Despite the challenging economic conditions, Scotland’s entrepreneurial students are creating their own businesses at university rather than relying on a graduate job and proving they’ve got what it takes to compete on a national level.
The Pitch is a UK-wide competition which aims to find the top 80 best small businesses in Britain, who will then compete for the chance to win business funding. The full list was recently announced and features student and graduate business owners from Scotland who are currently working with business advisors from the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE).
Students like Jonathan Lott (20) at the University of the West of Scotland. Jonathan balances being in his 3rd year of a Business Studies with Enterprise degree, with his own business Appurchase Ltd, a cashless system for retailers.
“Jonathan is an entrepreneur in the making having firmly established an ebay telephone accessory business before starting up Appurchase”, says SIE Regional Business Advisor, Liz Mackenzie. “With the support of SIE, who have assisted in patenting his idea and mentored him for the last 6 months, he has fast tracked his innovative business idea and is now talking to potential customers.”
Jonathan will join Joanna Mongomery (Littleriot), Sam Zawadski (AdvancetoGO) and Darren Lester (theCADcube) in October and compete with small businesses around the UK for a £50,000 prize.
Young entrepreneur success stories are also hitting the airwaves! Jodie Hughes (25) will appear on Sky One’s “The Angel” on August 7th. Jodie, also a former SIE student intern, started her first business while studying at the University of Stirling and was a 2010-11 winner in SIE’s New Ventures competition. Adspad is her second business. On “The Angel”, she will compete against other young entrepreneurs for the chance to win a £100k investment.
As CEO of SIE, Fiona Godsman says “Scotland’s universities are full of bright innovative thinkers and we would encourage all students and recent graduates to seek SIE support to turn their ideas into reality and create their own careers! The experience and skills that they learn in doing so are transferable across all disciplines and will make them more employable in the future if they choose not to go into self-employment in the long run.”