Scottish Enterprise Award

Win an internship like no other! Can you come up with innovative ideas? Can you present them on a global stage?

Scottish Enterprise, working with Common Purpose, is launching the Scottish Enterprise Award to find the most innovative idea for tackling a Challenge crucial to Scotland’s economy.

Submit the best idea and you will win a paid internship with Scottish Enterprise in London and Barcelona. In London you will learn how the team ‘sells’ Scotland globally, before you travel to Barcelona to represent Scotland and share your idea at the World Mobile Congress.

The Challenge

Mobile technology has become fundamental to the everyday lives of nearly five billion people. The driving force behind so many emerging innovations, it is revolutionary, dynamic, personal and ever-adapting. So the Challenge is:

How can mobile (and associated) technologies help Scottish businesses – large and small – develop international trade connections?

For more information about the Challenge, check out these articles:

More information about the World Mobile Congress conference:

Check out Scotland's Trade and Investment Strategy 2016-2021:

A useful article from the Brookings Institute, a nonprofit public policy organization based in the USA, on Global digital trade:

“Measuring the future of mobile” - GSMA’s Mobile Economy series provides insights on the state of the mobile industry worldwide:

From global management consulting firm McKinsey, a report on Digital Globalisation:

Also from McKinsey, an article about the Global consumers of the future:

What will you win?

The winner will get the opportunity to:

  • represent Scotland alongside Scottish Development International (SDI) colleagues through attendance at the World Mobile Congress, a major, international technology-focused trade and investment event in Barcelona in February 2018*
  • spend three days* based at Scotland House in London with SDI’s London-based team where you will (a) learn about how the team positions and ‘sells’ Scotland to attract global inward investment, particularly in Technology sectors, (b) learn about the drivers for foreign direct investment and the considerations impacting business decisions about where to locate operations within a globally competitive environment (c) shadow SDI colleagues in meetings with prospective inward investors and witness first-hand how an investment promotion agency operates in practice
  • author a short report on your findings, including any observations/recommendations.

The prize includes a salary covering an eight day period, as well as return travel from Scotland to and from and accommodation and subsistence in London and Barcelona. Please see below for full details and terms and conditions.

*London dates: Thursday 22–Friday 23 February, Wednesday 28 February

*Barcelona dates: Monday 26–Tuesday 27 February

*Travel dates: Wednesday 21 and Sunday 25 February

How to apply

You will need to prepare a written summary of your idea for tackling the Challenge, along with a short explanatory video (two minutes max) recorded on a mobile device.

Download the application form here. 

Your idea should consider the “7 Rs”:

  • Relevance: is it relevant to stakeholders?
  • Revolutionary: is the idea a Game Changer?
  • Rapid: Can it be done fast?
  • Rough: Can it be done small scale and locally?
  • Right: is it focusing on the right things?
  • Relationally: can it make optimum use of resources?
  • Replicable: Does it have potential for scale up?

Please send your completed application to 

Applications are now closed 

Who can apply?

The Award is open to anyone over 18 currently in higher education in Scotland. It is also open to alumni of Common Purpose programmes run for or with Scottish Universities.

Please note: Applications are open to individuals only.  

Terms and Conditions

More information

For more information about the Innovation process and some inspiration for generating your idea, check out these links:

How do you generate new ideas? Some advice here from Innovation foundation Nesta, including some helpful mapping grids:

What’s the secret to coming up with new ideas? This article from Entrepreneur magazine might help:

To demonstrate their process for innovation, Global Design company IDEO created a new shopping cart concept – it’s a few years old now, but check out this great video:

From Harvard Business Review, “How do Innovators think?”:  

Also from Harvard Business Review, “The innovator’s DNA”:  

Forbes tells you six great things Innovators do differently:

Also from Forbes, the ten traits of great innovators:

McKinsey again - The eight essentials of innovation:

Finally, some thoughts and tips for everyday creativity from Psychology Today: 

Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise provide tailored support and access to valuable, global industry networks, and work to inspire and encourage our ambitious business community to think differently and take the steps necessary for growth – both at home and abroad. Their support is tailored for individual companies or sectors. They offer connections to expertise, help to access new markets, opportunities for investment and provide funding for specific initiatives. Scottish Enterprise also help companies develop new products and services, and new ways of working to help them grow.

Common Purpose 

Common Purpose is a not-for-profit leadership development organization that specializes in cross-boundary leadership. Founded in 1989, we run programmes in over 70 cities worldwide, and have more than 65,000 Alumni. Our programmes develop leaders who can cross boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems both in organizations and in cities.