Wednesday, July 6, 2022
BusinessCommunity showcase event celebrates top entrepreneurs’ achievements

Community showcase event celebrates top entrepreneurs’ achievements

THE FIRST ever Unlocking Ambition community showcase has been held in Glasgow to celebrate entrepreneurial achievements.

The event celebrates alumni of one of Scotland’s business growth and leadership programmes, delivered by Scottish Enterprise.

The event was attended by 75 entrepreneurs, Scottish Enterprise chief executive Adrian Gillespie, members of the GlobalScot network and representatives from a host of partner organisations.

Entrepreneur graduates of the Unlocking Ambition program at the Unlocking Ambition showcase
Entrepreneur graduates of the Unlocking Ambition program at the Unlocking Ambition showcase.

It also marked the graduation of the third cohort after eight months of intensive entrepreneurial mentoring and education, who now join the wider alumni community.

Adrian Gillespie said: “It’s not often you get the opportunity to bring together so much entrepreneurial talent under one roof, so this event is really special.

“Everyone is pulling in the same direction – to make Scotland a world-class entrepreneurial nation.

“The sense of community among our Unlocking Ambition alumni is fantastic to see.

“They have the passion, energy and drive to scale and grow their companies in ways that will deliver real economic impact for Scotland’s people and communities, and they’re supporting one another along the way.

“That invaluable peer-to-peer support is one of the things that makes this programme so unique.”

Business Minister Ivan McKee said: “We are very proud of Scotland’s entrepreneurial spirit and potential, as well as the exciting, ambitious entrepreneurs of Scotland, which is why our new economic strategy commits to making Scotland a world-class entrepreneurial nation.

“The Unlocking Ambition programme has already seen young exciting, innovative business leaders drive and expand their companies and the programme has now delivered a further cohort with the potential to create investment and jobs in Scotland.

“I would like to congratulate all those who have graduated and send them my best wishes for the future, I look forward to hearing about their achievements to come.”

The cohort of graduates consist of 36 entrepreneurs from 30 companies.

As announced last month, they have forecast £24.4m of investment and the safeguarding and creation of 552 jobs over the next three years.

They include Kathrina Skinner, founder of Waire Health in Edinburgh which has developed wearable patient vital signs monitors including a new Covid-specific product.

Also among the cohort graduates, Darren Nicol of Aberdeenshire, whose online talent platform Nudge matches oil and gas professionals to new jobs in the renewables sector.

Another name was Sonja Mitchel, founder of Jump Ship Brewing in Edinburgh, which won ‘best non-alcoholic beer’ at the World Beer Awards and has begun exporting to overseas markets.

Estimates suggest that since the programme launched in 2018 Unlocking Ambition companies have collectively generated £42m of new direct investment.

Now a thriving community of entrepreneurs who offer guidance and expertise to each other, the graduate cohort has grown to 140 individuals representing 106 companies.

Notable success stories include Talking Medicines, which is expanding into the US and recently completed another £1.5m funding round with Scottish Enterprise among co-investors.

And Solariskit which recently won the top net-zero award from Scottish EDGE and has moved into Dundee’s Michelin innovation parc.

The Unlocking Ambition programme is supported by partners including the Scottish Government, Entrepreneurial Scotland, FutureX Elevator, GlobalScot, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and south of Scotland Enterprise.

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