Enterprising students inspire at Small Business Week

Enterprising students inspire at Small Business Week

Ayrshire College hosted a special Small Business Week for students who are considering starting their own business, as well as anyone who has started their own company and would like to grow their business.

Various online events took place over the last week, which culminated in an Enterprising Students Showcase, featuring Ayrshire College’s business start-up students who have benefitted from support from the Ayrshire College Foundation.

The Ayrshire College Foundation offers a programme of support and funding of grants up to £5000 for students of Ayrshire College who are interested in developing ideas to start up their own business.

Tracey Stark, Chair of Ayrshire College Foundation introduced key speaker, Sir Tom Hunter from the Hunter Foundation, as he explained why Scotland is the ideal place to be an entrepreneur. He said "there has never been a better time, or more support for people who want to start and grow their own business. Small, agile, entrepreneurial teams are the ones who are creating the jobs. Entrepreneurship is not just about building a business and making money, it’s about making a difference, and that’s an amazing thing to do.”

Bridge 2 Business Enterprise Executive, Kirsty Hepburn explained about the Enterprising Students programme offered at Ayrshire College in partnership with Bridge 2 Business, with former enterprising students giving an insight into the ways that the programme has helped them:

Sheila Munro, Aroundtuit Complementary Therapies - “the Enterprising Student programme gave me access to mentoring, digital training and advice and has made starting my business a lot less stressful”.

Jamie Agnew, Jamie Agnew Photography - “I’ve learned so much practical experience at college and my advice would be to take every opportunity and never stop learning. If you always update your skillset you’re always going to be on top of your game. It’s never too late to become self employed.”

Magdalena Zielinska, Soft Olive - “the support we received has opened up a lot of opportunities for us. We never gave up, and although it’s not always been easy, I would say turn your idea into something amazing. If you have the opportunity, just go for it!”

Ayrshire College alumni and business expert Frank Gormanley, President of the Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, introduced their new Business Mentor Programme ‘Connect Me’. Frank said “it’s so important to always champion a new business and entrepreneurs. Scotland has one of the best ecosystems for business. There’s an abundance of support out there, so when the time is right, go for it!”

For more inspiration and to find out more about the Enterprising Student programme, click here.

Watch the Ayrshire College Small Business Week - Enterprising Students' Showcase here.

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