner of Young MicroEntrepreneur of the Year in 2016 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards – and takes home £5,000 prize
When the only high street butcher in Yarm, near Stockton-on-Tees, retired in 2012 Callum Murray, spotted a gap in the market. But the young trained butcher, now 24, had his doubts too and wondered whether he’d be “too young to start up my own business.”
Now thanks to the help of a local responsible finance provider, Five Lamps, plus butchery expertise, ambition, social media, and hard work Callum’s business is thriving – so much so he’s been awarded £5000 in a prestigious UK Award scheme.
In just over a year Yarm Butchers has become a huge success, supplying high quality, local and fresh meats, alongside exotic meats such as Kangaroo and Ostrich, and even Welsh Wagyu Beef.
Callum commented, “I had concerns that I would be too young to start up my own business, but when I went to see Five Lamps they gave me the help and support I needed to make my idea a reality. Five Lamps helped me with business plans and answered all my questions, making it a very easy decision to go ahead and look for premises.
“In December 2013, myself, family and friends made a start to renovating 93 High Street, an old and neglected Fruit n Veg shop. A lot of blood, sweat & tears were put in to making the shop what it is today. I prided myself on making it my project, to create an authentically quirky butchers, with a welcoming atmosphere.
“On March 6 2014, we opened the doors to Yarm Butchers. It was probably the scariest day of my life but with the assistance of my brother, cousin and close family friends we made it through the first weekend. Since then we have expanded the business with our own e-commerce site and recently won a BNBA (Best New Business Award). We also provide a great range of exotic meats that sets us aside from other butchers.”
Now Callum’s efforts have been recognised by the judges in the UK’s national awards for responsible finance providers and their clients, the 2016 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards – organised by the Citi Foundation in partnership with Responsible Finance.
Named “Young Microentrepreneur of the Year”, Callum was presented with the prize – and a cheque for £5000 – at the Award ceremony on 8th March in Manchester.
What are the secrets of Callum’s success? “The most important thing is customer satisfaction, as a lot of our advertising comes from word-of-mouth. A huge help with establishing Yarm Butchers was via social networks and our website, as it helped spread the word about business through to thousands of people,” he said.
Many customers visit on a weekly, and even daily basis, and over 1,000 members are signed up to our the business’ Loyalty scheme. And it’s not just a high street store – the online business is thriving too, as Callum adds:
“Our online store also has great themed meat hampers, such as BBQ packs and Christmas Dinner Hampers, making shopping in bulk easier for our customers, and offering them alternatives to everyday products. The added benefit of using locally sourced British meats means we are also putting money back into our economy.”
“It’s a huge achievement for Yarm Butchers to win this award. The prize fund will help to support our plans for a delivery service, which we are hoping to start shortly. None of this would be possible without the support of my family, or the help and mentorship of Five Lamps, who supported me through the initial start-up phase of the business and who continue to provide advice. The shop would not be running if it wasn’t for our loyal customers’ continuing support.”
Callum is just one of many businesses supported by Five Lamps, a responsible finance provider which aims to transform the lives of people in Teesside and the North East by helping them to find work, start their own business and improve their finances.
Graeme Oram, Chief Executive of Five Lamps said,
“It is great that Callum has been recognised as a Young Microentrepreneur. Five Lamps is proud to be part of Yarm Butchers’ story and helping turn Callum’s dream of self-employment into a reality. Every year, Five Lamps helps to establish hundreds of businesses by supporting customers on their enterprise journey from enterprise coaching, mentoring, business planning and accessing finance for start-ups.”
Local MP James Wharton (also the Under-Secretary of State in the Communities and Local Government department with responsibility for the Northern Powerhouse), comments,
“Five Lamps has been at the heart of our community for many years now and has adapted and grown throughout that time, whilst always sticking true to its underlying aims. I know it makes a huge difference in Thornaby and more widely and their work is highly valued by all those who engage with what is a top class organisation.”
Responsible Finance have partnerned with the Citi Foundation to bring the global Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards to the UK for the third year. The awards celebrate the economic and social impact of responsible finance providers on the people and places of Britain, and champion the outstanding microentrepreneurs who are creating jobs, services and prosperity in their communities.
This year the prize fund has increased to £65,000 and the Award Winners were announced on the evening of 8th March 2016. More about the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards and this year’s winners.