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Last Call For Scotland's New Business Stars

3rd February 2007

Scotland's budding new business brains have just one week left to make it into a new million pound initiative which will help fund the country's next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Starter for 6 project will build the enterprise skills of up to 300 new entrepreneurs over three years, working in Scotland across all business sectors. Led by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), in partnership with the Six Cities Design Festival and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Starter for 6 will provide
business support, mentoring and the opportunity to apply for a start-up grant of up to 10,000.

Open to any fledgling entrepreneur in Scotland with an innovative business idea, the initiative will provide invaluable support at the start up phase. Having already received a flood of applications from across Scotland, organisers are calling for any final contenders to apply. The deadline for applications close on Monday February 12th.

With up to 100 people per year set to go through the training sessions, places on the programme will be awarded on a competitive basis.

Acknowledging that not every entrepreneur has the optimum business idea or team to assist that business, Starter for 6 sets out to provide a tailored programme of training and support which includes four intensive days of enterprise training. After the training, participants maintain contact with each other and their trainer and will be given coursework to complete. They will also have access to coaching over the phone.

Training activity will focus on six city areas: Stirling, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Inverness, although applications will be accepted from any part of Scotland. Allocation of start-up grants will be based on the quality of the idea, its business potential and the strength of the proposed business team.

For aspiring entrepreneurs who want help applying for the scheme, there will be a series of organised workshops, which will give applicants the opportunity to meet others, share ideas and generate and refine business concepts. The 'Idea Generation' workshops start in Dundee on 6th February, Glasgow, 7th February, Inverness, 8th February, and finishing
up in Edinburgh on 10th February.

Commenting on the initiative, Helen Gresty, NESTA executive director of Innovation Programmes said: "There's no doubt that there's a wealth of start-up potential in Scotland. What the nation's next generation of entrepreneurs is often lacking is the business acumen to develop their ideas. Starter for Six promises to equip these individuals with the skills and networks they need to develop successful businesses and I
would urge anyone with aspirations of running their own venture to apply".

Those wishing to apply or sign up for a workshop should visit the Starter for Six website for further information - www.nesta.org.uk/starterforsix
www.nesta.org.uk/starterforsix

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