Courses at Ayrshire College

Pitches for Riches programme helps students get started in business

Pitches for Riches programme helps students get started in business

A six-week 'Pitches for Riches' programme gave Ayrshire College students the opportunity to participate in a number of workshops, developing skills relating to business planning, finances, and marketing.

The final session saw four of our enterprising students from across Ayrshire pitch their new business ideas to an expert panel made up of Ayrshire College, Business Gateway, South Ayrshire Council, The Prince’s Trust and The Royal Bank of Scotland.

The winning prize of £500 from South Ayrshire Council’s Ambition programme was presented to Gavin Proctor, a City & Guilds Carpentry and Joinery student, for his fabulous plan to set up a heritage furniture workshop business in Ardeer. Gavin intends to use these funds to help promote his furniture made from reclaimed driftwood and refurbished traditional woodworking tools.

Gavin said “it’s been a fantastic experience. It’s given me a good insight into starting up my niche business and the networking experience has been invaluable.”

Further prizes from Prince’s Trust, the College and Developing the Young Workforce Ayrshire were awarded to Kirsty Wilson, HND Coaching and Developing Sport for her North Ayrshire based themed events business, Steve Wise, NPA Carpentry & Joinery with Fitted Interiors who is setting up an East Ayrshire handyman business and Olivia Khan, HNC Business for her idea of a health focussed events business in South Ayrshire.

Ayrshire College hopes to scale up and continue the Pitches for Riches programme in the future.

Stuart Millar, Director of Education and Business Contracts at Ayrshire College, said, "With more and more people considering running their own business as a career choice, this course has offered students practical advice on setting up their all-important business plans and also giving them first-hand experience pitching their ideas to potential funders.

"By targeting this support early we hope to inspire young entrepreneurs to take their lives into their own hands by equipping them with the information they need get ahead in business. Entrepreneurship and Enterprise is live and well across Ayrshire and I wish the participating students every success in their new business ventures."

For more information on similar courses, please contact our Business Development team on 0300 303 0303 or email

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