A scheme launched to help entrepreneurs setting up their own companies culminated in an awards ceremony at the Dover Marina Hotel on Monday evening.
The Dover Town Team organised the Make It Happen programme to give advice to people on how to establish their own businesses.
Mark Isden (centre) receives the top prize from Mayor Cllr Ronnie Philpott, with Debbie Everett, Amy Howie, Ian Abraham, Town Team chairman John Angell, and Susan Proudfoot.
It involved a series of eight weekly sessions, including face-to-face meetings with a bank manager, book-keeper and accountant, to help them make the most of their opportunities and avoid the pitfalls that new businesses face.
Nine people started the course and six completed it, with the Town Team panel deciding who should receive the top awards of £2,000 bursaries to help them get off the ground.
Mayor of Dover Cllr Ronnie Philpott opened the sealed golden envelopes to reveal the names of the winners, and presented the first bursary to Mark Isden who set up Pro Smart Solutions, a mobile car spraying company.
Mark Isden receives his prize from Dover Mayor Cllr Ronnie Philpott
Mark, originally from Orpington, has been in Dover for four years and carries out small bodywork repairs to vehicles, particularly at car dealerships, but also for private motorists.
The panel had been unable to decide between two of the other candidates for the second bursary, so had decided to split it with each receiving £1,000.
They went to My Patina’d Heart, a craft and jewellery supplies company run by Amy Howie, and Curly Sue Edible Plants, run by Susan Proudfoot.
Certificates were presented to the other business people who completed the course.
Debbie Everett runs starzanjewlz, selling handmade crafts, a skill she developed soon after her son was born and she was looking for something new to fill her time.
Ian Abraham is a keep photographer who has turned his skill into a craft company, Crafts of Dover and Surrounding Areas.
Sylvie Parsons is well known in the town for her Brighter Dover project, making sure the town centre is decorated with plants and flowers, and installing the nautical topiary in the Market Square. But she has also set up her own business, Dover Antiques, buying and selling items at auctions.
The candidates praised the Make It Happen course which helped them in many ways with their businesses.
Mr Angell thanked those who had supported the scheme and also paid tribute to the other Town Team members for their work.
Full story and more photos in this week's Dover Mercury.