Geoff Leask, Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Scotland
Young Enterprise Scotland has been inspiring and equipping young people to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise since 1992.
Every year they support around 16,000 young people from all backgrounds to develop business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills and ultimately become more employable. Through the programmes they deliver they aim to:
- Enhance entrepreneurial attitudes of young people in Scotland
- Improve the enterprise skills of young people in Scotland
- Strengthen the work readiness of Scotland’s young people
Their dedicated team are supported by over 500 volunteers from the Scottish business community to help realise their vision for Scotland to be a place where all young people have the opportunity to experience a rewarding future in work / life – no matter where they start their journey. They believe passionately in ’Enterprise for All’ and deliver a wide range of programmes to ensure their work can reach ALL young people.
In 2016 Young Enterprise Scotland relocated their central office base from Glasgow city centre to a site that is around half an acre in size within the award winning Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire. The space is rented from East Renfrewshire Council who lease it long-term from Glasgow City Council. The Centre at Rouken Glen gave Young Enterprise Scotland a huge opportunity to create opportunities not just for the young people who are beneficiaries of their programmes but to become a space at the heart of the community that can be shared with a growing number of various third sector organisations.
Since taking the keys to the Rouken Glen Centre Young Enterprise Scotland have transformed the former nursery and environmental demonstration centre and created collaborative space for many organisations to call their home. Have a look at what the centre provides in this YouTube video.
The centre has wonderful growing spaces which are now used by Tenement Veg, a Workers Coop, bringing veg to the people. Veloworld, a Community Interest Company who build and repair bikes, deliver training, workshops and lead rides. Cosgrove Care are another organisation that utilise the Rouken Glen Centre and are a strong part of that community. Cosgrove offers a range of personalised services, including one-to-one support, holiday play schemes and after school care from Rouken Glen.
The key drivers for Young Enterprise Scotland at Rouken Glen are community building and developing fruitful organisational collaborations, which in turn provide opportunities for the disadvantaged young people who use the Centre. In the few years that the centre has operated it has had many visitors including senior politicians, business people and celebrities, aside from many of our wildlife friends who inhabit the site and are most special – especially our beehives which are a highlight for visitors young and not so young.
As Young Enterprise Scotland looks forward, the variety of community organisations that gather at Rouken Glen continues to grow and now includes St Margaret’s Adoption Society, Dechomai and most recently a filming location for BBC Children’s television.
Plans for expansion include a Start Up Hub with a drop in space for young people which is currently in the design and funding stages.