Student entrepreneurs welcome Deputy First Minister to Sighthill store

A group of Edinburgh College entrepreneurs welcomed the deputy first minister of Scotland, giving him an insight into their first foray into the world of retail business.

The cabinet secretary for education and skills, John Swinney MSP, today visited the Bizarre Bazaar shop started by a group of Retail Management students at the College’s Sighthill Campus.

The students from the College’s HND Retail Management, NC Retail, School-College Partnership and Retail Assistant courses have worked together to create the new shop space in a bid to give themselves first-hand experience of setting up and running a small business.

The team was split into various areas including purchasing, marketing, finance, operations and security with each department playing a pivotal role in the setup of the new shop.

Products on sale include: framed artwork by College students, scented candles, luxury gift sets, cards and gift wrap, calendars and pick ‘n mix.

The team will manage a group of volunteers from the College’s Route 2 programme which provides free advice and support to those seeking employment – these volunteers staff Bizarre-Bazaar during opening hours. References will be provided for the volunteers to help them when looking for future work.

Mr Swinney was welcomed to the College by head of Tourism, Hospitality and Business Sarah-Jane Linton before being given a presentation by the students involved as well as tour of Bizarre-Bazaar.

Deputy first minister John Swinney said: “I am delighted to be here to see the results of the hard work carried out by Retail Management students.

“The Scottish Government wants every young person to have the best opportunities to flourish, including chances to develop their skills to ensure they progress in the world of work.

“The learning that comes from running a small business will no doubt be invaluable to these students going forwards and will benefit them in their careers to come.”

Student managing director of Bizarre-Bazaar Dean Clark said: “It’s been a pleasure to welcome the Deputy First Minister to our shop at Sighthill. We’re thrilled Mr Swinney was able to come along and see how going through the process of creating our own business has benefited us as students.

“We’ve all really loved working as part of a team on this exciting real-life project, it has given us brilliant work experience which we can use in our future careers but also additional determination to have successful careers in retail after college.”