Small Business Owners Selected to Take Part in Enterprise Youth Business Challenge

Twenty-four young people ranging from small business owners to school pupils from Aberdeen City & Shire and Tayside have been selected to take part in this year’s Enterprise Youth Business Challenge. From 16th September to 19th September, the youngsters will take on a series of business challenges which will test their physical, creative and mental capabilities, as part of a project which aims to develop the next generation of entrepreneurs.   The Enterprise Business Challenge has been developed by Enterprise North East Trust (Enterprise) in support of the efforts of the Scottish Government to promote social inclusion for all people in the field of economic development through entrepreneurship. The participants will travel to Dounans Outdoor Centre in Aberfoyle where they will be put through their paces in a range of tasks to develop team working, leadership and communication skills. 

The youngsters ranging from 16 - 22 were selected at an open interview day for those interested in entrepreneurship. Eighteen of the successful candidates are still at school, two are at university and three are working for small businesses and one is running her own small company.

Lucy Tuck, owner of Definition Beauty and the recent winner of the north east’s top young entrepreneur award by the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust, says, “I decided to take part in this year’s Enterprise Youth Business Challenge to develop not only my business skills but my general life skills. Problem solving is an area that I would really like to improve on and I think the challenges I am going to face over the weekend will encourage me to handle any problems in the most effective way.

“As a small business owner, Enterprise and the PSYBT have been a huge support to me. The advice and encouragement I receive from them has been invaluable in helping me to build my business and taking part in the Youth Business Challenge is just one of the many ways that will help me to learn new skills and push myself that little bit further.”

The Enterprise Youth Business Challenge has become an annual event due to its success in helping budding entrepreneurs. 23-year-old, Alice Ratcliffe, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Deer Digital, who was part of the winning team last year has encouraged two colleagues to take part in this year’s challenge. She says, “Taking part in last year's challenge was a fantastic opportunity. I had recently launched my own business, prior to taking part and I enjoyed sharing my own experiences with other like-minded young people, but I also found that the experience pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me to overcome challenging self beliefs. The biggest thing I took away from the process was that you can achieve so much if you work in a team and listen to others. I found it very rewarding and valuable for my development as an entrepreneur and as a result have encouraged others to get involved this year.”

Gary McEwan, chief executive of Enterprise says, “As part of our commitment to the development of enterprise in the north east and Tayside, we have worked closely with other small business owners and prominent entrepreneurs to deliver the Youth Business Challenge, which is now in its third year.  Involving real entrepreneurs and small business owners, the participants in the challenge have the opportunity to gain an insight into the inner workings of a business and the skills required to be successful. 

“Whilst some of our participants have already taken the plunge to set up their own enterprise, such as Lucy Tuck, the Challenge gives them the chance to develop and hone their skills, in a non-business environment, whilst learning from established and experienced entrepreneurs through mentoring. It also encourages them to push themselves to try new things and test their physical and mental abilities. 

“The Youth Business Challenge is really a win-win for all involved.  For the business mentors, it is an insight into the talent present in the local area and for the participants; it’s a great learning experience.”

Enterprise has worked alongside Young Enterprise Scotland and The Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust to select promising young people from the local area to participate in the Enterprise Business Challenge.  For further information about Enterprise visit www.enetrust.com or call 01224 289700.

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