Manchester food entrepreneur wins Pioneers Pitch North West 2013

An entrepreneur who is teaching cookery skills to young people in Manchester has won the Virgin Media Pioneers North West Pitch 2013 competition.

Amy Win, 22, from Fallowfield, pitched her ‘4Lunch’ social enterprise to a dragon’s den style panel of local business people at the Virgin Media Pioneers North West Pitch 2013 with a tale of how onions and aubergines were creating opportunities and boosting skills.


Amy was named the winner at the event organised by Jo Booth, founder of Manchester fashion website MyStudentStyle and a regional ambassador for Virgin Media Pioneers, a free, online community for entrepreneurs to help them act on their big ideas.


Amy’s ‘4Lunch’ offers young people aged 14-24 not in education, employment or training a 12-week-plan to give them cookery and financial planning skills through experience of commercial catering and making lunches for local businesses. Amy won professional mentoring courtesy of Virgin Media Pioneers as well as an iPad mini, Nikon camera and Canon printer.


Amy, who set up the initiative in August and hopes to see her first recruit complete their course in the New Year, said: “The ability to eat well on a budget is so important and too many young people don’t even recognise certain fruit and vegetables or know where food comes from. We want to teach young people skills that will help them lead independent lives whilst opening up career opportunities.

“I didn’t expect to win the competition and am extremely happy that social enterprises such as 4Lunch are getting recognised.”

Workshops take place in Moss Side at the Hideaway youth centre and at the Factory Youth Zone in Harpurhey.


Before the pitching began the entrants heard talks from successful Manchester businesses Reason Digital, which has built a life-saving mobile application for the Meningitis Trust, and Ketso, a ‘workshop facilitation toolkit in a bag’ developed by University of Manchester lecturer Dr Joanne Tippett, who has seen her creation being used by 300 companies in 30 countries and play a key role in the £1.7 million regeneration of Manchester’s former landfill site Moston Vale.


Organiser Joanna Booth, 23, a Manchester Metropolitan University graduate, said: “We were looking for businesses that aim to improve the lives of others in the North West and encourage people to dream big. We had a number of inspiring pitches and wonderful ideas but 4Lunch stood out as a company that can really make a difference.”


Sir Richard Branson, Pioneer at Large for Virgin Media Pioneers, said:

“There is a huge amount that we can do to unlock entrepreneurial potential and Virgin Media Pioneers is empowering young entrepreneurs to fulfil their dreams of owning and managing successful businesses.”

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