Saltire Foundation sets its latest scholars on the entrepreneurial path

A record 137 ambitious future Scottish business leaders set out on the journey of a lifetime this week as they began the global challenge of The Saltire Foundation’s entrepreneurial Scholars programme.

The Saltire Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland (ES) and the Saltire Scholars, representing 13 universities across Scotland, will gain valuable work experience with 51 host companies around the world. Two-thirds of them will go international and the other third will operate in Scotland.

It is the first time that the Scholars programme has taken place under the umbrella of ES and, in recognition of their efforts, the Scholars will be awarded membership of Future Leaders of Entrepreneurial Scotland for the duration of their scholarship and for the remainder of their 2015/2016 academic year.

Future Leaders is a new network category of Entrepreneurial Scotland which launched in April this year and aims to attract enthusiastic, talented people in Scotland, or internationally, who want to see Scotland become the most entrepreneurial society in the world.

More than 100 Futures Leaders from diverse backgrounds have already joined the network, and with the 2015 intake of Saltire Scholars, membership will now more than double in size.

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said: “This year sees another record intake of Scholars, of outstanding calibre, drive and ambition. For the first time, Scholars will now join our growing network of current and Future Leaders of Entrepreneurial Scotland – people who are committed to inspiring, developing and connecting with each other, to ignite economic growth in Scotland.”

The number of Scholars this year is up on last year’s 132 undergraduate students, and also up 30% on 2013 number of 103, which itself was a record-beating Undergraduate Programme.

The prestigious course opens the door of the world’s leading companies to some of Scotland’s most talented students and provides them with an unparalleled chance to engage with global thought leaders and entrepreneurs.

The interest from major global companies is illustrated by the calibre of the hosts. Particular highlights include GSK taking 18 interns across 10 locations, from Melbourne to Montrose; Edinburgh Airport taking 10 interns; and Jabil taking 13 interns across its sites in Florida and Scotland. As well as this, over a fifth of the students will be working for companies owned by Leaders of Entrepreneurial Scotland and a quarter are being hosted by Saltire Foundation Alumni.

Events will be planned for the Scholars throughout the summer in Scotland, New York, Houston, Silicon Valley and Boston.

Sandy Kennedy added: “Scotland needs to seek its future in the wider global arena and to succeed in an ever more competitive international environment, we will need young people of this calibre to underpin the country’s economic future.”

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