The Business Innovation Zone in Queen Margaret University (QMU) is thriving at the moment! We currently have over 30 start-up businesses ranging from Theatre & Film Production to Consultancy and Food and Drink.

Academic Support

QMU's Academic Champions provide invaluable support to our BIZ tenants. The role of the Academic Champion is to encourage our students and graduates to take part in entrepreneurship workshops, events and competitions, and to identify potential student/graduate start-up businesses for the BIZ and help us to support them through their entrepreneurial journey.

The Academic Champions have been nominated from a range of disciplines across the institution:

• Christine Raffaelli – Media Communication & Performing Arts;
• Dr Margaret Smith – Nursing;
• Professor Claire Seaman – Business, Enterprise and Management;
• Dr Jamal Mansour – Psychology & Sociology;
• Dr Fiona MacLean – Occupational Therapies & Arts Therapies;
• Denny Collie – Creative Enterprise.
• Roderick Ferguson – Health & Wellbeing

We actively promote competitions and encourage and support our start-up students to take part in these to help progress their idea further, and also as a chance to win funding. We work closely with the external organisations below to encourage and promote business entrepreneurship to our current students, staff and alumni.  

Converge Challenge

Converge Challenge is Scotland's largest entrepreneurial training programme and competition, with a total cash fund of over £160,000. There are 3 categories in Converge Challenge and these are open to all staff and students at any Scottish University or Scottish Research Institution, and graduates up to 12 months after graduation if supported by a University. You can find out more about each category below: 

Converge Challenge - Converge Challenge brings together ambitious and creative thinkers with innovative ideas to work with industry experts to transform their ideas into sustainable companies. 

KickStart - KickStart is a competition for early-stage ideas for a new product or service.

Social Enterprise - This is a competition for business ideas that focus on social problems, strengthening communities, improving people's life chances or protecting the environment as opposed to generating income for private individuals or bodies.


Sporting Chance Initiative

Sporting Chance Initiative creates and supports Scotland's next generation of sports entrepreneurs, and incorporates 2 competitions:

Sports Innovation Challenge - This is an opportunity for students and recent graduates to develop an innovative idea for a sports product, service and/or technology. Each winner will receive a medal, a share of the £15,000 cash prize fund for the business, a one year business incubation package within The Sport Hive, £3,000 worth of complimentary services from Sporting Chance Initiative's partners across Scotland, and mentoring support from sports industry experts.

LoveYourIdea – This is a competition for students and recent graduates in Scotland to submit an innovative idea for a new sports product, service or technology. The five people with the best, most innovative ideas will each win £100 cash and a place at the Earn & Learn Academy


SIE Fresh Ideas

Fresh Ideas runs from October to January, and each month participants have the chance to win a cash prize to turn your idea into a business venture. The process is designed to help participants develop their business skills, and show them how to turn their idea into a successful new business. QMU graduate Jake Elliot-Hook won the October 2017 stage of Fresh Ideas with his partner with his innovative replacement to a plastic water bottle.

Scottish Edge

Scottish Edge is aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs. There is a cash prize fund of up to £150,000, and help and support is provided along the way. Scottish Edge opens on 31st January 2018 and closes on 7th March 2018.


Entrepreneurship Support

Business Innovation Zone and Entrepreneurship enquiries please get in touch.

Show Contacts

Entrepreneurship Support

Vivian Rutherford Research and Knowledge Exchange Officer
0131 474 0000
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Inspiring Entrepreneurs Exhibition