Enterprising Students Grant launched at Ayrshire College

Enterprising Students Grant launched at Ayrshire College

Ayrshire College has officially launched an ‘Enterprising Student Fund’ for its students, in partnership with Bridge 2 Business.

Ayrshire College students who are interested in starting their own business will now be able to apply to the Ayrshire College Foundation for up to £5,000 worth of grant funding.

Principal Heather Dunk OBE welcomed guests to the College’s Kilmarnock Campus on Wednesday 21 November for the announcement, where she outlined the application process for the grant programme, which in addition to the funding, offers students a comprehensive mentoring support programme.

Guests heard from two keynote speakers at the launch event; both former Ayrshire College students who have started their own businesses.

Frank Gormanley, Founder of Forever Great and Vice President of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, and Lucy Thomson, Owner of Coach Lucy, inspired the audience with their start-up experiences.

Lucy said “Students at college have so many resources at their fingertips, and so much support. I would encourage any students to talk about their ideas, seek support and start building your business idea today!”

Over 500 students across all college campuses attended a series of workshops hosted by guest speakers throughout the afternoon.

Emma Frew, Director of Breeze Connection and Ryan Leslie, Owner of Gymmies Kitchen, co-hosted a workshop with Lucy Thomson to share their journey with developing an idea into an enterprise. 

Award-winning comedian Chris Henry inspired students with his journey as an entrepreneur, and Kenny Blair, Director of Buzzworks, gave a revealing insight into his beginnings as an entrepreneur.

Sally Johnstone, Programme Manager at Firstport, and entrepreneur Amanda Craig highlighted the opportunities available through Firstport for any students interested in starting up a social enterprise.

Enterprise was the buzzword of the day, with further activity including an Enterprise Mall which hosted support partners: Business Gateway, Firstport and Prince’s Trust, who were offering one-to-one advice and support.

Level 6 Events students at Ayrshire College hosted an Enterprise Pop-up Café and raised over £100 for the British Heart Foundation by selling raffle tickets and collecting donations for their baked goods.

Stuart Millar, Director of Industry Programmes at Ayrshire College, said “Small businesses are vital to the local and national economy. With over 13,000 students coming through our doors at Ayrshire College each year, we know there will be plenty of exciting, sustainable business opportunities that will be able to benefit from this opportunity. We are looking forward to hearing the ideas of our enterprising students and supporting them to achieve future success.”

27 November 2018

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