We work closely with a wide range of external organisations who actively engage and support our programme of entrepreneurial of activities. Together we promote entrepreneurship opportunities, competitions and funding opportunities which are aimed at helping our young entrepreneurs to develop their skills and grow their businesses.
QMU are delighted to have partnership with Women's Enterprise Scotland (WES) who are a research led, not-for-profit community interest company (CIC) which champions women-led and women-owned businesses. WES advocates for better evidence-based policy making and believes that delivering expert, needs-based business support will enable women to fulfil their aspirations, and unlock an £8.8bn economic potential to boost the economy. Through their Womens Business Centre they provide practical support for women to start and grow their business.
We are delighted to welcome Carolyn Currie, CEO of WES as our first Entrepreneur in Residence. As a prominent champion of female entrepreneurship, Carolyn will help QMU play a vital role in addressing the gender imbalance which currently exists across the Scottish entrepreneurial landscape. She will lead on the empowerment and education of women who have the potential to develop as successful entrepreneurs, and encourage them to achieve their full potential.
QMU are delighted to have an exclusive partnership with Edinburgh Merchant Company, a charitable organisation for business men and women which is dedicated to supporting the young and elderly through their trusts. Today they have over 540 members who are actively involved in their educational and charitable works
In 2018 they set up the Edinburgh Merchant Company Enterprise Fund whose aim is to encourage entrepreneurship and support business start-ups with education, encouragement and mentoring support from their members.
Over the past couple of years the fund has supported 11 businesses including fodilicious, an innovative food company for people suffering from IBS; S'Wheat, a biodegradable water bottle; Health Design Collective, a social enterprise developing a range of health care products and Echo Park Studios, a drum tuition app, The Koji Kitchen which produces Koji a japanese food ingredient and Naka Media and Pinescope Video, both film and media companies
The fund opens twice a year and provides grants of between £500 - £5000 plus a mentor from their membership, to support successful candidates.
Converge Challenge is Scotland's leading company creation programme which is open to staff, students and recent graduates from Scottish Universities. Their aim is to help people to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions by offering generous cash prizes, mentoring and a programme of business support that turns fledgling ideas into sustainable businesses. There are 4 categories ;
KickStart is for early stage innovative ideas that have potential
Impact is for innovative new projects with a social or environmental impact
Creative is for innovative new business ideas within Scotland's creative industries
Converge is for new businesses that demonstrate high commercial potential.
In recent years we have had significant success reaching the final stages in all of the categories. In 2018 we were delighted that Health Design Collective were runners up in the Impact Category. In 2019 S'Wheat and Sculpture Placement Group were finalists in the Impact and Creative strands
Through funding from Santander Universities, members of our Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) can apply for grants to support and develop their businesses. Applications open each semester and to do date, we have supported over 35 businesses with a range of grants.
Santander Universities have provided additional funding to support members of the BIZ who are experiencing challenges due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. 30 members of the BIZ were supported with grant funding which has helped them survive through the COVID-19 pandemic
If you are already a member of the BIZ and would like to apply to the Santander COVID-19 Fund, please complete the application form here.
The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards scheme is aimed at giving a financial boost to student and graduate businesses in their early stages from UK partner Universities. In 2018 Lauren Leisk of Fodilicious was runner up in the national competition and in 2019 Martin Craig of Sculpture Placement Group and Eadaoin McCormack of Mums Empowered were both semi finalists.
Scottish Edge is aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs. There are 3 categories, ScotEdge, Wild Card Edge and Young Edge. If you have an innovative high growth potential business then you can win up to £100,00 in the main competition and up to £15,000 in each of the other 2 categories Lauren Leisk of Fodlicilious was winner in Young Edge and went on to secure £70,000 in the main category. Nikki Welch of Quenchable was overall winner in Wild Card and Jake Elliot Hook of S'Wheat has won Young edge.