This is the first year Leeds Met has offered the Enterprise Scholarship and it will be launching the scheme in February. There will be three candidates chosen after a rigorous selection process including a full business plan, a video of themselves describing their business idea and a pitch to a selected panel. thebigword is one of the country’s fastest growing businesses. The company, which has its HQ in Leeds, is a world top-20 language service provider and has an ever-expanding global network of more than 8,000 linguists, operating in 234 languages across 77 countries. Its linguists interpret 1.5 million minutes of speech every month. Larry Gould, CEO of thebigword, is a serial entrepreneur, having built up two multi-million pound businesses from a standing start. Last year he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration from Leeds Metropolitan University.

Larry Gould says: “We hear far too much about problems in the economy, but true entrepreneurs are never discouraged – they spot opportunities and grasp them. Entrepreneurial spirit is not the whole story though; new businesses need funding and I’m delighted that thebigword is able to help graduates embarking on their own business venture.”

The three chosen candidates will not only receive the funding for their business venture, but will also benefit from a year’s worth of training, mentoring and business support through Leeds Met’s business incubator and business start-up facilities. These facilities increase a new business’ chances of still trading after year one from 50-95%. Each budding entrepreneur will be monitored and supported throughout the year and they will be invited to an annual event to meet donors and tell the donors how the scholarship has made a difference. The scholars will also provide an end-of-year report to summarise their progress.

Larry Gould says: “thebigword is very pleased to be one of the first to donate to Leeds Metropolitan’s new Enterprise Scholarship and wishes the selected scholars the best of luck in their business ventures.”