St Albans cupcake creator named Entrepeneur of the Year

TURNING a hobby into a business has proved the icing on the cake for a St Albans woman who has been named Entrepreneur of the Year by her former university and scooped a �10,000 prize.

Lucy Clark, 26, was awarded the prize in the final of flare, the University of Hertfordshire’s prestigious annual Enterprise Ideas Challenge for the work she’s done to develop her business Heaven is a Cupcake.

Lucy of Marshalswick set up the business after graduating in 2010.

For her, the award is more than just a cash injection, it’s going to help her move the business forward much quicker than she’d hoped. She said: “I couldn’t be happier. This is great recognition of Heaven is a Cupcake and the work I have put in to make it a success.

“The prize is really going to help further the business – I’m going to get a new kitchen with it! That was always my plan but this prize will help me do it sooner and then I’ll have more oven and storage space.”

Lucy will also receive office space at the University’s Enterprise Incubation Centre, mentoring with Exemplas and a year’s membership to the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

She added: “There will be lots of exciting changes coming and it’s all thanks to flare and the University. I’ve worked incredibly hard over the last six months of the competition and when they said my name I just couldn’t believe it; I think it is still sinking in. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Most Read

And while Lucy would ideally like premises, she says it’s not a central aim at the moment. Instead she wants to focus on developing the brand and putting together a recipe book. She eventually hopes to be able to take on staff to deal with the growing demand of orders she’s receiving.

The former Beaumont school pupil has ME, a debilitating illness that causes extreme fatigue, migraines, muscle pain and spasms, light sensitivity, nausea, brain fog and other life-altering symptoms. She knew it would be difficult to hold down a regular job, but running her cupcake business has allowed her to work around it.

And she says this kind of recognition just reinforces she’s going in the right direction.

Julie Newlan, pro vice-chancellor of enterprise and director of marketing and communications, praised Lucy’s achievement. She said: “I have no doubt that she will go on to do great things with this investment.”

The flare competition has been running for the past seven years and gives students and graduates of the University of Hertfordshire the opportunity and support to boost their business ideas and grow their start-up companies. This year, 178 people entered, with eight finalists.