Aberdeen graduate scoops prize for Social Enterprise

A University of Aberdeen graduate has scooped a top prize at Scotland's premier company creation competition.

Erika Grant, who graduated from the University with an LLB degree and postgraduate Diploma in Professional Legal Practice (Dip.LP), was awarded first place in the Social Enterprise category of the Converge Challenge.

In collaboration with Firstport, the Social Enterprise category focused on ideas that will have a positive impact on social and environmental issues. Erika won the award for her initiative Project Turnkey.

Erika said: “I am absolutely delighted that the judges selected Project TurnKey as their winner in the Social Enterprise category.

“'Project TurnKey aims to empower people who wish to exit prostitution with the information, confidence and skills to change their lives.

“My team of law students and I do this through an 'empowerment programme' targeting the main barriers that they face. These are; a lack of legal knowledge, limited (if any) previous work experience, and low self-esteem. Through our network of partners we are also able to secure specialist support, training, work experience, or employment for individuals upon their completion of our course. We recently completed a 10 week pilot in HMP & YOI Grampian working with 20 female prisoners. Winning the award now gives us the exciting opportunity to trial our programme in other cities in Scotland."

Converge Challenge is Scotland’s leading company creation competition and start up development programme for students, graduates and staff from the country’s universities.

The annual awards hosted over 220 guests including the panel of expert judges, made up of industry experts, leading entrepreneurs and investors from across the business community.