Business students compete to make their mark

The University of Edinburgh Business School is hosting an event aimed at creating business solutions for some of today’s most pressing social issues.

From 21 to 23 February, more than 100 entrepreneurial undergraduates will compete in #makeyourmark.

They will develop innovative business ideas that tackle real challenges such as fuel poverty, loneliness in old age, financial literacy and gender equality.

#makeyourmark is a fantastic opportunity for the Business School to take a leading role in helping to develop and nurture the social conscience of tomorrow’s business leaders. Importantly, our undergraduates are increasingly looking towards careers that will allow them to give something back to local, national and international communities. This event will provide them with the tools to make their own mark on society and business and help shape their own career choices.

Wendy LorettoDean of the University of Edinburgh Business School

Expert mentors

Over the two-day event, teams of students will take part in hands-on workshops and receive mentoring from some of Scotland’s leading business minds.

Each team will present their business idea to a panel of judges on the final day, the best have a chance of securing work experience and internship at some of Scotland’s leading socially-focused businesses and social enterprises.

#makeyourmark will be opened by Deputy First Minister and social enterprise champion, John Swinney, followed by a keynote speech from Ian Marchant, Chair of Wood Group, former CEO of SSE and one of Scotland’s leading social investors.

Scotland’s social enterprises are the perfect illustration of how the Scottish Government’s aim of inclusive growth can bring about economic benefits alongside social or environmental gains.   Across our whole education system it is crucial that our young people are given the help and encouragement they need to flourish and reach their full potential.  At the same time we must harness their fresh thinking, new ideas and energy to ensure Scotland’s economy is equipped to continue to compete in a changing world. Ventures such as #makeyourmark will help us realise those aims, and I wish all of the participants well as they take part in this exciting project.

John SwinneyDeputy First Minister

Purposeful profit

Students will also take part in a panel discussion around the topic of ‘matching profit with purpose’, featuring Alastair Davis, Chief Executive of Social Investment Scotland; Josh Littlejohn, founder of Social Bite; Debra Riddell, owner of Breadshare; and Liz Turner, Head of Corporate Responsibility, BT Scotland.

The panel will be chaired by Tom Levitt, Editor of the Guardian’s Sustainable Business.

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University of Edinburgh Business School