Eircom Young Entrepreneur 2009 Award

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Fermanagh Farmer wins top Young Entrepreneur award.

William Allingham of Allingham QUADCRATE® in Garrison, Co Fermanagh, won the 2009 eircom Young Entrepreneur of the Year award and £5,000 as well as £500 for the award for Best Rural Business at a glittering ceremony last night in the Hilton Hotel, Belfast.

Eircom Young Entrepreneur, a prestigious awards programme now in its 25th year, celebrates the spirit of enterprise that is alive and kicking in young people aged 16-30 and is promoted across the province by Advantage in partnership with eircom NI and Invest Northern Ireland.

The final was the culmination of six months of tough competition for the eight regional finalists, who included a specialist seating manufacturer, an Irish language lifestyle magazine, an optician and a skincare clinic.

Each underwent a series of presentations and interviews with an expert panel of judges who were tasked with assessing business acumen and potential, as well as the long-term viability of the businesses.

Winner William came up with his idea for QUADCRATE® carrier (s), which offers a unique solution to those working with quads, livestock and equipment, after encountering a practical problem on his farm.

“I lamb 400 ewes and I found it difficult to use my quad and trailer to feed stock on top of hills, especially in wet weather conditions,” he said. “I found that the wheels would spin because the trailer was pulling on the quad, so I decided to make a bracket for the back of my quad to hold a ewe and a lamb box for the lambs.

Then I decided to make it foldable, so when it isn’t in use it can be folded out of the way. It proved so invaluable to me, I thought i’d do so some research on the internet and found nothing like it.

When William went on to forward his innovative idea he realised that nothing like it existed in the marketplace, so he started the patent process. Now he plans to manufacture the product to supply what is a growing market for this first of its kind of accessory.