Young entrepreneurs sign up now!

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BUDDING young entrepreneurs across Scotland can now get ahead in a unique business start-up competition with £300,000 up for grabs.

The Young Innovators Challenge, run by Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) on behalf of the Scottish Government, is a national competition to challenge 18-24 year olds to come up with solutions to issues currently facing Scotland’s key industries.

To get the creative juices flowing, those looking to enter are encouraged to sign up for one of four Challenge Labs taking place in Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen this February, to give them the best chance possible of winning one of the six cash prizes.

During the Challenge Labs, participants will view videos explaining each of the industry challenges being set by industry leaders. The sessions will also offer networking opportunities and the chance to find out more about running a business.

SIE CEO Fiona Godsman said: “The Young Innovators Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland’s young business minds. The competition is unique in that entrants are being asked to come up with a solution to a real industry problem rather than simply submit their own business idea.

“We’re looking to find Scotland’s business leaders of the future. By taking part in the competition participants will be given the chance to develop business and entrepreneurial skills as well as gain an understanding of how to set up and run a business.”

Entries to the competition open soon with participants creating a business solution for one of a number of key challenges. The sectors include: energy (oil, gas and renewables), technology/engineering, built environment, textiles and food and drink.

The entrant with the best idea in each category will win up to £50,000 to develop their idea and launch a business plus a year’s dedicated business support. The competition is open to those in their final year of college or university in Scotland, or those taking part in a national programme or studying for a Modern Apprenticeship.

Winners will be announced in the summer of 2013.

The Challenge Labs are free to attend and will last from 10am to 4pm. Dates are as follows:

Doubletrees (Hilton) hotel, Aberdeen – February 16.

Apex International hotel, Edinburgh – February 16.

UHI Inverness, Inverness – February 20.

Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow – February 23.

Places are limited and must be booked in advance, so students are encouraged to sign-up today to secure a place at http://yicchallengelabs.eventbrite.com