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Strathclyde students shine at Young Innovators Challenge

By Fiona Godsman - Posted on 4 June 2014

Fiona Godsman, chief executive of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise, praises Strathclyde Business School students taking part in this year’s Young Innovators Challenge.

At a time when youth unemployment is still a major issue (20.6% in Scotland compared to the UK average of 21.1%) we at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) still see reason for optimism for the next generation. In 2014 our Young Innovators Challenge competition focused on social innovation to help address issues which affect communities.

More than 300 entries were received from across the country, focusing on the areas of health and wellbeing, green and sustainable energy, smarter communities and infrastructure. 33 winning teams were chosen which each individual receiving £2,500. Among those was Team Revive from Strathclyde Business School whose idea to reuse old coffee grounds from cafes was a particularly innovative idea. It’s good to see that the team has been developing their idea for a long time and have remained focused on making their dream into a reality.

All of our winning teams and individuals will now attend an exclusive residential Bootcamp in June with workshops allowing all our winners to develop their ideas further. Leading entrepreneurs like Tony Banks, chairman of Balhousie Care Group, Josh Littlejohn, organiser of the Scottish Business Awards and creator of the Social Bite, and Susan Aktemel, Director of Homes for Good (Scotland) have already been involved as judges. We know that by giving young people access to leading lights in the field of entrepreneurship and social innovation we can, and do, inspire young people to follow their dreams of becoming successful business people.

And far from being just another competition we know that our support is already making a difference to those people with the strongest ideas. Previous winners, like University of Strathclyde graduate Victoria Hamilton, have developed new products which are close to or currently being sold on the open market.

SIE believes that as long as work continues to give young people opportunities to build confidence in the business world there is every hope of creating a sustainable business base for the next generation. So the next time you see a negative headline on youth employment spare a thought for those enthusiastic young people who remain determined to be judged on their success.

Do you think enough is being done to support young people to get involved in business? Have you ever mentored a young person?



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