Onwards and Upwards for Irvine Bay Entrepreneurs

A PIONEERING programme to help people in Irvine Bay set up in business has been declared a resounding success by all those involved.

Earlier this year, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company in partnership with North Ayrshire Council and Business Gateway, invited top UK enterprise guru Iain Scott to the area to run one of his Enterprise Island Challenges for aspiring entrepreneurs.

More than 50 people, aged 22 to 65, signed up for the Challenge which provided them with a series of free specialist workshops and master-classes, held over a period of two months, aimed at helping them develop the essential skills and mindset needed to begin thinking and acting like entrepreneurs.

The Irvine Bay Enterprise Island Challenge was rounded off with a Celebration of Enterprise, held at Irvine’s historic Ship Inn in the harbour area where the islanders met and mingled with members of the business community as well as enterprise experts and the project’s partners.

At the celebration, Irvine Bay Regeneration Company chief executive Patrick Wiggins described the new entrepreneurs as an exceptional group, with other guests clearly impressed with the progress the Irvine Bay islanders had made during the course of the eight-week challenge.

Among those islanders whose businesses are now up and running are the multi-talented Colin Surgeoner, aged 27 and from Irvine, whose driving school (website: www.casdrivertraining.com) offers learners not just practical instruction but a unique programme of online video and animated lessons created by Colin himself. He plans to expand his business and create employment in the area by taking on other driving instructors in the very near future.

Islander Gordon Brown designs and supplies bespoke tree houses and up-market children’s furniture under his “Treasured Dreams” brand (www.treasureddreams.co.uk) and announced at the Celebration of Enterprise that

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