Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, has been appointed as an entrepreneurial ambassador by Young Enterprise Scotland (YES).
The leading enterprise education charity, which currently delivers programmes to over 1500 young people from primary school through to college, has enlisted the support of Sir Jim as well as Poonam Gupta, CEO of the award-winning family business PG Paper and Peter Proud, CEO and founder of tech rising star Forrit.
With a tenure of at least one year, the ambassadors will help connect the charity with business leaders, companies and trusts with a view to raising awareness of the YES enterprise programmes that are transforming the lives of young people by tapping into their entrepreneurial potential.
As part of an extended ambassador programme, they will also visit schools, interact with some of the students on YES courses and host events.
At a critical time for Scotland’s education sector and future economic growth, the ambassadors are joining an organisation that is committed to developing the skills, financial understanding and trade crafted needed by young people for work and life.
YES has successfully pioneered enterprise learning in schools with a range of programmes which can be delivered through a flexible blended online and physical approach. In 2019, YES launched the first ever ‘higher’ qualification for entrepreneurial skills through its flagship Company Programme.
Geoff Leask, YES chief executive, said: “I am delighted to launch our ambassador programme with three inspirational figures. Each recognises that we have a unique opportunity to influence the entrepreneurial potential of our young people in Scotland and have a positive impact on our future economy.
By equipping young people with an enterprise mindset we can open up many more career paths for them, be that within an organisation helping to drive growth, or by giving them the confidence to become a business owner themselves.”
Professor Sir Jim McDonald said: “As well as preparing our young people to become skilled employees, it is essential we help develop their enterprising spirits too. This can help them think about becoming self- employed or seek to apply an entrepreneurial approach in organisations they may join; many employers will see such new employees as highly valuable as the power and value of innovation and enterprise in a company is now beyond a ‘nice to have’ to have become more of a commercial necessity.”