Sporting Chance Initiative
The Sporting Chance Initiative (SCI) provides help and support to Scottish SMEs developing products for sporting markets. Image courtesy of: bogey_man/sxc.hu
(SCI), Scotland’s only business hub dedicated to sport innovation, is calling on SMEs to take advantage of its free industry support services and urging them not to miss an opportunity as it enters its final year of operation.
SCI is aimed specifically at Scottish businesses, with less than 250 employees, planning to develop new or modify existing products and services for sports markets. The organisation enhances innovation by awarding funds of up to £5,000 for collaborations between Scottish SMEs and Higher Education establishments, and through matching companies with a range of academic expertise, professional advice and an increasing network of successful businesses.
Introduced in 2010 and funded by the European Regional Development Fund
, Scottish Funding Council
, Stirling Council
, University of Stirling
and Stirling University Innovation Park Ltd
, SCI has already assisted over 200 Scottish SMEs and awarded 24 STAR Grants, each worth up to £5,000, to a range of businesses spanning a host of different industries. The project ends in 2013 and the SCI is encouraging business owners to make contact in order to explore the free expertise available to assist them. Interested parties can call 01786 458 104 for more information.
One company to benefit from the services of SCI is Naturally Unlimited
. Established by seasoned entrepreneurs Belinda Mitchell and Christine Manson, they set about developing a new range of products for the running market. Working with SCI they sought to refine their prototype and were awarded a STAR Grant to collaborate with the Engineering Department at the University of Glasgow
John Anderson, Stirling University Innovation Park Board Member and CEO of the Entrepreneurial Exchange
, said: “Sporting Chance Initiative has already had a positive impact on over 200 small businesses in Scotland and is committed to continuing this level of support into the final year. Key to producing additional business wealth and growth for Scotland is opening up the sports market to companies that may not have previously worked in this sector.
“SCI is looking to reach out to industries as varied as digital and creative media, technical textiles and materials as well as food and drink to make them aware of the increased opportunities in the sports market. I would urge any small business to maximise their growth potential by getting in touch and taking advantage of all the free support services SCI has to offer.”