Media Release: New enterprise partnership announced to support Scotland’s college students


THE Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) is partnering with Young Enterprise Scotland’s Bridge 2 Business programme to provide expanded support for Scotland’s enterprising college students in 2014-15.

Begins a spokesperson: “SIE and Bridge 2 Business will work closely together to provide support for students with business ideas and lecturers who want to raise awareness of entrepreneurship in the classroom, with a joined-up approach combining the strengths of both organisations.

“Students will be encouraged to take part in SIE’s national business competitions and access advisors from SIE and Bridge 2 Business to help them develop their idea and take it further.

“SIE’s enterprise workshop programme will expand and provide more opportunities for college classes to experience enterprise activities. Bridge 2 Business enterprise zones and drop-in centres on each campus will act as hubs of activity for both organisations.”

Activities will be supported by a network of SIE student interns and Bridge 2 Business Champions.

Commenting on the partnership, Fiona Godsman, CEO of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, said:

“This combined approach leverages the strengths of both organisations and means that colleges get the best possible offering.

“We have a great working relationship with the Bridge 2 Business team, and we’re very pleased to be able to partner with them on this and demonstrate the co-operative approach of Scotland’s entrepreneurial support ecosystem.”

Geoff Leask, head of Entrepreneurship at Young Enterprise Scotland , continued:

“Bridge 2 Business is all about inspiring, connecting and supporting students into business and it is through collaborative initiatives such as this with SIE that we will help more students to test their enterprising ideas.”

One example of the enterprising spirit in Scotland’s College student population is Christopher Leitch, who came from the Young Innovators Challenge Competition, which SIE ran earlier this year.

Studying at Ayrshire College while completing a modern apprenticeship with Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance Ltd, Chris and his team developed an idea which uses aircraft technology to help motorists become more efficient drivers.

The team won a cash prize and support to develop their idea over the summer through a programme of workshops and one-to-one advice.

The partnership between SIE and Bridge 2 Business means that more college students in Scotland will benefit from exposure to enterprise opportunities and support, and be encouraged to start their own businesses after graduation.

Pictured: Chris Leitch and his team at the Young Innovators Challenge 2014 winners Bootcamp event in June.


Notes to editor:

1. The Scottish Institute for Enterprise

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) works nationally to promote and support enterprise and entrepreneurship in Scotland’s students.

SIE works with Universities and Colleges to champion enterprise education and help their students start new innovative businesses. SIE provides free one-to-to advice, enterprise workshops and business competitions supported by a national team of Student Interns and business advisors.

SIE is supported by the Scottish Founding Council and Scottish Enterprise.

2. Young Enterprise Scotland

Young Enterprise Scotland has been working to support young people in Scotland for 40 years. YES runs training programmes and provides practical opportunities for young people aged five to 30 to get involved with business and enterprise. Whether it’s teaching enterprise education in schools, helping young people run their own business in residential units or equipping school leavers with vital interview skills and experience; YES strives to inspire and prepare all young people to learn and succeed through enterprise.

3. Bridge 2 Business

Bridge 2 Business is an interactive and engaging programme to inspire, connect and support college students into business. It does this through providing enterprising meet-ups, grants and entrepreneurial role models. The programme is supported by a network of business champions and advisors based in campus enterprise hot-houses.

4. The Young Innovators Challenge 2014

The Young Innovators Challenge is a competition which invited students to submit business ideas which could make a positive difference to Scotland. The 33 final winners were announced in May, with each receiving up to £2,500 and the opportunity to develop their idea further through an exclusive winners Bootcamp event and workshops over the summer. They will go on to attend a special awards evening on August 28.

The competition is run by SIE on behalf of the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government.

Christopher Leitch’s team was comprised of four members: Christopher Leitch, Martin Gemmell, Ross Wallace, and Conor Mackellar.

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Contact: Scott McKellar
Phone: 01413308793