Entrepreneur visits GCU to light students business spark

06 March 2012

Jim Duffy

Jim Duffy

Business leader and Visiting Fellow of Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU), Jim Duffy, is to give an opening address to students about the work of Entrepreneurial Spark, the UK's first free business-accelerator facility where budding entrepreneurs can start and grow their ideas without giving away any of their equity.

Mr Duffy, a former policeman turned businessman, is committed to launching Scotland’s business talent and ensuring its continued success. He offers free use of the workspace and IT access at the Glasgow HQ of Entrepreneurial Spark, as well as mentoring and expert advice from Scotland’s top business leaders on securing investment and marketing.

The not-for-profit company is backed by Scotland’s top entrepreneurs, including Sir Tom Hunter and Willie Haughey, who gave up an entire floor of his Gorbals-based City Refrigeration headquarters to house Entrepreneurial Spark’s facilities. It is the only facility in Scotland that offers access to such a high level of expertise and knowledge. Up to 20 entrepreneurs are invited to take part in a 16-week accelerator programme, which will run every six months.

Ed Clack, senior lecturer in entrepreneurship at GCU said “Jim  Duffy, through Entrepreneurial – Spark, is committed to forging strong links with GCU’s Glasgow School for Business and Society. A number of events are planned to encourage students to consider entrepreneurship as an alternative to more traditional careers.

“Students will be invited to the Entrepreneurial Spark offices to work on their ideas, learn more about business start-ups and develop their entrepreneurial acumen. This is an exciting opportunity for GCU students and graduates to engage with leading entrepreneurs, in enabling them to realise their full potential, by unlocking their entrepreneurial spirit, raising their self efficacy  and promoting a  ‘can do’ culture.”

Mr Duffy said: “We are delighted to have GCU as our academic ambassador as the university is grounded in what we call positive realism. We have a great relationship with Principal and Vice Chancellor Pamela Gillies, who is one of the most progressive academic leaders in Europe. GCU students will benefit from sharing out entrepreneurial thinking and from inputs within the university campus.” 

The event takes place on Wednesday, March 7 in Room MOO1, George Moore Building, from 1pm to 2pm.