MORE THAN 80 of Scotland’s next generation of entrepreneurs will take their ideas to the next level when Scotland’s longest-running national student enterprise competition takes over Edinburgh’s Dynamic Earth.
Hosted by Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), the Exploration Day workshop kicks off stage 2 of its flagship Fresh Ideas competition.
Attendees will also get the opportunity to learn from industry experts including SIE representatives and business and innovation specialist, Mel Sherwood, on topics including networking, communication and understanding customer relationships.
Guest speaker, Saskia Goeres – creator of SofaforLife – will also share insight on her journey as a young entrepreneur in Scotland. Having received support from SIE at various levels, SofaforLife has created the world’s first modular and sustainable sofas which promote a circular economy – underlining the positive impact entrepreneurship is having on globally relevant matters such as climate change. So much so, SofaforLife will be on display at COP26.
Jonathan Tait, senior business and innovation advisor at SIE, said: “Year-on-year we are impressed at the high standard of dynamic business models and forward-thinking ideas presented by Fresh Ideas applicants. There’s so much energy, dedication and hard work that goes on behind the scenes before we gather at Exploration Day, so it’s a really special event to celebrate our future change-makers.
“In the past year alone, SIE has met with more than 200 aspiring entrepreneurs across Scotland, providing support as well as more than £33,000 of funding. To have so many potential business leaders on our doorstep is really inspiring.”
Following Exploration Day, up to 15 ideas will progress to the final competition judging. The winners will be announced at the SIE Awards evening on 25 March, each receiving £1200 and support to help develop their idea.
Saskia Goeres said: “I’m really looking forward to sharing my story with students – not long ago I was in their position and it can seem like a daunting place to be if you don’t know the support that is out there for you.
“Competitions like Fresh Ideas are important, not only for accelerating business aspirations, but for bringing together like-minded entrepreneurs from across the country who have a shared passion and determination to succeed.”