It’s Time To Unlock Young Ambition!

  • New Partnership Sees Students Given The Chance to Unlock Their Potential
  • Programme Offers Students Aged 16-30 Inspirational Work Based Project

Bridge 2 Business has teamed up with the entrepreneurial Unlocking Ambition Challenge programme, delivered by Scottish Enterprise & Scotland CANDO, to create a new partnership that will focus on developing entrepreneurial skills in young people.

Bridge 2 Business, Unlocking Ambition and Young Enterprise logos

“Unlocking Young Ambition” will give students aged 16-30 across delivery partner colleges an inspirational opportunity to be part of the Unlocking Ambition programme, including a work based project and mentoring session within some of Scotland's top entrepreneurs.

What is Unlocking Ambition?

Unlocking Ambition group shot

(Opens in new window) Unlocking Ambition originated with Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and in 2019-20 is being delivered through (Opens in new window) Scottish Enterprise. Entrepreneurs receive intensive wrap-around support from a dedicated specialist team of business advisers to help support and scale up their businesses, while having the opportunity to develop their own entrepreneurial leadership skills.

Geoff Leask

“When the Bridge 2 Business Programme was launched over five years ago one of the key drivers was to connect college students with entrepreneurial role models because it is difficult to be what you cannot see. This opportunity to connect students from Scotland's Colleges of Further Education with some of Scotland's most innovative entrepreneurs through the Unlocking Ambition partnership is such an exciting initiative for everyone involved.”

Geoff Leask - Chief Executive of Young Enterprise Scotland

What can Unlocking Young Ambition do for me?

We are going to select a fantastic cohort of talented, ambitious young people who will work with our programme team and the Unlocking Ambition entrepreneurs to inspire a whole new generation - our entrepreneurial leaders of the future.

If you are selected to be one of the first ever Unlocking Young Ambition cohort, you will get some unique and exceptional opportunities, including:

  • Meeting and being personally mentored by an inspiring, successful Scottish entrepreneur.
  • Learning more about the way Scotland supports entrepreneurs from every local area and background.
  • Taking part in a special mini-project within a business, increase your skills and knowledge of what it takes to run a business.
  • Getting to be part of Unlocking Ambition – the First Minister’s flagship entrepreneurial programme and inspire other young people to consider starting their own business too!

Below are some questions you may have about the opportunity:

Who is eligible to take part?

You must be aged 16-30 to participate in Unlocking Young Ambition and currently studying at one of our delivery partner colleges. You must also have a keen interest in starting up a business in the future, or are already doing so, and you be willing to commit two days for a project placement.

Do I need to be a business student to take part?

No, we welcome applications from all courses, but starting a business must be something you’re thinking seriously about – either in the short or long term. We’re looking for students with real drive and ambition

Once I have applied what happens next?

Applications will be shortlisted and those successful students will receive an offer email with more details of the next steps. A formal launch of the project, at which students will get to meet each other, will be held at the end of October. All participants will need to sign disclosure forms for publicity purposes.

Alison Loveday

“Everything we do as an enterprise support system in Scotland depends on great partnerships. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with Y.E.S. and Bridge2Business to provide opportunities for entrepreneurial students to make inspirational connections with our Unlocking Ambition ambassadors, build their business skills and flourish as the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders.”

Alison Loveday - Programme Manager, Unlocking Ambition

How will you decide who gets a place?

Applications will be reviewed by Bridge 2 Business and Scottish Enterprise. We may not be able to provide ALL applicants with a place, so please make sure you submit your very best reason for wanting to be selected. You will need to demonstrate that you’ve done some research on Unlocking Ambition (hint: check out the website) and that you’ve got some good business ideas of your own too.

How long is the project placement?

Each placement will last for two days. (Extra days may be offered depending on the project).

When is the placement?

You will be given a project placement between 19 November and 19 February.

Where will I go on my Unlocking Young Ambition placement?

You will be based at one of the Unlocking Ambition businesses with specific placements allocated after the application process to match you to a suitable business which is as close to your home as possible to minimise travel.

Will it cost me anything to take part?

There is no fee to participate in the programme.

Do I need permission from my parents and the college to take part?

If you are under 18 we will require parental or guardian permission. All participants will be taking part in our social media and media coverage so it’s important that you’re comfortable with that and able to sign a form that allows us to share a bit about you and your photograph in the media. If you have any queries about this, you can discuss this opportunity with your Bridge 2 Business Programme Executive and your college tutor before applying.

What will my project be like?

You will be given a special mini-project to work on during your placement, as well as other opportunities at the business’ discretion. The entrepreneurs will take time to provide you with some friendly mentoring and hear about your own aspirations. You will also get to learn some new business skills to add to your CV!

Will I be working with other students?

It is likely as there is a maximum of three student placements at each business. We are keen to offer places to student who are excellent at team working.

If you have any other questions about this opportunity, please contact your college Programme Executive or email