The entrepreneurial skills of three students from New College Lanarkshire have won them the opportunity to start their own business. (First published October 2020)
North Lanarkshire Council and New College Lanarkshire, in partnership with Business Gateway Lanarkshire, Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) and North Lanarkshire Properties, ran a competition for students to win one of two prizes - a year’s use, rent free of start-up premises at Netherton Industrial Estate or the use of a hub kiosk to be located in the new public park being created at Ravenscraig.
Both business start-up opportunities have been made possible through projects funded by the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund and Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.
Sarah Geddes has won use of the premises at Netherton, let by North Lanarkshire Properties, and a £2,000 grant towards the initial costs of starting her business.
She graduated from New College Lanarkshire with an HND in Mechanical Engineering and now plans to run her own blacksmith business, creating hand forged tools with a focus on quality assurance and reliability. Sarah also plans to offer classes in blacksmithing to inspire and enable others to learn this traditional craft.
On receiving the news of her winning entry Sarah said “I'm really excited to finally have an opportunity to professionally pursue what has been a long time dream and passion of mine. Blacksmithing is an incredibly fulfilling hobby and I can't wait to share this passion with other people and share my journey of building my business from the ground up.''
Sarah plans to have her business up and running by early December.
Bobbi Arnott and Olivia Muir, both from Motherwell, have won the opportunity to start up their café enterprise in the new park at Ravenscraig.
Since completing NQ Level 5 Craft Bakery and Level 6 Pastry Chef, Bobbi and Olivia are continuing their studies at New College Lanarkshire in HNC Professional Cookery Patisserie while preparing to start up their business when the park opens next year. Their café will be a key feature of the new park, providing great food in an outdoor setting for the whole community to enjoy.
On winning the opportunity to start their own business Bobbi said: “We are really looking forward to opening our café in the new park and playing our part in making it a great community facility. We are excited to have the opportunity to serve great food in what will be such a lovely setting”.
Olivia added: “In providing a range of food throughout the day including breakfast, lunch, hot drinks and snacks we hope our café will be a place that everyone visiting the park can enjoy, whether they’re coming to play sport, attend an event, visit the play area, meet friends and family or just sit and relax.”
“Congratulations to Sarah, Bobbi and Olivia on their excellent business plans and innovative ideas,” said Jonathan Speed, Senior Project Manager at North Lanarkshire Council.
“We were very impressed with their competition entries and commitment to starting a business, and delighted that they now have the opportunity to put their ideas into practice here in North Lanarkshire.”
Professor Christopher Moore, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Lanarkshire, said: “Sarah, Bobbi and Olivia represent the aspirations, creativity and energy of New College Lanarkshire.
“We send them our congratulations and very best wishes. We will look forward to supporting them on this very exciting journey.”
Advisers from Business Gateway Lanarkshire provided the students who took part in the competition with help and advice on developing their business plans and will continue to act as mentors to the winning businesses.
“Business Gateway Lanarkshire were delighted to be involved in the competition,” said Operations Director, Graeme Currie. “The quality of all of the applications was extremely high. This is a great opportunity for the winners, and we look forward to supporting the success of these young people in the years to come.”