Sweet sound of success for Aylsham entrepreneur Sam

The north Norfolk entrepreneur behind a contemporary music school has been honoured for her achievements after scooping a prestigious business title.

Samantha Coe from Aylsham, founder of the Norwich-based Wharf Academy music school, beat off contestants from across the country to be presented with the Natwest Everywoman Artemis Award - handed to the most inspiring businesswoman aged 25 and under - for her enterprising spirit at a ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel yesterday.

Miss Coe, 25, began teaching music when she was a teenager, before achieving individual success with a pop folk band, the Wildflowers, which supported Take That on tour.

Since then, she has worked with musicians who wrote the soundtrack for the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire and in 2009 at the tender age of 23, she set up the academy.

Miss Coe has overcome major setbacks to grow her business - particularly the ransacking by thieves of The Wharf's original premises in King Street a year ago - and now runs her business from the renovated mediaeval church St Martins in Oak Street, and counts the Norwich Free School among her clients.

Carolyn Currie, Head of Women in Business at NatWest, praised Miss Coe's achievements.

'Every year we continue to be overwhelmed by the stories of some truly inspirational female entrepreneurs, who more often than not have overcome huge adversity to achieve the success they once only dreamed of,' she said.

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Miss Coe was runner up for Young Entrepreneur Award at the EDP Business Awards in 2010.