The RSE Business Experience

The RSE Business Experience

The RSE Business Experience took place from the 15 to17 June 2011 in Stranraer Academy. Eleven teams took part, exploring the many resources in Dumfries and Galloway and using these as inspiration to create ideas for businesses that would enhance the region. The first two days comprised a mixture of workshops, guest speakers and group work, at the end of which students had developed business and marketing plans for their new ideas

After two days of preparation, they presented their business plans to a panel of judges, Edward Cunningham, FRSE, Vimal Khosla and Gillian Khosla. There were some excellent ideas put forward, and eventually the judges narrowed it down. Here is a summary of the winning team and runner up teams' ideas, along with the judges comments:

Winner – Lochside Hotel and Restaurant

A spacious restaurant and hotel, which provides a premium standard across the board in terms of accommodation, travel and food.The majority of suppliers used are local, for example the food in the restaurant will mainly be sourced from local producers to keep money within the local area. As well as providing this quality standard of accommodation and dining option, to add value, they will let customers know where they can purchase the local produce used in their hotel and restaurant.

 Key Considerations by the Judges were:

  1. The proposal exploited the natural advantage of a loch side location; it placed a practical emphasis on ways to maximise the use of local resources; and it created the opportunity to generate local employment.
  2. The business plan was backed by considerable market and promotional research of high quality.
  3. The proposal was underpinned with operational detail and credible costings.
  4. The presentation was of a high standard both in terms of its content and in terms of the consistently competent performance by the team..

 Runner Up – Port Water Sports

An outdoor activities centre based in the sea along the coast of Stranraer which includes water sports, such as jet skis, water trampolines, zip wires etc. It is designed for families as well as individuals and kids. The centre will reuse the space available following the withdrawal of the ferry line in the town.

 Key Considerations by the Judges were:

  1. A great idea which was strong on local development.
  2. Demand and comparable activities had been well researched.
  3. Presentation was most effective and the introduction of the video was imaginative and well put together.
  4. The costings provided a considerable amount of detail on the operation of the proposal but there was no reference to capital or leasing costs for the equipment.

The judges further commented "In order to distinguish between the winner and the runner up, because we judged them to be so close on the criteria given to the judges, we introduced an additional criterion which was the closeness they were to being credible to financial institutions for funding.  The application of this criterion resulted in Lochside Hotel and Restaurant gaining the advantage over Port Water Sports."



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