We work closely with a wide  range of external organisations who actively engage and support our programme of entrepreneurial of activities.  Together we promote entrepreneurship opportunities, competitions and funding opportunities which are aimed at helping our young entrepreneurs to develop their skills and grow their businesses.

Merchant Company of Edinburgh

QMU are delighted to have an exclusive  partnership with Edinburgh Merchant Company, a charitable organisation for business men and women which is dedicated to supporting the young and elderly through their trusts. Today they have over 540 members who are actively involved in their educational and charitable works

In 2018 they set up the Edinburgh Merchant Company Enterprise Fund whose aim is to encourage entrepreneurship and support business start-ups with education, encouragement and mentoring support from their members.

Over the last year the fund has supported 7 businesses including fodilicious, an innovative food company for people suffering from IBS; S'Wheat, a biodegradable water bottle; Health Design Collective, a social enterprise developing a range of health care products and Echo Park Studios, a drum tuition app. 

The fund opens twice a year and provides grants of between £500 - £5000 plus a mentor from their membership, to support  successful candidates.

Converge Challenge

Converge Challenge is Scotland's leading company  creation programme which is open to staff, students and recent graduates from Scottish Universities. Their aim is to help people to realise their entrepreneurial ambitions by offering generous cash prizes, mentoring and a programme of business support that turns fledgling ideas into sustainable businesses. There are 4 categories ;

  • KickStart is for early stage innovative ideas that have potential
  • Impact is for innovative new projects with a social or environmental impact 
  • Creative is for  innovative new business ideas within  Scotland's creative industries 
  • Converge is for new businesses that demonstrate high commercial potential. 

In recent years  we have had significant success reaching the final stages in all of the categories.  In 2018 we were delighted that Health Design Collective were runners up in the Impact Category. In 2019 S'Wheat and Sculpture Placement Group were finalists in the Impact and Creative strands

Santander Universities


Through funding from Santander Universities, members of our Business Innovation Zone (BIZ) can apply for grants to support and develop their businesses.  Applications open each semester and to do date, we have supported over 35 businesses with a range of grants.

COVID-19 Funding

Santander Universities have provided additional funding to support members of the BIZ who are experiencing challenges due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.  Applications for this funding will open on Monday 18 May and will close on Monday 1 June at 17.00. 

If you are already a member of the BIZ and would like to apply to the Santander COVID-19 Fund, please complete the application form here.  

If you are not a member of the BIZ but would like to apply, please complete the BIZ Application Form.

Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards

The Santander Universities Entrepreneurship Awards scheme is aimed at giving a financial boost to student and graduate businesses in their early stages from UK partner Universities.  In 2018 Lauren Leisk of Fodilicious was runner up in the national competition and in 2019 Martin Craig of Sculpture Placement Group and Eadaoin McCormack of Mums Empowered were both semi finalists. 

Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) 

SIE creates opportunities for students to be innovative. Their Fresh Ideas runs from October to January, and each month participants have the chance to win a cash prize of £500 to turn your idea into a business venture. Winners from each month go forward to an Explorathon day and pitch to judges at the finals in March 

Their Catalyst award helps to fast track young businesses towards commercialisation with cash prizes of up to £4000 available. 

We are proud that our students have had significant success in getting to the finals and winning Fresh ideas which has provided them with an excellent platform to go on and develop their businesses. In 2018 Lauren Leisk of Fodilicious won the competition and this was a great start to her entrepreneurial journey which has seen her go on to win several prestigious competitions including Scottish Edge and the Royal Society of Edinburgh 

Scottish Edge

Scottish Edge is aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs. There are 3 categories, ScotEdge, Wild Card Edge and Young Edge. If you have an innovative high growth potential business then you can win up to £100,00 in the main competition and up to £15,000 in each of the other 2 categories  Lauren Leisk of Fodlicilious was winner in Young Edge  and went on to secure £70,000 in the main category. Nikki Welch of Quenchable was overall winner in Wild Card and Jake Elliot Hook of S'Wheat has won Young edge. 

Business Support & Enquiries

Show Contacts

Business Support & Enquiries

Miriam Smith Business Development Manager
0131 474 0000
07872 128 688
  • News
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QMU student business in the running for £30,000 in Santander funding

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28 August 2020

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22 June 2020

QMU entrepreneurs make the Converge Challenge semi-finals

Three Queen Margaret University (QMU) entrepreneurs have made it through to the semi-finals of this read more

12 June 2020 More News

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