Entrepreneurial hub at GCU is launched

20 January 2015

Humza Yousaf MSP

Humza Yousaf MSP

The Minister for Europe and International Development Humza Yousaf MSP addressed students, staff and alumni at the official launch of the University’s entrepreneurial hub, UHatch, hosted by the Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies CBE.

Mr Yousaf spoke of the importance of start-ups to the growth of the economy and the vital role initiatives such as UHatch has to play.  He congratulated GCU on becoming the first Scottish university and only the second in the UK to be awarded Ashoka U Changemaker status which links GCU with a global network of like-minded socially entrepreneurial institutions.

Mr Yousaf said: “The launch of UHatch shows GCU’s commitment to ensuring all its students, graduates and staff have the resources they need to fulfil their potential.

“The Scottish Government is committed to Scotland CAN DO, our national statement of intent towards becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation. Facilities such as UHatch help our enterprising people develop their entrepreneurial skills and give them the opportunity to flourish.”

Budding entrepreneurs attended the event, including Stephen Chalmers, whose company Altogether Travel Ltd offers tailored holidays to those who need round-the-clock care.

Stephen, a second-year BA (Hons) Business Studies student, said: “I have been working with UHatch since it started. You need people to bounce ideas off and that is what UHatch provides. Students have helped me and I have helped them, it is about collaborating and building networks with likeminded people who can help your business progress.”

GCU’s Professor Bruce Wood, the academic lead for UHatch, highlighted the ongoing work of UHatch which opened its doors in June 2014 and is currently working with 15 students and four businesses.

Professor Wood said: “UHatch is a space where people can investigate their ideas and take action. It will help students, staff and alumni to develop their ideas into robust businesses. Our ambition is to make UHatch innovative and entrepreneurial in its outlook, engaging with our University community and our wider stakeholders.

“UHatch provides budding entrepreneurs with access to specialised research, mentoring from experienced entrepreneurs, collaborative workspace and support from the University, as well as networking opportunities, nationally and internationally.”