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An 11-year-old entrepreneur from Carradale is on track to achieve his dream of setting up several successful businesses after opening a hand car wash in the village.
As he was home schooled during lockdown, Joshua Lavery-Jones, who is now in P7 at Carradale Primary School, saw an ideal opportunity to get the wheels in motion for his first venture, Joshy Washy car wash.
He entered a Dragons Den-style competition run by Edinburgh-based Social Enterprise Academy which asked him to design a presentation and create a video pitch for a potential business. He formed a business plan, looked at his costings, carried out market research and thought about branding.
He received brilliant feedback from the competition organisers and won a prize of a fully funded workshop for himself and his class.
His mum Fiona said: ‘He was over the moon and so happy that his friends would also benefit.’
Joshua’s success in the competition gave him the confidence he needed to officially launch Joshy Washy on Wednesday August 19 – and he has been fully booked since.
He put a lot of thought into making sure his customers are satisfied, creating an outdoor area in which they can sit and giving every customer a complimentary bottle of water, packet of biscuits and a car air freshener – all his own ideas, Fiona insists.
She added: ‘Joshua had been saving his birthday money and was able to buy all the equipment and materials to get started. He didn’t want us to buy anything or borrow money.
‘He says he may be young, but don’t let that fool you. If the customer is not happy they don’t pay. He is confident in his service. He has spent so much time and effort researching how to clean cars and has lots of business ideas.’
Joshua told the Courier he is ‘excited and happy’ people are supporting his business venture.
He explained that as well as doing the enterprise project during lockdown and researching entrepreneurs and how they became successful, he was inspired by his parents who both run their own businesses. Fiona runs The Clean Team and dad Derek runs High Maintenance.
Fiona said: ‘He is amazing with technology and has big plans for his future. For the last couple of years his birthday and Christmas lists have included a corner desk, printer, laminator and office chair – not the normal toys or games you would think a boy of his age would want. We call him the mini Alan Sugar!
‘We are so proud of him and amazed with the amount of thought and detail he has put in.’
Talking of his plans for the future, Joshua said: ‘I plan to keep the car wash going while I am at school and, if I am successful, I may set up other branches around Argyll – but I need to learn to drive first.
‘My real passion is technology. I am planning to have a tech support business when I am older. I have already had one client from the village. I helped fix the touch screen on an iPad as it wasn’t working. I think I would like to work for myself and I have designed my own home that I will build when I am older.’
For now, Joshua’s car wash is open twice a week – one day after school and one weekend day. Visit his Facebook page @Joshy.Washy.Carradale for more information and to book an appointment.