1 in 19 people in the world is an entrepreneur. In case you’re wondering what the other 18 people around you will be doing while you are changing the world with your startup, just over half will be working for someone else as an employee, around a third will be children and the other 11% live outside the economy (95% of the developing world where communities don’t support work).
So, since you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re an entrepreneur in the making, or, asScottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE to you and me) put it, a young innovator. And it's precisely you, and people like you, that SIE is looking to reach with the launch of the newYoung Innovator's Challenge.
Those who meet the criteria can enter the competition individually or as part of a team of up to three. In this case, “young” precludes anyone who can safely buy a beer without ID, since you’ll need to be an 18-24 year old, about to finish a college/university/national training course as well brimming with innovative, entrepreneurial genius, to enter.
So, what exactly is this Young Innovators Challenge then? SIE is offering up to £50,000 to the winners from six categories of challenge to be held at Challenge Labs (very Bond!) across Scotland during February. The money will be used to support the development of each winner's idea for one year. The winners will also get a year's worth of support from a business advisor to help them take their idea forward, as well as input from Scotland's enterprise agencies and industry representatives.
All participants will benefit from professional support and guidance on innovation and entrepreneurship as well as gaining an understanding of how to set up and run a business. Finalists will then benefit from an additional three-day residential opportunity to help develop their ideas further as well as their negotiating and business pitching skills - just the thing to prepare you for a stint on Dragons' Den or an appearance before some business angels.
Key dates to be aware of for the Challenge Lab are 16th February (Edinburgh, Aberdeen), 20th February (Inverness) and 23rd February (Glasgow).
So, if you, or you and a friend or two are interested in signing up for a Challenge Lab,take a look at the rules and how to apply.
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