RECRUITMENT guru Louise Hewett is encouraging Worcester companies to launch the entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

Mrs Hewett, Worcestershire Businesswoman of the Year and strategic board chairman for Herefordshire & Worcestershire Young Enterprise, wants city firms to offer their time to fledgling businesses.

The 44-year-old, who also sponsored last year's Young Endeavour category of the Good News Awards, runs Hewett Recruitment.

The 20-year-old, £3m company has offices in Kidderminster and Worcester, finding jobs for more than 300 people a year.

"Taking up the Young Enterprise post was a huge learning curve," she said.

"I'd seen companies selling their products, but didn't know how the scheme worked.

"When I joined the board, I realised it had moved on a bit from painted flower pots.

"It's all power-point presentations, internet sites and high-tech products now."

As part of the process, business representatives are attached to sixth-form groups as Young Enterprise company mentors.

"It can't function without business advisers," Mrs Hewett said.

"They teach the young people how to present themselves, and scores of other workplace skills.

"It gives me a real buzz every year when I visit the companies at the beginning of the process when they're clueless about business and then see how they've progressed at the end.

"They really do become directors of their own companies."

She said companies would reap untold rewards from devoting time to youngsters.

"Managers can learn a lot about teamwork from watching Young Enterprise companies," added Mrs Hewett.

"There aren't many charities that companies can give to that actually benefit the future, that produce the directors of tomorrow for Worcester.

"And on top of that they get advertising and great coverage."

She paid tribute to the dedication of the county's young entrepreneurs, praising the efforts of the youngsters who battled against all odds to achieve in the Good News awards.

"I was lucky to have parents who made me think that there was nothing I couldn't do," she added.

"It was a question of how I would be successful rather than whether I would. I was given permission to achieve.

"But not all young people have that privilege. This is a chance to put something back."