DCSIMG

People: Setting a model example in Scotland’s schools

  • by ERIKKA ASKELAND AND DOMINIC JEFF
 

FASHION model Amanda Hendrick swapped the catwalks of Paris and Milan for her old stomping ground in the west of Scotland last week as she took time out from her hectic international schedule to launch a new youth enterprise campaign.

The “Bad Idea: Youth Enterprise Challenge” is offering secondary school pupils in Glasgow and South Lanarkshire up to £3,000 cash and intensive mentoring from established entrepreneurs to turn their fledgling business ideas into reality. The unusual name is connected to the campaign’s attempt to challenge stereotypes of what entrepreneurs are like.

Airdrie-born Amanda, who has graced the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, hinted that it was a cause close to her heart.

“When I was at school I never felt my creativity was given a real outlet to develop,” she says. “Initiatives like this are exactly what young people with great ideas, but who maybe don’t have the skills to develop them, need to help them succeed. There is still too much of a fear of failure culture, when in reality there’s really no such thing as a bad idea.”

Caledonia dreaming

Scottish folk icon Dougie MacLean has teamed up with rising Dundee band AMWWF to record a new version of the popular classic Caledonia following their success with the song in soundtracking a beer advert.

AMWWF – or to give them their full title, Anderson, McGinty, Webster, Ward and Fisher – proved a hit with viewers when a Caledonia Best advert featuring their music was screened in December. It now seems that one of their new fans was MacLean himself, so Caledonia arranged for the musicians to get together for a session which spawned a new recording.

It is not the first time AMWWF have benefited from the beer company’s activities. They were one of 16 acts to land a slot on at the T in the Park festival last year as part of stablemate Tennent’s “T Break” initiative for unsigned talent.

Snow excuse for sales

WHATEVER is going on at the Scottish Retail Consortium? Last week, the lobby group’s director, Fiona Moriarty, and David McCorquodale, head of retail for KPMG, were nearly breathless with excitement over January’s sales figures.

The SRC hailed the 2.1 per cent increase in January sales as “good news for Scottish retailers” (Moriarty) and a “welcome and positive start” to 2013 (McCorquodale). This was despite their figures showing that the rise was due to an increase in food sales of 5.2 per cent – most of which was due to inflation, which most people don’t like, with the possible exception of the supermarkets (and yes, they pay their subs to the SRC. Is there any reason why supermarkets might be keen for some good news?).

But it’s back to playing the traditional dirge today, as figures show that shopper numbers in Scotland were down by 4.6 in the same month.

Moriarty blames the snow. But Michael Saunders, an economist at Citi, isn’t having it. He said: “Some may be tempted to blame the weakness in sales on the snow during January. We would not lean on that excuse. It often snows in January, and the data are seasonally adjusted to allow for that.”

 

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