Madeleine Brown has won the inaugural Bridge 2 Business Entrepreneurial FE College Educator of the Year Award. The award honours her work with entrepreneurial creative students, helping them access the resources and support to realise their business ambitions.
The Bridge 2 Business Awards were set up this year by Young Enterprise Scotland to recognise how further education is making a difference to young entrepreneurs. The Bridge 2 Business programme offers college students opportunities to engage with successful role models who advise them on setting up their own business. It also helps students connect with business networks across Scotland.
Madeleine works with students from all disciplines at Creative Exchange. Creative Exchange is a hub for creative industries developed by Edinburgh College in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, aimed at supporting the success of new business start-ups. She helps students realise their aspirations by connecting them with the business world while they are learning, enabling these budding entrepreneurs to take the first steps to a successful career.
Forty different tech and digital start-up businesses use Creative Exchange and college students are regular users of the space.
Every year, four Edinburgh College students are offered a workspace at the Creative Exchange digital incubator where a range of business support services is available: Business Gateway start-up advice, the new Creative Exchange intern programme and help with funding.
Commenting on her award, Madeleine said: “I am delighted to have received the Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year Award from Bridge 2 Business. My work is all about supporting students to develop their own business ideas and establish successful businesses. We’re so lucky to be able to offer students a top-class facility where they can develop their skills. The Creative Exchange is a space where they can make their creative dreams a business reality and Bridge 2 Business has provided real support with their focus on developing entrepreneurial skills and connecting students to their many business contacts.
Ines Lozano, an Edinburgh College HND Events student, said: “Interning at Creative Exchange has been great for me because it’s a busy work space with all types of businesses. I’ve developed my networking skills and had paid placements with companies like EventIT and Transmit Startups. I also support the Creative Exchange Galleries Programme and have learned a lot about developing a project idea, creating digital marketing material and holding successful gallery openings. I am now setting up my own freelance events management company.”
Bridge 2 Business Programme Executive, Sarah Tashnizi, who is based at Edinburgh College, said: “The judges thought that Madeleine stood out with her positivity, tenacity, passion and enthusiasm. This award is in recognition of the effort, determination and dedication she has shown as an FE College Educator.”
Madeleine has also established a gallery at Creative Exchange that gives Edinburgh College’s Creative Industries students a forum where they can promote and sell their own work. The gallery opening nights, which showcase Edinburgh College’s Illustration, Graphic Design and Photography student work, also create opportunities for the students to network with established businesses and recent start-ups, with many commissioning creative work from the students.
Madeleine also manages knowledge transfer projects, producing short-form video and animations for local and international businesses. Students are an important part of the production teams on these projects which give them a chance to work with clients and demonstrate their professionalism and cutting-edge technical skills.
Madeleine added: “We are now in the fourth year of our Edinburgh College Creative Exchange Programme which aims to develop the commercial creative talent of our students. “I firmly believe that Edinburgh College provides the push which students need to get out into the world of work. Creative Exchange and Bridge 2 Business provide the focus for that future.”
For more information and a list of all winners, visit: http://bridge2business.org.uk/.