ST ANDREWS University is launching a £10,000 competition which will provide students with an 'entrepreneurial toolkit' invaluable for graduate employment and starting up new businesses.
The competition to be launched at the university next Wednesday, is open to all business-minded and enterprising students, allowing them to develop entrepreneurial skills essential for success, whether in new business start-up or for working with the best graduate recruiters in the country.
Quantum Leap 2004 Accelerating Enterprise organised by the Student Enterprise Office aims to encourage students to create and develop a sustainable business idea.
Winning ideas may potentially be taken up by some of the top-level sponsors, or may form the basis of a small business incubator at the university.
Enterprise manager Christopher Venditozzi said,
'We are encouraging students to take a quantum leap and come up with something really special, a high quality business idea which can potentially be taken into the marketplace.'
'We are challenging all students to come up with a viable and sustainable business plan, from individuals or teams, to sport clubs to student societies. They will be given the opportunity to pitch their business plan to a panel of top professionals, which will be of invaluable experience for the future,' he continued.
Mr Venditozzi, the university's first student enterprise officer, has been working hard over the last 15 months to develop the concept and his position is part funded by the Scottish Institute for Enterprise.
'Ideally we would like to equip our entrepreneurial students with a toolkit of transferable business awareness and skills to take into the graduate employment, as well as preparing them for the realities of the business world,' he said.
Sponsored by top graduate recruiter Accenture and Entrepreneurial Exchange, core funded by Scottish Enterprise Fife and supported by a range of business, the competition is even bigger and better than the first, launched last year.
It will award top prizes of up to £2000 and offers free legal advice to students to develop their winning business ideas.
The weeks following the launch will see a range of high-profile business speakers visiting the university to give lectures on subjects such as tax, marketing and negotiation, patents, accounting and intellectual property.
Full details of the competition can be found at: www.st-andrews.ac.uk/sie