The Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT) has won the backing of Sir Tom Hunter for its £25,000 challenge to would-be entrepreneurs to create jobs in Fife and other former mining areas by starting their own social businesses.
Sir Tom has agreed to meet the Coalfields Community Challenge finalists to discuss their plans and share his experience of launching and developing one of Scotland’s most successful business empires.
Nicky Wilson Scottish trustee of the CRT, said: “We are delighted to have Sir Tom’s support, which takes the Challenge to a new level.
“His business experience is unrivalled and he will have a lot in common with our finalists, as he himself comes from the mining village of New Cumnock in Ayrshire.”
Sir Tom added: “The CRT’s Community Challenge chimes well with the Hunter Foundation’s efforts to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit among young people and school pupils.
“I saw first-hand the devastating effects of pit closures and I believe that helping local people start local businesses is a very positive way to tackle that dreadful legacy.”
The Challenge aims to identify 10 viable businesses.
The finalists will each receive six months’ mentoring and support, including a session with Sir Tom, before pitching for the £25,000 top prize.
All applications must be received by 5pm on Friday, August 3.
Further information is available on the website www.coalfieldscommunitychallenge.org.uk or you can contact Diane Bate on 01259 272127.