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Paisley YMCA launch digital entrepreneur sessions for young people

Renfrewshire’s young entrepreneurs of the future are being supported through the launch of Paisley YMCA’s  iEnterprise digital youth incubator programme.

The iEnterprise programme, which received funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start Fund, is a dedicated entrepreneurial space which aims to help young people furthest away from the employment market to find work or start up their own business.

Paisley YMCA launch digital entrepreneur sessions for young people

The first session which recently took place saw 23 young people aged from 11 to 18 years come along to participate and learn more digital skills.

The principle behind iEnterprise is for young people to identify a need within their community, develop an idea to address that need through entrepreneurial thinking using digital technology to help develop and implement their ideas.

Over the next 40 weeks participants will be given access to software and hardware as well as training and certification to develop their ideas. They will also be encouraged to take on project management roles, set budgets, solve problems, set goals and work as a team to achieve their objective.

Darran Gillan, Youth and Community Development Manager, Paisley YMCA said: “Our aim is to support and develop young people in order to help them reach their full potential through digitally based cultural and educational projects and programmes that develop an entrepreneurial spirit. 

“The £50,000 Young Start fund from the Big Lottery Scotland will support that transition for young people into the world of work over the next two years and enable them to be more attractive candidates to employers.”

In addition to equipping young people with valuable transferable skills the programme aims to improve young peoples’ digital literacy skills, further develop their problem solving and cognitive thinking abilities, gain increased confidence using digital technology in intuitive ways that makes sense to them and developing their knowledge to use technology as a problem-solving tool.

Using digital technology to help transform people’s lives by creating opportunities is a key aspect of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said: “The iEnterprise programme is an excellent project which will help young people explore their creativity through digital channels. One of the main ambitions of the Paisley 2021 bid is to increase participation, raise aspirations and improve future prospects through culture and this programme looks to achieve all of these outcomes.

“The young people taking part in these sessions can use the skills they learn in a range of creative and interesting ways helping to broaden their horizons and open them up to the range of career opportunities. Projects like iEnterprise help demonstrate that culture is digital.”

During our pilot programme which took place in 2016 local young people developed wrestling, graphic design and music events businesses.

iEnterprise will be open at Paisley YMCA on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings from 5pm - 8pm for the next 40 weeks.

For more information on iEnterprise contact darran@paisleyymca.org