Nurturing Scotland's entrepreneurs of the future

Nurturing Scotland's entrepreneurs of the future

A new collaboration between Converge Challenge, Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) and Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) is set to create a more entrepreneurial Scotland.

Deputy first minister and cabinet secretary for education, John Swinney, yesterday (2 June) announced plans to deliver a steep change in the quality and availability of enterprise and entrepreneurship education within post-secondary education.

Over 350 people from academia and business gathered at RBS’ Gogarburn Headquarters to hear how the new partnership looks to nurture the nation’s entrepreneurs of the future and to discuss what the educational journey of an entrepreneur should look like.

Swinney outlined how the structured collaboration will focus on delivering optimum enterprise support for those in education to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders. 

He said: “Our ambition is to be a world leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation – a Can Do place for business. 

“There are excellent examples of how to encourage students to consider going into business for themselves but this innovative collaboration will increase these opportunities across Scotland. 

“Together we can encourage greater entrepreneurial ambition and ensure that there is the practical enterprise support needed to properly nurture it.”

The partnership was announced at the first event between Converge Challenge, SIE and YES named ‘Educational Journey of An Entrepreneur.’

Hosted by BBC News home editor, Mark Easton, each of the collaboration organisations demonstrated how they support enterprise and entrepreneurship in education and discussed what needs to be done to encourage all students in Scotland to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and expand beyond the concept of starting a business. 

Speaking to BQ, Geoff Leask, chief executive of YES, said:“Having a structured approach for early on support and encouragement provides a clear pathway for Scotland’s next generation of entrepreneurs. 

“The engagement between education and the business world is absolutely critical. It is no coincidence that one of the key recommendations of developing an early workforce is that schools should have business partnerships. I think the key is to make it happen to all stages of education from primary to secondary and tertiary.”

He went on to say: “These relationships will be absolutely key. One of the key questions asked is, what’s the biggest hurdle standing in the way of businesses being able to scale and grow? It’s not always the finance or access to market - but quite often the access to talent.”

For more information on Converge Challenge and the new partnership, visit: www.convergechallenge.com