YES Through A LENS

  • Our Admin Assistant Gemma recently finished up her time at YES, but has shared her own experience as part of the LENs programme

One thing YES always strives to deliver is opportunity. Whether that means an opportunity for young people or even for staff.

Community Jobs Scotland is one of these ways we're able to offer opportunity to young people. Our latest CJS member of staff was Gemma Fleming who joined us as a fixed-term Admin Assistant.

Another thing YES aims to do is to support the team to achieve what they'd like to develop in. A great example of this came recently when YES took part in the LENS programme - an intrapreneurship opportunity for staff members to identify a problem within the organisation and create a solution.

Lens FinalistsLens FinalistsThe LENS

Gemma took on the role of Communications for the duration of the programme, becoming responsible for cascading information down through team members and answering any questions that cropped up - she took this in her stride and embraced it fully.

Before Gemma finished up with YES she shared her thoughts on the process, and we thought it would be a disservice not to pass them on!

I wanted to take this chance before leaving Young Enterprise Scotland to say a massive well done to everyone involved in The Lens Shared. The approach that everyone took towards the programme was incredible and we should all be proud of ourselves for taking steps in making YES more intrapreneurial with our ideas.

I was very pleased to be taking on the Communications role but I was a bit nervous at first because I didn't really know what to expect. However, I took everything that I knew already and I worked with what I had. On reflection I was so glad to have been given the opportunity to be involved with it all. The experience was really interesting, getting to see it all coming together, and then seeing the end result was an amazing feeling. I was so proud of everyone that took the leap, getting involved and becoming an Intrapreneur.

I was in constant communication with The Lens team to make sure that everyone at YES was informed of everything going on. I made sure everyone got their application form when they were confident enough to put one forward and sent them off when completed and helped them out in any way I could. I wasn't at any of the workshops, which would have been great to see, but I was glad everyone took on board the information they learned. Our finalists presented brilliant pitches at the Investment day with the enablers, judges, and wider support from YES team all there together for the Intrapreneurs.

I got the chance to speak with one of the judges, Michelle from our team to see what they thought about The Lens.

My initial thought was 'how do I fit this into my workload and do it justice?' But I had nothing to worry about as the Lens team made sure everyone was fully informed and at ease with their role. The YES team also helped to make sure everyone had the time to attend sessions, pay for travel and overnights.

The overwhelming feeling, I have from doing The Lens is pride and inspiration. I knew we had some really creative people working for YES but to see all their applications was incredible. Everyone really embraced their Intrapreneurial spirit and took our ideas box to the next level. One thing I was not prepared for was the decision making on investment day! This was by far the hardest part of this journey, but I hope we did all the Intrapreneurs justice! Would I do it again? - absolutely"

I felt that YES was given this great opportunity and everyone took part in the right way. It was amazing to have worked for a company like that. Going forward with the programme, I feel that there will be positivity about the next steps,and the YES team will take everything they have been given by both hands and create amazing things with it.

Michelle Lyden, YES Judge


Video Link:

The skills I developed from taking part in the programme were fantastic. I learned to be a lot more confident when communicating and I had to be a lot more responsible in making sure all staff were given the information they needed. I became more and more positive about The Lens Programme and could give some guidance and motivation to colleagues that they could take that step.

I wanted to use this blog to congratulate and praise our finalists on getting to the Investment Day. To Lynn, Ryan and Lucy an immense congratulation to you forgetting to the stage that you all did and a 'well done' on the amazing job that you all did with your pitches.

When it came to the big investment day the emotions were high for me and for the rest of the team. On the day I was feeling excited because I got to see the end result and to see everyone's projects come to life from the initial application. I can't imagine how everyone else was feeling, but when it got to the delivery stage, and everyone showed their presentations I was feeling so proud to see how far they had all come from Ryan being worried about it all, to Lucy being nervous and from Lynn taking it all in her stride, it was a real eye opening experience for me. I was lucky to have seen how they developed from the moment they put their applications in, to doing their pitches with confidence and clarity. It was a really proud moment for me.


I want to wish them all the best for the future with their projects, hopefully helping them building their confidence even more. I hope that you are all proud of yourselves for how far you have come and how far you are going to go, and I can't wait to hear all about the success it brings to Young Enterprise Scotland.

The Lens journey has just begun for YES. How we take Ryan and Lynn's project and fine-tune that and secure investment for what is a very strong project to work on. it is now about how we capture the initiative that Lucy's project offers Young Enterprise Scotland and how we convert that to a working model that can scale and grow into something massive. I managed to get a few last words from our winner and how she found the experience of The Lens.

When I attended the information session about the Lens I wasn't totally interested if i'm honest, and I hadn't really opened myself up to the concept of it.

I still felt the same at the first workshop, thinking that the whole process wasn't for me and that I couldn't possibly succeed when compared to so many other confident individuals with brilliant ideas. However I persevered, and I pushed through,refining and developing my idea to a point where it because something I was proud of - and wanted to share!

I'm still totally shocked that I was a winner, I genuinely didn't expect it when compared to the calibre of the other pitches.The Lens as a programme has been invaluable for me, not only has it identified and dealt with a key organisational gap - it has worked to really build my own confidence in belief that actually, I CAN create and develop a pitch to an audience and that I CAN get my point across effectively and professionally.

Lucy McOuat, Digital Content and Programme Executive

I think that pretty much says all there is to say. It has been a pleasure working with you on The Lens, so from your Comms Administrator - catch ye!

And our thoughts pretty much echo those of Gemma. The quality of the ideas from Columba 1400 and Highland Hospice were so high and all of the intrapreneurs created very worthy pitches.

The finalists were well-supported with team members coming to cheer them on and give a little moral support - not that they needed it!

With our CEO Geoff joining the heads from both other organisations, he gave his own thoughts on the success of the programme.

Gemma, it's been a pleasure working with you too. All your friends at YES wish you all the best and look forward to seeing what you do next!

  • Investor In People
  • Cyber Essentials
  • Big Lottery Fund
  • Voluntary Code of Practice for Social Enterprise in Scotland
  • Investors In Young People
  • Family Friendly Working Scotland
  • Disability Confident
  • Living Wage Employer
  • Good Fundraising
  • SCQF

About YES

Our Vision is for Scotland to be a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life - no matter where they start
their journey.

Our Mission is to inspire & equip all young people to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise.

In everything that we do, we will work with the following values: Integrity, Enthusiasm, Creativity & Collaboration.

Contact Us

Young Enterprise Scotland

Rouken Glen Centre
Rouken Glen Park
G46 7UG
United Kingdom

+44 (0)141 406 7722
0141 406 7722

Where to Find Us