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SIE bootcamp: where businesses are born

We need entrepreneurs that get on with it said Sir Tom Hunter in a recent BBC news article following the publication of the latest Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM).

Here at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, we could not agree more!

It’s great to see, according to this latest GEM report, that the number of people in Scotland intending to start a business has grown. Even better, the report shows a high level of interest in entrepreneurship amongst young people. It also shows that a much higher percentage of people in Scotland compared to the other UK nations believe they have the skills required to start a business.

The interest, intention and knowledge is there, so how can we take that and turn it into action?

Well, if you are a student or a recent graduate, that’s exactly where SIE comes in. Many students come to SIE because they have an idea for a business, think they know what they need to do, but need a bit of help to get it started. At SIE, we agree with Sir Tom Hunter that would-be entrepreneurs need to get on with it; we live by the principal that Action Trumps Everything! (We also think people just need a bit of encouragement to get started.)

Our summer residential bootcamp, starting this week, is just one of a range of activities that SIE offers that help you ‘to get on with it‘ and start your business. The bootcamp is designed for people that have an idea, or several ideas, for a business that they want to explore. The programme is broken into distinct phases that allow delegates to understand themselves better and to develop some of the skills and networks they need to become an entrepreneur.


The bootcamp provides a safe place for participants to explore their idea, test it and adapt it if necessary. It gets them thinking about the right business model and to begin to establish its feasibility by identifying possible customers or clients, product or services USP and potential revenue streams. It also shows them how to test and develop their business model by creating a plan of action that involves market research, talking to potential customers, protecting their idea, building any prototypes and finding the necessary resources.The final stage gets them ready to think about the activities they need to launch a business, from operations and sales to pitching for funding.

Participants really benefit from the real-life experiences of the speakers and the facilitators as they offer guidance on how to go about taking these steps.

The experience doesn’t end with the final day of the bootcamp, however. SIE’s Regional Business Advisers offer in depth support to all delegates that want to pursue their idea and make it a reality, joining the growing numbers of people who stop ‘just thinking about it’, and  ‘just do it.

After last year’s bootcamp, Make that Move, Singled Up and Justycyja were just three of the companies that took the next steps and launched their businesses. We look forward to seeing what exciting new companies will emerge from Bootcamp 2012!