TWO aspiring entrepreneurs have encouraged local schools to embrace enterprise learning following the official launch of this year’s Company Programme from Young Enterprise Scotland (YES).  

Hope Wandless and Kirsten McNaughton were members of Stirling High’s winning team in last year’s YES Company Awards, with Timescape: a conservation-themed escape room business. 

Both are now studying at university and claim that teaching entrepreneurial skills is vital in schools.

The knowledge and confidence gained completing the Company Programme has set them on their own individual career paths. 

Last year over 2,000 pupils in 140 schools across Scotland developed their enterprising skills through setting up and running their own companies as part of YES’ Company Programme, with more than 300 going on to gain an SCQF Level 6 qualification – the equivalent to a higher – for their achievements.  

This year, to meet the changing needs of schools, YES is launching a new teaching model with a Scotland-wide Digital Support Programme so that all aspiring business students can take part. 

The new programme includes virtual training and ‘drop-in’ sessions, as well as an online trading hub, with YES’s line-up of business partners delivering workshops on digital skills, leadership, finance, marketing and personal development. 

Kirsten, who is studying International Business Management at Heriot-Watt, said: “I was lucky enough to have the chance to learn about business through Young Enterprise Scotland’s Company Programme. 

“It was a great experience and gave me the confidence to study business management at university. I know that a lot of the skills I learned as we set up and ran Timescape will be invaluable as I start my career.” 

Hope is now at Cumbria University, studying Animal Conservation Science. She said: “We were one of the first to gain a qualification for entrepreneurial skills and I think that is fantastic.

“I would urge all schools to embrace enterprise learning and encourage more students to choose to get involved. For me, it helped me see how my passion for conservation could be turned into good business.”