Entrepreneurial learning in Scotland

Dylan Macdonaldblog

Scotland’s next generation of business leaders will benefit from entrepreneurial learning as Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Fellowship programme is delivered in Scotland for the first time by Strathclyde Business School.

The six month leadership development programme is led by Entrepreneurial Scotland in partnership with Babson College in Boston, USA. Babson College has ranked No. 1 in entrepreneurship education consecutively for 24 years.

The programme is designed to immerse participants (known as Saltire Fellows) in entrepreneurial thinking and strategic leadership and provide them with the skills they will need to take their business or career to the next level.

Strathclyde University’s experienced entrepreneurship faculty have designed an immersive two week programme that builds on the modules delivered by Babson. It will be delivered in an engaging, interactive style involving: field trips, case studies and introductions to others involved in Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Providing the world class entrepreneurial learning in Scotland allows the Saltire Fellows to gain a deeper understanding of Scotland’s context, Scotland’s potential and of course, Scotland’s vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Eleanor Shaw, Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Vice Dean (External Engagement and Entrepreneurship) at Strathclyde Business School, said:

“This is the first time this world class entrepreneurial learning will be delivered in Scotland. We are absolutely delighted that Strathclyde is partnering with Babson and Entrepreneurial Scotland to deliver this, supporting the ambition of making Scotland the most entrepreneurial society in the world.”

The Saltire Fellows have already spent nine weeks in Boston and Silicon Valley learning from some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and acquiring the skills they need to become entrepreneurial leaders. Upon returning to Scotland they embarked on unique individual projects within their own organisations or a sponsor organisation. Following the two weeks of residential training to complete the final module at Strathclyde Business School, Fellows will go back to their projects before graduating from the programme at the end of February.

Some of Scotland’s most progressive businesses and individuals are participating in the current programme from key sectors including Law, Finance, Food & Drink, Social Enterprise, Tech and Life Sciences.

This year’s cohort has more female than male participants; two co-founders from the same business; a married couple and two participants who have returned to Scotland specifically to take part in this year’s programme. Diamond Lee has over 20 years’ experience as a Fund Manager gained in England and Hong Kong and Kate McKay who has been working as a lawyer in London.

They are joined by seven entrepreneurs who are focussing on acquiring the knowledge and skills they need to scale up their businesses including Natalie Magee, a young entrepreneur who is Managing Director of a successful marketing collateral business; Kirsty Thomson, CEO of The Circle and Founder of “Along Came Kirsty”, who has 20 years’ experience in the voluntary sector and Nick Livingston, who runs the “7 Saints” venue in Prestwick, whose Fellowship is being backed by the Diageo Learning for Life initiative.

The award-winning Diageo Learning for Life programme funded a place for a candidate from within the licensed trade in Scotland. In addition, leading organisations: LINC Scotland; Cultural Enterprise Office; and Social Investment Scotland are also backing individuals on the programme.

Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Chief Executive, Sandy Kennedy, said:

“Delivering world-class entrepreneurial education from right here in Scotland is integral to supporting Scotland becoming the most entrepreneurial society in the world and we are proud to have been able to make that happen in partnership with Strathclyde Business School and Babson.

“The Saltire Fellowship is unique as it is not solely about developing entrepreneurs in fast growth firms; it is designed to develop Scotland’s future business leaders across all sectors whether it be corporate, family businesses, the public sector or the third sector.”

Eleanor Shaw, Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Vice Dean (External Engagement and Entrepreneurship) at Strathclyde Business School, added:

“As a small nation, collaborations like this one between Strathclyde and Entrepreneurial Scotland are, while straightforward to arrange, critical to creating a vibrant, Scotland-wide entrepreneurial ecosystem supportive of entrepreneurs in all their guises including business founders, organisational leaders, social entrepreneurs, lawyers, teachers and financiers.

“We are excited about our involvement and our ongoing commitment to supporting Scotland’s entrepreneurial organisations on their growth journeys; helping them meet their ambitions through innovation, internationalisation and, most importantly, talented individuals.”