Duffy launches Entrepreneurial Spark in Glasgow with office space supplied by Haughey, who gives over an entire floor of his City Refrigeration headquarters in the Gorbals, for the project. Duffy:
The whole ethos of the Entrepreneurial Spark is helping start-ups to get to their first and second birthday. We have wrapped around a whole lot of business professionals – we call them ambassadors – legals, accountants, PR firms. The whole idea was that these people would come on board, give free stuff, support Entrepreneurial Spark and then support the start-up chicklets, as we call them, that want to go through our hatchery…A fair number of young companies die very early unfortunately and what we are trying to do here is take away barriers such as cost. Some of these young businesses pay for expensive business plans and for start-up advice and it’s not really what they need…When someone walks in the door, you can tell if they are the real deal, or you can tell if someone has the potential to be that. They will be sparky, they will have an idea, they are willing to collaborate – that’s a big one in Scotland.
A fair number of young companies die very early unfortunately and what we are trying to do here is take away barriers such as cost. Over the years we are probably going to put £1m into this project, but if we get one, two or three decent companies out of here that create 20, 30 or 40 jobs, then it will be money well spent.