CHANCE FOR ACORNS TO SPROUT IN FIFE

Fife-based Acorn Enterprise has launched the sixth intake of its 20 week Business Accelerator Programme. 

Launched by Kallum Russell and Jerry Alexander in 2013, Acorn Enterprise, is on a mission to grow Scotland’s entrepreneurial culture. The not-for-profit organisation works with new businesses and student entrepreneurs across Scotland, from its base in Liberty Business Centres, Rosyth.

The organisation helps the “Acorns” (new businesses) on the 20 week Programme to develop confidence, business skills and clarity of direction.

The Programme offers successful applicants: office space, weekly seminars, a mentor, access to 3D printing equipment and more. The businesses are offered the places free of charge and Acorn Enterprise does not take an equity-stake in them.

Acorn runs the only Business Accelerator programme in Fife. Chief Enterprise Officer, Kallum Russell, recently selected as Virgin Media’s Pioneer of the Week and featured in SBNN’s 40UNDER40 list in Scotland, said, “We originally launched Acorn Enterprise to tackle the appalling start-up rate in Fife head on.

“In many lists, which compare entrepreneurship levels across UK regions, Fife is not performing well but instead of moaning about it or waiting for someone else to do something, we set out to do our bit to change this.

“Whilst there has never been a better time to launch a new business in Scotland”, according to Kallum, “we feel there is a gap in the support for business owners in more rural locations, like Fife, where we’re based.

“Additionally, we also believe that there is a lot of support for new high-growth businesses, the high-tech industry and companies seeking investment, however, other “less sexy”, but equally important, start-up businesses, that do not fit into these categories, have been left behind.

“Therefore, our focus is on building sustainable new businesses, that may not employ thousands of people or have global aspirations, but are of paramount importance to the local communities they operate in and to the local staff they employ.

Acorn is looking to expand its reach across Scotland and is in talks with several local authorities and education institutions, about running the programme and other enterprise activities with them.

“There appears to be a real need for our activities up and down the country”, says Kallum, “and many people are drawn to our energetic and relevant approach, which is different to some of the other organisations that operate in this space”.

Since inception in 2013, Acorn Enterprise has worked with more than 160 new and growing businesses and student entrepreneurs. The organisation runs without any government or public funding and generates revenue through enterprise training for colleges, Universities and other organisations, and from its rapid prototyping service, Acorn 3D Printing.

Acorn Enterprise have also found some limited corporate sponsorship, from Liberty Business Centres and others, and hope to develop a network of like-minded companies who want to help them with their ambitious mission to grow Scotland’s entrepreneurial culture.

To find out more about Acorn Enterprise, visit www.acornenterprise.co.uk

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