A pop-up shop business owner from Whitefield has scooped another award as her firm thrives. 

Megan Jones, 31, is one of a trio of up-and-coming business people who won Innovate UK's Young Innovators Award.

She and the other two winners have not won another accolade, the Young Innovators Next Step award, due to their progress and future growth plans.

Megan set up Curated Makers, which supports micro busineses to get spaces on the high street within their stores or big retains such as John Lewis, M&S, Next and Paperchase.

Her "Made Local Pop-Ups" allow small makers and artists to showcase their work to new customers.

Since winning her first award, Megan has gone from a team of one to four full-time, allowing them the capacity to run four pop-ups and four market spaces concurrently.

The other winners were Benjamin Ndubuisi who grew up in Nigeria and now lives in Manchester.

His experiences led him to create VING.AI, a secure currency exchange platform for Africans living in the UK.

And Anna Watkins from Penrith, has taken seaweed slime and used it to create a sustainable, vegan and 100 per cent bio based alternative to leather and plastic, turning it into everything from handcrafted notebooks to wallets and lampshades.

Innovate UK’s chief executive officer, Indro Mukerjee, said: “Innovate UK is committed to inspiring and supporting the next generation of innovators.

“We will work to inspire, involve, and invest in their talent to create a strong future economy and society.

“Congratulations to the Young Innovators Next Step award winners and I look forward to seeing their businesses develop even further.”

The Young Innovators Awards recognise young people, aged 18 to 30, from every region and country in the UK with great business ideas who have the potential to become successful entrepreneurs and future leaders in innovation.

Award winners receive a £5,000 grant, living allowance, a package of business coaching, and mentoring from a personal Innovation Champion from Innovate UK Edge.

Emily Nott, head of equality, diversity, and inclusion at Innovate UK said: “It’s one thing to have a business idea and – as so many aspiring entrepreneurs would attest – quite another to make it a reality.

“These innovative young people have worked relentlessly to realise their ambitions and we are proud of the role we are able to play in helping them on this journey.

“Their disruptive ideas stand to make a big impact, but their stories are important in other ways too – if they can inspire other young people to come forward and innovate, we will all benefit.”

Science Minister George Freeman said: “Congratulations to all the winners of Innovate UK’s Young Innovators Next Steps awards.

“To unlock our potential as an Innovation Nation we need to inspire a new generation of young innovators & entrepreneurs to bring their ambition and innovation to create new opportunities, businesses and jobs across the whole country.

“An innovation economy is key to an opportunity Society.

“The ideas of these young innovators are already helping us address some urgent challenges, from monitoring the impact of climate change on bees which are essential for pollination of our crops to producing aids for patients suffering from stroke & head injury. “I’m really looking forward to seeing who this year’s competition discovers.”