Festival of Youth Enterprise

Young enterprise winners attract interest from fund

Venture team at Youth Festival

Venture team with other winners on stage


A team of young entrepreneurs who won the top prize in an enterprise competition have already received an offer to discuss funding with an organisation in London.

Fortrose Academy’s Venture project, designed to help those suffering from dementia, caught the attention of philanthropic adviser Ten Years Time which spotted the team’s work on social media. They have also received interest from the NHS and a care home company.

The “Past Times” conversation board game assists people from different generations to spark memories, learn from each other and talk. The team also developed a “dementia mitt” designed to help people living with dementia and a ‘Knit your own Mitt Kit’.

Venture won the overall Can Do Scotland Company of the Year Award and four other awards at the Festival of Youth Enterprise Final, supported by Daily Business. These were: SIS Social Impact Award, Accenture Digital Presence Award, SQA Link Teacher of the Year Award for Margaret Rhynas and City of Glasgow College Journey Award for Fin Davidson.

Matthew Parkes, managing director of the social enterprise set up by the team of sixth year pupils from the Black Isle academy said: “Winning the individual awards was amazing for us and then we were overjoyed to discover we had won the overall national award for Scotland.”

Venture will now go to London on 17 June to compete in the UK final. Details of the Fortrose Academy Venture project can be found on the team’s website; https://www.fortroseventure.co.uk/

Set up in 1992, Young Enterprise Scotland (YES) supports around 15,000 young people each year, helping them develop their business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills.  By advocating and adopting a ‘learning by doing’ approach and delivering tailored accredited training programmes, YES helps young people to become more employable and ultimately job ready.

Capture - Bannockburn High

Capture: the team from Bannockburn High who made creative gifts (pic: Terry Murden)


Area heats took place throughout the year to identify winning teams from across the Scottish regions who set up and ran their own business. The finalists attended the all-day event at Edinburgh Corn Exchange where they set up their market stalls and gave the judges a presentation of what they had achieved by showing their entrepreneurial spirit. 

Celia Hodson, the entrepreneur behind the Hey Girls! female sanitary products, and Chris McQueer, the writer, were guest speakers.

Celia Hodson at Youth Festival

Celia Hodson, speaking about her experiences (pic: Terry Murden)


Geoff Leask, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Scotland, said: “As the leading enterprise engagement organisation for young people in Scotland we work throughout the year to inspire and equip young people to learn and succeed through enterprise through our broad range of programmes. Yesterday’s event is an opportunity to celebrate some of the great achievements by young people, their educators and our volunteers. I congratulate all who participated and wish the Fortrose Academy winning team Venture all he very best for the UK competition in London later this month.

See also: Interview: Geoff Leask, Young Enterprise Scotland

“I would like to thank all our sponsors and supporters who have generously backed us not just tonight but throughout the last year without whose support we could not achieve the results we deliver.

“I pay tribute to our 500 plus volunteers in all parts of the country and who give generously of their time to ensure that Scotland becomes a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life – no matter where they start their journey”. 

Youth Festival judges

Among the judges were Nicola Crawford, Marie Murphy and Leona Seaton (pic: Terry Murden)


Many of the entrepreneurial businesses focused on environmental issues, sustainability and reduction of use of plastics, while others created products showcasing their local environment and recycling and upcycling products. 

The judges for the finals were Marie Murphy (Ernst & Young), Andrew Coventry (Lyreco), Hugh Lightbody,(Business Gateway), Nicola Crawford (Developing the Young Workforce) and Leona Seaton (Developing the Young Workforce). 

The Finalists

Whisk & Spoon

Lochend Community High School, Glasgow

Our ‘Meals for Minis’ cookbook is bright, colourful and easy to follow and our ‘Whisk & Spoon Cooking Kit’ encourages young people to get involved in preparing their own food. 

On The Go

Mearns Castle High School, Newton Mearns

On the Go are passionate about environmental issues, therefore in order to help combat the issue of single-use plastic, their product was a variety of stainless steel water bottles that keep drinks hot or cold over time. 


Bannockburn High School, Stirling

We are a Stirling based Young Enterprise group selling homemade and creative products that reflect our company values. 

The Green Bean Co.

Grove Academy, Dundee

Our products aim to educate consumers about the sustainable ways in which we can all help to reduce wastage and we hope we can inspire individuals to carry out these habits in their daily lives.


Caldervale High School, Airdrie

Our company’s focus is Scottish designed Home decorations with an underlying theme of Tartan.


Lochside Academy, Aberdeen

Uni-Tee promotes positivity, love, acceptance, and unity through the means of fashion. Our products are mainly t-shirts which we upcycle from charity shops or from donations that would otherwise be thrown away 


Kirkwall Grammar School, Orkney

Created Standing Stone wooden clocks made from recycled pallet wood, inspired by Orcadian heritage.

Wicks’ n’ Wax

Linlithgow Academy

Reinvented unwanted old candles by melting them down and turning them into new fresh scented candles.


Dumfries High School

The Idiom Family have created, developed and grown the popular ’Bonnie the Beltie’ brand to create a unique children’s book aimed at promoting the diverse culture and tourism industry of Dumfries & Galloway

Solas Candle Company

The Nicholson Institute, Stornoway

Solas Candle Company is run by three individuals from the Nicolson Institute, Lauren Murray, Alyth Smith and Sandy Morrison, selling bespoke handmade candles in teacups to add a touch of charm to their products


Brae High School, Shetland

Created aluminium water bottles to help encourage consumers to be aware of how a reduction in plastic use could have a positive effect in Shetland and globally.


Fortrose Academy

Developed and produced a range of products: Dementia Mitt, Knit Your Own Mitt Kit and our innovative Past Times game; we have formed partnerships within our community and beyond to ensure our products can reach those who could benefit from its use. 

Waxy Words

Vale of Leven Academy

Our mission statement is “To inspire children’s creativity through the use of our desirable and sustainable personalised crayons”.


Lochgilphead Joint Campus

At Gulp we sell reusable water bottles. We aim to reduce the amount of single-use plastic; encourage the public to hydrate themselves and provide a quality product at an affordable price

Tartan Treasures

Auchmuty High School, Glenrothes

Tartan Treasure’s vision was to “Turn Scottish houses into Scottish homes” by creating tartan wall art with Scottish themed wooden shapes.


St Matthew’s Academy, Saltcoats

Protecting UR Environment, consists of 20 people. Our product is a reusable, personalised water bottle, emblazoned with the logo of our school that we believe is helping to achieve our mission which is to reduce the amount of plastic waste we produce as a school.

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