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Street Soccer Scotland founder passes on tips to squad of young entrepreneurs

Award winning social entrepreneur and founder of social enterprise Street Soccer Scotland, David Duke, shared advice and provided practical business support to the next generation of Scottish social innovators in Edinburgh on April 25th.

David, who launched Street Soccer Scotland in 2009, spoke to 150 first round winners of the Young Innovators Challenge at the John McIntyre Conference Centre on Saturday.

His address was part of the competition’s ‘Residential Innovation Weekend’, a two day event aimed at providing future entrepreneurs with the practical support and advice necessary to develop their social innovations into business plans.

Now in its third year, the Young Innovators Challenge tasks young people across the country to come up with social innovations which help to tackle big issues faced by society. David’s experience at the helm of Street Soccer Scotland meant he’s ideally placed to give first round winners a real insight into the mechanics of starting up and managing a social enterprise.

Street Soccer Scotland was originally inspired by David’s own personal experience of how sport can be the catalyst for positive social change. The organisation uses football as a medium to empower socially disadvantaged adults and young people affected by homelessness, physical and mental health issues, addiction and other forms of social exclusion. By providing weekly drop-in football sessions in cities across Scotland, Street Soccer Scotland has grown to provide a huge range of opportunities and activities all aimed at improving the well-being of thousands of people, helping inspire, motivate, and develop skills among those who need it the most.

David Duke, founder of Street Soccer Scotland said:

“Social enterprises are no different to every other business in as much as they need to identify a requirement for whatever it is they do, or want to do. Ten years ago, through personal experience, I recognised the positive impact of being healthy and being around other people through playing organised football. It was then that I knew, through football, I could reach thousands of other socially disadvantaged people across Scotland and have a positive effect on their lives.”

Speaking before the weekend kicked-off, Fiona Godsman, chief executive for competition organisers Scottish Institute for Enterprise, said:

“Street Soccer Scotland is a prime example of social innovation in action. David’s experience in launching and growing the business over the past six years will be invaluable in providing the right advice and support the next generation of social innovators.

“Our two-day residential innovation weekend will also feature various other speakers and workshops on managing a business to help our 150 first round Young Innovators Challenge winners turn their ideas into fully fledged plans.”

As well as practical advice, the 150 first-round winners will each receive a £100 cash prize. Thirty winners from the first-round will then go on to win a further £2,000 in funding as well as additional hands-on advice from some of Scotland’s leading businesses. Winners will have also the opportunity to return in August to pitch their ideas to judges for additional funding of up to £5,000.

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