Ms Prest worked with the East Durham Business Service (EDBS) to set up The Funky Gift and Party Fairy.
Her business adviser, Katie Harbron, said: “I have been impressed with Kayleigh’s enthusiasm and determination to make her business succeed.
“In this current climate, starting up a business seems even more difficult, but Kayleigh has proved that with the right support and the right attitude you can succeed.”
EDBS is part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 2007-13 programme, which is bringing more than £300m in European money into the region to support innovation, enterprise and business.
Its aim is to create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum over the lifetime of the initiative.
Ms Prest said: “I’m really pleased at how popular my home parties are becoming. I’m able to go out and meet my customers directly to find out what they really want.
“The business is going from strength to strength and I can’t thank EDBS, the ERDF fund or my friends and family enough. I want to thank everyone who has given me help and support throughout this process.
“It’s not easy setting up your own business, but EDBS have supported me the whole way through.”