Entrepreneurial Scotland, appoints James Stuart as Managing Director

Entrepreneurial Scotland, Scotland’s leading entrepreneurial network, has appointed James Stuart as Managing Director. The newly created role will see James lead the Entrepreneurial Scotland operational team that meets the needs of the organisation’s network of 1,500+ members and alumni from across Scotland.


MD Entrescot_14.JPG

James Stuart is a senior businessman with 20 years of leadership experience. Since leaving his full time role in the British army in 2012, James has held a number of key roles in a range of organisations including: the Scottish Equestrian Association, Royal Yachting Association Scotland and most recently as Managing Director of Edinburgh Pharmaceutical Processes Ltd. James has built up a strong reputation across the industry for his thought leadership and innovative approach to developing and implementing new strategies.

Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive at Entrepreneurial Scotland, said:
“Hiring James is great news for Entrepreneurial Scotland and for our aim of establishing Scotland as the most entrepreneurial society in the world. James brings with him a wealth of experience and expertise from a range of sectors and will be a fantastic asset to the organisation.”

Commenting on his appointment, James Stuart, said:
“I relish the opportunity of joining Entrepreneurial Scotland in this new role. I’m passionate about Scotland and I can draw on my previous experience to develop our established networks and programmes. I can’t wait to get started.”

Calling all members – Would you like to Join the Exchange Advisory Board?

Imagine building the most vibrant and connected network of Leaders in the world……..now that we are in our 21st year of The Exchange, we are looking for two or three new Directors to help shape our direction and growth.

Directors meet quarterly across Scotland and represent a diverse range of sectors, locations and business size.

All Directors play an active role in shaping the future of the Exchange. As a Director, you are the eyes and ears of the membership on the ground, actively referring new members to the Exchange, helping plan and deliver local events and understanding the needs of members in your industry or location.

I hope you are interested in joining us and helping with the future vision for this incredible network. Please complete the application found on the link below or contact Leanne Sherry, Director of the Exchange at leanne.sherry@entrepreneurialscotland.com with any questions.

Advisory Board Application Form: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/Exchangeadvisoryboard

We are particularly interested in your areas of expertise, reason for joining the board, where your based and operate and your vision for the direction of the Exchange.

I look forward to hearing from you and would be grateful if you could complete your application before 5pm on Friday 20th May 2016.


Colette Grant

Grant Property
Chair, The Exchange Advisory Board at Entrepreneurial Scotland

BGF teams up with Entrepreneurial Scotland to fuel economic growth

Scotland’s entrepreneurs are set to benefit from a major new partnership between
BGF, the UK’s most active provider of growth capital, and Entrepreneurial Scotland,
the country’s leading organisation for entrepreneurial leaders.

BGF and Entrepreneurial Scotland

BGF has become a corporate partner for Entrepreneurial Scotland (ES), which was
created in 2014 through the merger of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and the Saltire

Entrepreneurial Scotland’s networks include more than 1000 of Scotland’s current
and future entrepreneurial leaders who collectively employ 150,000 people and
generate revenues of around £17 billion. ES Leaders exchange network is ambitious
to help even more businesses in Scotland to scale up and grow.

BGF – which was setup in 2011 by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal
Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered – initially invests between £2m and £10m
into a business in return for a minority equity stake, and can provide additional
funding to support continued growth.

It backs businesses that are privately-owned or quoted on the Alternative Investment
Market (Aim) and typically have revenues of between £5m and £100m. As well as
providing cash to fuel growth, BGF provides its portfolio companies with access to its
Talent Network of experienced chairs, non-executive directors and other specialists
who can help to grow businesses.

Patrick Graham, BGF Investor, said:

“Becoming a corporate partner of Entrepreneurial Scotland is an important milestone
for BGF. Since we were founded in 2011, we’ve invested more than £100m in 16
companies in Scotland, which demonstrates our commitment to the nation’s

“Many of the entrepreneurs who have received financial backing from us are already
members of Entrepreneurial Scotland and we know that they benefit greatly from its
inspirational development programmes and access to a global network of leaders.

“The work that Entrepreneurial Scotland does in sharing members’ experiences
chimes well with our Talent Network, through which experienced directors inject their
expertise into our portfolio companies.”

Sandy Kennedy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Scotland, added:

“Bringing together the UK’s leading growth finance provider with our members, who
are entrepreneurs and those who are leading businesses, is an important step
towards achieving our ambition of Scotland becoming the most entrepreneurial
society in the world.

“Our corporate partners are limited to key organisations with a significant presence in
the Scottish business community, a track record of backing entrepreneurial leaders
and encouraging business growth, and who can offer distinct value to our members.

“BGF bring expertise, experience and resources to help to fulfil our vision by inspiring
and developing Scotland’s entrepreneurial leaders.”

BGF joins the ES group of corporate partners, that includes: accountancy firms EY
and Johnston Carmichael; law firms Pinsent Masons and Turcan Connell; economic
development agency Scottish Enterprise and the leading investment bank UBS.

Entrepreneurial Scotland’s corporate partners provide its network with access to
expertise, experience and resources to help them grow and scale their businesses.

Entrepreneurialism is brewing in Scotland Entrepreneurial Scotland drafts in brewer

Entrepreneurial Scotland  raised a glass of beer in honour of its latest signing, James Watt, Captain and co-founder of independent craft brewery, BrewDog, who joined the organisations’ fast growing and influential Leaders’ Exchange network.

FREE PICTURES :  Entrepreneurial Scotland drafts in brewer.
Chris Van der Kuyl, Chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland and James Watt, Co-Founder of Brewdog.

Watt joins more than 1,000 of the country’s most entrepreneurial business leaders and future leaders who are collectively supporting Entrepreneurial Scotland’s vision to make the country the most entrepreneurial society in the world.

At the entrepreneurial event, James Watt explained to Entrepreneurial Scotland Chairman, Chris van der Kuyl, how BrewDog is tearing up convention, disrupting the industry and turning traditional business models upside down.

Hosted at the newly opened Technology & Innovation Centre, at the University of Strathclyde, the new home of Entrepreneurial Scotland, Watt engaged with an audience of 200 of Scotland’s leaders and entrepreneurs.

Leaders Exchange (formerly Entrepreneurial Exchange) is a community of individuals who are leading organisations; a close-knit network of likeminded people who openly share experiences, ideas and techniques for growth.

Commenting on his latest signing, Chris van der Kuyl, said:

“James is seen by many as one of Scotland’s most disruptive entrepreneurial leaders and his approach and drive is inspirational. As a member of Entrepreneurial Scotland he will be playing his part in helping our members to grow their businesses and transform the organisations they work in.

“We know that helping those individuals who have an entrepreneurial mindset to form close networks, share experiences and learn from each other is key to their success. With over 1000 members at every stage of the in their careers, Entrepreneurial Scotland is playing an increasingly important role in helping Scotland to compete globally.

“But we are ambitious to do even more and I want more people to take advantage of the opportunities we can offer to our members. I guarantee it will be the best investment they make for their business as we can provide unrivalled access to the experience, skills and knowledge of some of Scotland’s most successful global leaders.”

James Watt, Captain and co-founder of BrewDog, said:

“For the past 9 years, we’ve been recruiting some of the most progressive people in Scotland to join our ramshackle pirate ship of a craft brewery, and every single one of them boasts entrepreneurial spirit in some incarnation. Being forward-thinking and challenging traditional business models is in our DNA, and will live and breathe through everything we do, via everyone in our crew. But if we rest on our laurels for even a second, if we think like we’re taught to think and do as countless have done before us, we’ll never change perceptions, and we’ll never start revolutions.”

Entrepreneurial Scotland was formed by the coming together of the Saltire Foundation and Entrepreneurial Exchange to create an organisation with the capacity and connections to help make Scotland the most entrepreneurial society in the world.

Unicef holds Innovation Conference in Scotland

Scottish entrepreneurs and technology experts join together with Unicef to discuss how they can help the world’s most marginalised children.

Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, with support from Entrepreneurial Scotland and Informatic Ventures, today hosted ‘Innovation for Every Child: Scotland Reimagines the Future’ at the Informatics Ventures in Edinburgh.

Sharad Sapra, Global Director of UNICEF Innovation and Chris van der Kuyl, Chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland and Chair of Informatics Ventures Advisory Board, led a discussion around how the Scottish technology sector can play a leading role in developing innovative solutions to help children around the world.

Speaking about the potential the Scottish technology and business sector has to support Unicef’s work, Sharad Sapra said “Unicef must continue to be at the forefront of innovation if we are to continue pushing the boundaries of our work protecting children around the world. Innovations using mobile technology to register births, sharing real-time data to improve education and health, and giving young people a way to connect with their governments are already changing the way we work but there is much more to do.”

“We need more innovations urgently and hopefully this event today will facilitate our aims in building relationships with the internationally recognised Scottish technology sector to help innovate for impact in our work for children around the world.”

Chris van der Kuyl, Chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland and Chair of Informatics Ventures Advisory Board, said “Understanding technology, being innovative and having an entrepreneurial mindset are crucial assets for young people to help them succeed wherever they are in the world. Entrepreneurial Scotland is working towards making Scotland the most entrepreneurial society in the world and one way of progressing this is to share the amazing knowledge and expertise we have globally.

“The opportunity to work with Unicef on such an important agenda with leaders and technology experts from Scotland has the potential to improve the lives of children all over the world and empower young people to engage more with key issues such as education and health and over time strengthen their economies and societies.”

UNICEF Innovation works to develop, identify and scale up innovative ideas that improve children’s lives around the world. By bringing together entrepreneurs, experts and corporate leaders from the growing technology, business and innovation sectors in Scotland, Unicef hopes to start conversations that can spark collaborations and future solutions to keep the world’s most vulnerable children safe.

Quick… before they’re gone!

We are delighted to announce that tickets for the Saltire Foundation annual celebratory dinner go on sale today. The philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland, the Saltire Foundation seeks to find, fuel and spark the next generation of Scottish business leaders.

The Saltire Foundation currently have 140 Scholars participating in world class internships in 5 continents with over 50 host companies. Furthermore, they will be sending a sixth Fellows cohort to Babson College, Boston in September.

Not only do these experiences have the potential to be life changing, but they have the potential to establish the next generation of future leaders.

This year’s Aluminate will be held on Thursday the 29th of October at the iconic Balmoral Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh.

Aluminate is a popular event attended by a range of business leaders as well as Saltire Foundation Alumni. A black tie evening with a three course dinner and auction, it’s a great excuse to dress up and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit. Throughout the evening we will recognise the community by showing thanks to supporters and highlighting the talent and promise of Alumni.

Entrepreneurial Scotland has a strong commitment to developing entrepreneurial culture and the Saltire Foundation offers the building blocks to young people from a variety of backgrounds.

To secure your place, visit the Eventbrite page: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/aluminate-2015-tickets-18131069517

Or, if you wish to enquire about table and VIP booking please contact Mairi Dillon, mairi.dillon@entrepreneurialscotland.com<a

ISSOS Signs Scottish Business Pledge

Jen Munro of ISSOS talks about signing up to the Scottish Business Pledge

The Scottish Business pledge is an initiative by the Scottish Government to encourage businesses to voluntarily commit to uphold some of the best in modern business practices, and to embrace the principles of fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation. ISSOS is one of 50 businesses in Scotland to have signed the pledge and last week deputy First Minister, John Swinney MSP came to visit ISSOS, St Andrews to meet students and staff and thank them for signing the pledge. John Swinney MSP said that ISSOS was a great example of a Scottish business with international ambitions.
ISSOS, International Summer Schools, has been dedicated to seeing businesses run in a more fair and innovative way since its inception in 2006. ISSOS was excited to learn of the business pledge and the government’s commitment to encouraging businesses to run in a fairer, more just way. ISSOS is associated with a number of professional organisations, namely Entrepreneurial Scotland and Power of Youth, and has been active in promoting the Scottish Business Pledge to the other businesses associated with these groups.

The pledge has nine main areas that businesses must prove they are engaging in, from paying the Living Wage to investing in youth. Everything that the business pledge stands for, ISSOS is committed to making sure is a reality not just within ISSOS, but in businesses across the country. The time has come for businesses in Scotland to treat their staff with respect and value the people that help to make the businesses in the UK great businesses with an international outlook. Businesses have a responsibility to the people they work with to provide a work environment that allows people to grow and thrive.

People have a choice when it comes to choosing who to work for and where to work; they can choose to work for a company that will invest in them, help them grow and live out its values, therefore companies can no longer afford to be run on fear or purely for profit – they need to engage in the why of the business, the purpose and values that lead the business.

Scotland is an incredible place to run a business, there is a huge amount of support and a fantastic business community willing to help each other and see each other succeed. This coupled with the dedication of the Scottish Government to develop and ask businesses to commit to the business pledge puts Scotland at the forefront of modern business practice and ISSOS is excited to be part of a brilliant business community that exists and continues to grow in Scotland.

ISSOS is keen to encourage others to sign the business pledge to ensure that there exists within Scotland a benchmark of values and business practice that businesses work to maintain and ensure exists in every business in the UK.