four men and one woman standing

Winner of Diageo Learning for Life Saltire Fellowship Announced

Graeme Thomsonblog

After a tough competitive process, Nick Livingstone who runs the 7 Saints venue in Prestwick, Ayrshire has been announced as the first Diageo Learning for Life Saltire Fellow.

Nick will now be joining the 2017-18 cohort of Saltire Fellows who will complete a rigorous programme of personal development designed to help accelerate their entrepreneurial skills.

The Saltire Fellowship programme, which is run by Entrepreneurial Scotland, is widely-regarded as the premier international learning opportunity for ambitious individuals. It is ideally-suited for candidates ready to take the next step in their career and to transform the business they work in.

Nick impressed the panel of judges with his understanding of the programme and how it would help him to grow his business and the people who work in it.

Peter Lederer, who chaired the judging panel said; “We all agreed that Nick was the ideal candidate. He impressed us with his passion for his business and his determination to use the Saltire Fellowship opportunity to grow the company into one that has a national presence. He’s exactly the sort of person we need to play a key role in the future of a sector that is integral to the success of Scotland’s economy.”

Mark Baird of Diageo commented; “We believe that this experience will not only inspire Nick to go on to bigger and better things, it is a signal of our faith in the sector to continue to innovate and to address the many challenges facing the hospitality sector.

“Having the opportunity to spend time at Babson College in Boston, USA which is the top rated business US business school for entrepreneurship and at Strathclyde Business School, which was named UK Business School of the Year by the Times Higher Education, is a once in a lifetime opportunity for Nick. We are confident that he will excel and make the most of the experience.”

Commenting on his win, Nick said; “I was immediately attracted to the opportunity when I saw it promoted in the SLTN. When I realised that Paul Reynolds, who runs Gin 71, had completed the programme I took the opportunity to speak to him. His enthusiasm for the Saltire Fellowship convinced me to give it my best shot.

“I am absolutely over the moon to have the opportunity. I have been working in the industry since I was 17 and I am still coming to terms with the concept of having the chance to learn from the best in the UK and the US. I know it will play a key role in helping me develop the business in future. I can’t wait to get going.”

Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland said; “The hospitality sector is key to the success of Scotland’s economy. Having businesses with the ability to scale and grow to meet the needs of a growing number of visitors is vital.

“The sector has always shown great entrepreneurial flair and so we are particularly interested to see what Nick does with the opportunity – having met him and heard of his plans, we are sure we will all be hearing a lot more from him in future. We all wish him well and look forward to supporting him throughout his Saltire Fellowship.”

Established in 2010, The Saltire Fellowship has an enviable track record with more than 100 individuals successfully completing the programme.

The intensive leadership development programme includes visits to leading businesses in Silicon Valley.

The Diageo L4LSaltire Fellowship includes:

  • 8 weeks in a dynamic learning environment at Babson College, Boston (the top-rated US Business School for Entrepreneurship) where Fellows and Faculty work together to address real world business challenges
  • hands-on experience through US company visits, challenges and pitching competitions
  • a learning journey to Silicon Valley to gain a deeper understanding of its unique entrepreneurial ecosystem, entrepreneurs and investors
  • 2 weeks residential learning delivered in Scotland in partnership with  Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde
  • managerial and leadership experience by working for 12 weeks with a high growth enterprise or re-integrate into your business

The full panel of judges for the Diageo Learning for Life Saltire Fellowship was:

Mark Baird, Head of Alcohol in Society Diageo GB. Mark is also the former President of The Scottish Beer and Pub Association and advisor to the SLTA

Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland

Peter Lederer CBE, an expert in Leisure, Travel and Tourism

Gillian McKenzie, Editor of Scottish Licensed Trade News

Paul Waterson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association