Scott Haddow, a NC Sound Production student at Ayrshire College is one of the first cohort of students to be awarded a £5,000 grant from the Enterprising Students Fund supported by the Ayrshire College Foundation.
Here is his story.
Tell us about your business Eleven:Eleven Events
I offer a range of entertainment to bars, clubs, hotels and host private events across Ayrshire and Glasgow. Entertainment ranges from Comedy nights, Live Music evenings to Magic Shows and our very exciting new Variety Show, which has already been receiving some attention.
Besides offering entertainment for bars, club and hotels, I want to give back to local charities by running events to help raise awareness of mental health, invisible illnesses, and kids with autism in Scotland. My nephew has autism and I want to be able to help in any way I can to bring people together for great causes and raise money.
The acts I have been working with recently include: Laura B (Singer/Songwriter) from Glasgow who has recently featured on BBC One, Nicholas McDonald (Singer) Glasgow - X-Factor runner up, Steven Blair (Magician), Joe McTernan (Comedian/Actor), and Ben Davidson (Singer) from Kilwinning.
What drives you?
In the creative industry you have to make your own opportunities! I love the energy you get from an audience. I am passionate about music and helping others, so it made sense to me to create a business that uses my creative and enterprise skills to do something I love doing. When I left school I was a labourer and then trained as a fencer, but I was miserable working for others. Working for myself - I just love it. It’s a pleasure to do my work, in fact I don’t even see it as work, so I don’t mind working long hours because it’s what I want to do with my life.
What have you learned so far about being self-employed?
I love learning and to be successful you need to keep on learning and improving to be the best you can be. I have read lots of self-improvement books and the one that inspired me the most is, “The Secret” by Rhonda Burn. I have learned how to channel positivity – this was a real turning point for me.
For example, I organised an event and it did not go as planned. However I carried on and reflected on it afterwards, and learned from that experience. When you think it’s all going wrong, you still have to believe you can do it. You have got to think on your feet, be flexible and willing to change how you do things. I have also learned that networking is very important, and can help you find the contacts and information you need to be successful. I have learned that it’s fine have your head in the clouds, but it’s important to have your feet on the ground too, and it will take time to build up credibility as an events organiser.
How has the Enterprising Student Fund helped you start your business?
My mentor Lynn Kelly believed in me and helped me realise my potential, and that has had the biggest impact of all. She helped me to understand the finance and marketing side of my business, and showed me how to write a business plan. I have also enjoyed going along to various enterprise events and workshops Bridge2Business has organised, these have been inspiring.
It’s also lifted my aspirations – if I didn’t come to college, I wouldn’t be doing this now. It really has turned my life around, and got me to a better place.
The grant is fantastic and I will be buying equipment such as a PA system, microphones, lighting, projector, cameras, smoke machine and even a red carpet! This means that whatever venue I hire for my events, I know the equipment will be reliable and will enhance the show. I’d like to thank the trustees from the Ayrshire College Foundation for this fantastic opportunity.
The skills I am learning on my sound production course are great for helping me create the perfect sound for my events. I have learned how to use a mixing table to optimise the sound. I will be continuing on to the HNC Sound Production course next year, as well as running my business. It’s just three days a week, so plenty time to fit everything in.
If you have been inspired by Scott, and are interested in starting your own business, read more here about the Enterprising Students Fund. http://www1.ayrshire.ac.uk/enterprising-student/