Scottish entrepreneurial training initiative launched

An annual enterprise training scheme has been launched to encourage the development of 250 businesses in the science, technology and creative sectors over three years.

Funded by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts the scheme, 'Starter for 6', provides participants with a tailored business support package including enterprise training, peer mentoring and grants of up to £10,000.

Johanna Basford, who was a regional winner in Dundee last year, now runs a busy business making hand-printed wallpaper, ceramics and prints.

Speaking to The Times Ms Basford said: "Starter for 6 gave me a great opportunity, the business has really taken off since my involvement in the 2007 programme."

Mhairi McNicol and Chloe Patience, who launched their fashion label Bebaroque, met through the Dundee Starter for 6 scheme.

Mhairi explained: "I got onto the programme and was finding launching a business on my own a struggle, so my Starter for 6 coach suggested I form a partnership."

The women now have three 'London Fashion Weeks' under their belts and money in the bank.

Mhairi added: "We have 20 stockists in the UK and USA and we have made £20,000 in the first year from our sales."

The grant has helped them find premises to create their printed and hand embroidered hosiery and create a virtual place to sell their designs.