Media Release: Top business leaders and academics give their backing to aspiring young entrepreneurs


NEXT week, thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs from schools, colleges, universities and businesses throughout Scotland will compete in a month-long national challenge to turn £1 into as much money as possible.

Throughout the competition participants will be mentored by some of Scotland’s best business minds with access to specially prepared videos featuring advice from Sir Tom Hunter and Bob Keiller, chief executive officer of Wood Group PSN.

Video mentors from as far afield as New York and Australia will also be among those inspiring teams via the internet.

Hundreds of teams throughout Scotland have signed up to participate in the Micro-Tyco competition which starts on 1st November.

The competition is the brainchild of 41 year old Mick Jackson, founder of WildHearts, a not for profit organisation based in Morayshire, which invest profits from its group of companies in micro-finance in developing countries.

This year, WildHearts will help 100,000 people work their way out of poverty in more than 15 developing countries.

Teams apply to WildHearts for seed capital – a micro-loan of £1 and participants have one month to turn their £1 into as much money as possible.

At the end of the month, the team with the most money wins. There are only two rules – teams cannot gamble and transactions must be legal. Last year’s pilot in South Lanarkshire saw a team of five, 11 year-old girls turn their £1 loan into over £4,000 in four weeks.

Explaining what inspired him to launch Micro-Tyco, Mr Jackson said: “Micro-Tyco is a business challenge designed to inspire the spirit of enterprise across our whole country, bring our society together and raise our standards in what we believe is possible for ourselves.

“Our aim is to help participants discover and practice all the key skills necessary to start and run a business in a fun, stress free environment. The £1 is a seed that helps them discover talents they never knew they had. As the money grows so will they.”

Micro-Tyco has already received international recognition and support, and has inspired both the business and education community in Scotland to sign up to the Micro-Tyco challenge. Deloitte, Ernst and Young and Enterprise Rent A Car are among the many firms who have entered teams into the competition.

University of the West of Scotland and Robert Gordon University (RGU) have already incorporated it into their business degrees, and RGU has extended it to their Design & Technology and Health & Social Care faculties; testimony to its value as a learning experience.

Dr John Park, of The Robert Gordon University, said: “Micro-Tyco is the best example of experiential business learning I have ever seen. To be successful in Micro-Tyco, you have to deliver the complete skill set that businesses and employers are looking for. It is such a great experience we believe every student should have the opportunity to get involved.”

Dr Sandra Hill, Senior Lecturer at University of the West of Scotland said, “Micro-Tyco makes business studies real for students. It gives them employability skills, teaches them self worth and helps their confidence grow. It also encourages students to reflect on the ethical issues associated with business and discover how they can make a positive difference.”

All the monies raised from Micro-Tyco will be invested by WildHearts in micro-loans to help entrepreneurs in impoverished countries succeed in business and create wealth and employment in their local community.

Explaining, Jackson said: “We want to show that business can be a force for good and justice in the world. All the money created from last year’s Micro-Tyco challenge for example, was invested to help poor people in El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua work their own way out of poverty with dignity and respect. Their loans have already been repaid and reinvested to help even more people.

“Therefore Micro-Tyco participants not only have the opportunity to become dynamic wealth creators, they will also become global ethical investors. We believe that by associating business success with helping others, Micro-Tyco will inspire the leaders our country deserves.”

To join the Mico-Tyco challenge visit or email


Issued by Panache Communications on behalf of WildHearts in Action. For media enquiries please contact Jen Nash t. 07971 466 220 e.  For RGU please contact Katie Begg, Communications Officer Tel: 01224 262144, e.


About Mick Jackson

East Kilbride-born Mick Jackson (41) is a serial entrepreneur, venture philanthropist, author, ex chart topping rock singer and international business speaker. He is also the founder and chief executive of WildHearts, a charity based in Forres, Morayshire, committed to launching companies that fight poverty. Its first company WildHearts Office Supplies enables companies to fund microfinance simply through their stationery purchases.

Its second, WildHearts Events is an inspirational events company who’s brands include Micro-Tyco, The WolfTrek, the Aberdeen and Inverness Santa Runs and WeeWalks.  Already WildHearts has funded thousands of micro-businesses in West Africa and Latin America and is now taking its vision that business can be a force for good into schools.

In 2007, Mick was voted Entrepreneur of the Year and Top Scot by the Scottish public, an honour he shares with JK Rowling and triple Olympic gold medallist, Chris Hoy. Mr Jackson now lives in Glasgow with his wife and 20 month-year old son, Ilys.

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Contact: Jen Nash
Phone: 07971 466 330
Website: http://www.