Edinburgh College Banner
06 December 2023

Student-led shop opens in time for the festive season

The Christmas spirit was all around Sighthill Campus last week as a student-led retail shop officially opened for business ahead of the festive season, selling everything from handmade jewellery, to Christmas cards, and more.

Staff and students across the College are invited to come along and pick up some affordable Christmas goodies at The Wee Festive Shop, after it opened its doors at a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week (Wednesday 29 November).

Led by a group of the College’s Skills for Life and Work students, the shop sells a wide-range of sustainability-themed products and aims to offer a fun, inclusive and accessible shop for the wider college community, while also providing students with an opportunity to gain first-hand experience of starting and running a business.

Skills for Life and Work student Luke Baird is relieved to be finally opening the shop after weeks of hard work and effort behind the scenes by him and the rest of the team involved in launching the new enterprise on campus.

Luke said: “It’s been a big project and we’ve worked really hard to get to this point, so it’s quite relieving to get the shop open. It’s been a lot of effort to get from the initial planning stages to this point and it’s something that has given me a great sense of achievement.”

The students secured £300 of funding from Bridge 2 Business as part of the Social Innovators Challenge, after pitching their idea in front of a panel of judges, showing how they would use the money to repurpose the unused space to create the shop, whilst also buying Fairtrade stock to keep consistent with a sustainability theme.

Skills for Life and Work student Jamie Stenhouse explains: “The process was really good, we had to pitch our business plan to four judges which included some lecturers as well as representatives from Bridge 2 Business. The project has given us the opportunity to gain experience working in a shop and the different parts that go into that, and the shop has been really busy which has been great to see.”

The shop is located next to the cafeteria and will be open every day from 10am-2pm until the Christmas break.

Route into Education lecturer Abbie Meinart said: “I’m delighted to see our students open the shop at our Sighthill Campus – they have worked incredibly hard from the initial planning stages through to pitching their business plan, and now opening the shop, and we are so proud of them. It also comes at the perfect time for people to bag some affordable Christmas goodies, while also supporting a student-led enterprise.”