Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Entries are now open for the 2022 University of the Highlands and Islands business competition

24th November 2021

Photograph of Entries are now open for the 2022 University of the Highlands and Islands business competition

Entries are now open for the 2022 University of the Highlands and Islands business competition. Budding entrepreneurs with a business idea are invited to apply, with £8000 in prize money up for grabs.

The competition is open to anyone living in the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire, as well as all students studying across the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership.

Now in its sixteenth year, the business competition, run by CREATE, part of the centre for remote and sustainable communities based at Inverness College UHI, encourages enterprise and innovation by supporting people to take their first steps on the road to starting their own business.

All finalists will receive feedback and support from some of the region's top entrepreneurs and business advisors to take their idea forward.

The closing date for entries is 12 noon on Wednesday 23 March. Entries will be shortlisted to 15 and finalists will be invited to meet the competition judges to discuss their ideas further on finals day on Wednesday 25 May.

Last year's top prize went to Simon Hay, from Fortrose, and his idea featuring a vertical freight farming system designed to grow sustainable crops in Scotland year-round. Simon took home a cash prize of £1000 and a combined legal and accountancy package from sponsors' Johnston Carmichael and Harper Macleod LLP.

Vicky Johnson, director of centre for remote and sustainable communities, said: "The University of the Highlands and Islands partnership has a key role to play in supporting the region's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Encouraging and enabling entrepreneurship will play a key role in that recovery. We have seen this business competition change people's lives by providing them with the confidence and support they need to turn their idea into a reality."

Once again there will be special cash prizes for the best engineering ideas, with these awards sponsored by the Engineers in Business Fellowship, a charity that promotes the importance and value of business education for engineers.

Matej Papp and Ahmed Nassar took home a £1000 prize last year with their business, Boxfluence, and their idea for a transportable and lightweight portable boxing ring called GoSparTM.

Matej, a personal trainer from Inverness, said: "The University of the Highlands business competition is an opportunity to showcase your dreams and passions. Winning the engineering award gave us the confidence to keep growing and to take our business to the next level, knowing that there are people out there that support our vision."

David Falzani MBE, President of Engineers in Business Fellowship, said: "Research tells us that equipping young engineers with business skills makes them better engineers, more employable and more effective in the workplace. The Engineers in Business prize fund, which the university has awarded over the past four years, allows the university to inspire more undergraduates, graduates and entrepreneurs in the wider community to take part in its annual business competition."

In addition to the Engineers in Business Fellowship the business competition continues to receive invaluable sponsorship and support from Johnston Carmichael, Harper Macleod LLP, The Apprentice Store, Northern Innovation Hub, HBS Ring Ltd and James Hendry Plumbing.

The University of the Highlands and Islands Business Competition has attracted more than 1600 entries since it launched 16 years ago and has awarded more than £86,000 in cash prizes.

Apply online at by noon on Wednesday 23 March 2022.

2020 winner, Matej Papp


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Property Demand Study Launched By Highlands and Islands Enterprisie
As part of the study, businesses, community groups and social enterprises with future land or property plans are encouraged to complete a short survey by 22 March 2024.   Whether it's interest in land for sale or space to lease, HIE is keen to hear from organisations already based in the region as well as from those that are considering locating a business to the area.  
Shetland Engineering Firm Expands And Creates JobsThumbnail for article : Shetland Engineering Firm Expands And Creates Jobs
L&M Engineering has secured a grant of £58,914 from Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) for the development, which is set to boost business turnover by £1.2m and create two jobs over the next three years.   The company is diversifying its operations to cater for additional aquaculture markets.  
Region's Businesses Value Community Links
Most businesses in the Highlands and Islands consider their links with the local community as either equal to or more important than their profitable growth.   This is one of the key findings of the most recent rural business survey commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) in partnership with South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE).  
Support Programme Takes Young Entrepreneurs To The Next Level
Dynamic business support programme, IMPACT30, is aimed at nurturing and empowering the next generation of innovative leaders.   The fully funded programme is for people aged under 35 in a young enterprise and in a key decision-making role.  
Power Boost For Off-grid Island
A project to increase electricity supply and reduce emissions on a west coast island has been awarded more than £25,000 by HIE.   The HIE funding is being used to replace and upgrade high voltage transformers and other associated equipment to enable a major upgrade of the renewable energy supply on the Isle of Muck.  
Region's Young Workforce To Take Part In Pioneering Sustainability Skills ProgrammeThumbnail for article : Region's Young Workforce To Take Part In Pioneering Sustainability Skills Programme
Region's young workforce to take part in pioneering sustainability skills programme.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), Zero Waste Scotland and business transformation enterprise Powering Futures have teamed up to provide the fully-funded places on the Highlands and Islands Powering Futures Challenge 2024.  
New Facility For Renewables Industry Trainees
People working in or entering Scotland's growing renewables industry will soon have access to a new training facility in Inverness.   The £1.22m Renewable Energy Training Centre, being established by Aurora Energy Services Ltd, (AES) will be the first of its kind in the region.  
Online Sales - Improve, Develop And Make More Money - 2 Hours Free Webinar
This event from Business Gateway will cover how your business can look to improve your online sales.   Factors to consider when selling online.  
Two New Board Members Wanted For Highlands And Islands Enterprise
People with a strong commitment to the future of the Highlands and Islands are being invited to apply to join the board of the region's development agency.   Scottish Ministers are looking to fill two non-executive director positions on the Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) Board, with the new appointees expected to start three-year terms in April.  
Move Your Cycling Facilities Up A Gear - Grants Between £5000 and £25,000Thumbnail for article : Move Your Cycling Facilities Up A Gear - Grants Between £5000 and £25,000
The Highlands and Islands have the potential to be a world-class cycling destination.  With cycling tourism valued at an estimated £37bn to the European economy, there is a significant opportunity for the region to benefit from this growing market.