About ES

Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation is an independent charity that exists to equip leaders and talent with the entrepreneurial skills, mindset and connections to create impact.

Scotland needs entrepreneurial leaders and talent across all parts of our economy: start-ups to scale-ups, corporates to social enterprises, in Government and higher education - everywhere.

Our innovative programmes provide transformative experiences, world-class teaching, peer to peer learning and access to a 5,000+ global community.

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Vision

Our vision is to inspire and develop Scotland's people to build the most entrepreneurial society in the world. Entrepreneurial Scotland is independently funded allowing us the freedom to collaborate with world-class partners in Scotland and internationally who share our vision.

Vision
Mission

Mission

Entrepreneurial Scotland is a community of current and future entrepreneurial leaders worldwide, who are ambitious, globally minded and have the potential to be the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders who will contribute to Scotland’s success.

As a charity, our mission is to transform those who can, in turn, transform Scotland and our entrepreneurial culture. Entrepreneurial people create the jobs, generate the wealth to reinvest, breathe life into the solutions we need. They shape Scotland. In turn, they create new opportunities and enrich our entrepreneurial culture, laying the foundations for future generations. It is a virtuous circle. Our job is to keep that circle spinning.

History

Founded and nurtured by the GlobalScot network in 2007, the Saltire Scholar programme was created to find, fuel and spark the next generation of leaders in Scotland. This visionary group wanted the programme to deliver internships that would provide students with:

  • increased confidence and ambition
  • a global perspective
  • the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals
  • awareness of transferable skills
  • an entrepreneurial mind-set

In April 2014, the Saltire Foundation, alongside the Entrepreneurial Exchange, became founding partners in the creation of Entrepreneurial Scotland. The Saltire Scholars programme now forms an integral part of the organisation's mission to inspire, develop and connect Scotland's current and future leaders to build the most entrepreneurial society in the world.

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The network you can access is really important, they are there to support you. I'm always thinking about how I can help the group and I know that when I need the help it will be there for me too.

Gavin Dear
Chief Commercial Officer, Shot Scope

ES In North America

The Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation (USA) and The Saltire Foundation (Canada) support the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation in providing world-class development for high potential individuals at the early or mid-career stages. The people who will be the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders contributing to Scotland’s success. Our focus is to transform those who can transform Scotland plc and our entrepreneurial culture.

Our Team

ES Board
Mark Bamforth

Mark Bamforth

Executive Chairman & CEO, Arranta Bio

Mark Bamforth is the founder of Arranta Bio and prior to this, Brammer Bio and Gallus Bio Pharmaceuticals.

He spent 22 years in the UK and USA running a global manufacturing operation and pharmaceutical CDMO business for Genzyme, before which, his career began as a petroleum engineer for Britoil and a chemical engineer for Whitbread.

Mark also serves on the boards of of Continuus Pharma, Pneumagen, Enterobiotix and Inceptor Bio.

He has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University and an MBA from Henley Management College.

Graeme Bissett

Graeme Bissett

Chairman/Director

Graeme Bissett is a Chartered Accountant, corporate financier and experienced non-executive Chairman / Director.

His career currently includes Partner at Arthur Andersen and Finance Director at two international groups, as well as a portfolio of high-profile boardroom appointments.

Graeme also holds numerous pro bono appointments, including Vice-Convenor of Court at the University of Glasgow and trusteeship at Citizens Advice Scotland.

Alan Brown

Alan Brown

Founder and President Alan Brown + Company Limited

Alan Brown is the Founder and CEO of A. Brown + Company Ltd. that provides independent strategic advice to leaders amongst corporate, institutional and government clients globally.

He spent the majority of his career in investment banking, latterly at Deutsche Bank and has led the Natural Resources Group since its formation in 2007, with responsibility for Deutsche Bank’s corporate finance activities across a number of global sectors.

A GlobalScot, Alan relocated from London to Toronto in 2016, is a Director of Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation and Chair of ES in Canada

Colette Grant

Colette Grant

Transformational Coach

Colette Grant founded her coaching and mentoring business, ‘Optimise Your Potential’, after exiting her eponymous enterprise, Grant Property, after 25 years.

She is a certified Transformational Coach and Mentor, focusing on mind-set and creativity to grow her clients’ businesses and careers.

Colette, an advocate of lifelong learning, now mentors trailblazers and innovators across the world, promoting authenticity in leadership.
Colin Robertson CBE

Colin Robertson CBE

Chairman

Colin Robertson is Chief Executive of Alexander Dennis Limited and appointed Vice Chair to NFI’s Board of Directors.

With 38 years of senior international manufacturing experience, he has achieved numerous awards, including Director of the Year from the Institute of Directors.

Colin was appointed Chair of Entrepreneurial Scotland in 2018 and was the recipient of a CBE in 2019.

Chris Sheldon

Chris Sheldon

Partner, Turcan Connell

Chris Sheldon is a partner at Turcan Connell where he specialises in tax and succession advice for entrepreneurs, as well as charity law.

He has served on numerous boards including the Court of Aberdeen University, Families Outside and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.

Chris, a member of the CFA UK Society and Chartered Management Institute, read psychology and law at university.

Mark Simmers

Mark Simmers

Co-founder & CEO, Celtic Renewables

Mark Simmers

Mark Simmers is co-founder and CEO of Celtic Renewables, having raised over £30m of funding to establish its first manufacturing plant.

His career began with International Management Group, commercialising and managing its global golf assets, before he founded and managed his own events and promotions company in Scotland.

Mark has over 20 years’ experience as an entrepreneur and commercialisation specialist.

Dame Joan Stringer

Dame Joan Stringer

Chair of Capital Theatres

Dame Joan Stringer is a CEO, Chair and Non-Executive Director.

She has held senior appointments in education for 25-years, most recently as Principal & Vice-Chancellor of Edinburgh Napier University and previously with Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.

Dame Joan holds numerous board appointments, including trusteeship of The Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation and Chair of Capital Theatres.

John Watson

John Watson

CEO, Crosswind Developments Ltd

John Watson joined GIP as Operating Principal and CCO of Edinburgh Airport Limited and is CEO of Crosswind Developments Ltd.

He was previously Managing Director of Lloyds Banking Group’s $50bn SME lending portfolio and a founding Board Director of the Business Growth Fund plc.

John qualified as a Chartered Accountant and has subsequently held numerous executive and non-executive positions globally.

ES Team
Mark Austin

Mark Austin

Information Officer

Mark Austin is Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Community Support.

With almost a decade’s worth of experience working for a large investment bank, he decided to join Entrepreneurial Scotland as Community Database Administrator.

Mark is responsible for providing administrative support for databases across the company and has been heavily involved in developing processes to assist programmes, new products and to drive efficiency improvements.

Sara Cook

Sara Cook

Director for Impact

Sara Cook is Director for Impact, responsible for measuring and articulating the impact Entrepreneurial Scotland creates for individuals and the entrepreneurial community within Scotland. She also leads the charity’s fundraising and grant management activities.

Prior to this role, Sara led our Next Generation function, supporting international businesses to recruit, retain and develop entrepreneurial talent. A Saltire Fellow, Sara is passionate about life-long learning, and enjoys working with purpose-driven organisations to create and pursue leadership development plans for their teams.

Sara holds voluntary positions with youth charities in Scotland to support their development.

Louise Cowley

Louise Cowley

Financial Controller

Louise is Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Financial Controller.

After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 2002 she gained a breadth of experience in various senior finance roles, most notably in the aviation industry and recruitment sector.

Katrina Devine

Katrina Devine

Programme Executive

Katrina joined Entrepreneurial Scotland as a Programme Executive in 2021, providing support to facilitate the provision of world class internships to Scottish university talent.

She has extensive commercial experience in business development, focusing on income generation through strong partnership relations, gained in a large multinational telecommunications company in Dublin and more recently in the purpose-built student accommodation sector in Scotland.

Rebecca Donald

Rebecca Donald

Programme Executive

Rebecca is Can Do Programme Executive. She supports the Can Do Collective Operations Team, helping to increase the effectiveness of our programme.

She combines event and project management experience with knowledge of a small family business and has a Masters degree in Social Business and Microfinance from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Lisa Ferguson

Lisa Ferguson

Community Manager

Lisa Ferguson is part of the Entrepreneurial Leaders Division, holding the role of Community Manager.

With a background in project and event management both domestic and internationally, she focuses on the management of all the Entrepreneurial Leadership Development Programmes.

Lisa has a BSc in Business from the University of Strathclyde.

Kelly Glass

Kelly Glass

Saltire Scholar Programme Manager

Kelly Glass is Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Scholar Programme Manager.

With extensive experience working with young people, she has worked in Youth Organisations across Renfrewshire and Glasgow, as well as national youth charities.

Kelly has driven change within specific youth communities, in sports clubs and with young offenders in prison, offering learning and development programmes to emerging young and future leaders

Fiona Hardie

Fiona Hardie

Programme Executive

Fiona Hardie joined Entrepreneurial Scotland as Programme Executive and is a charity and volunteer ambassador.

With experience in retail and customer management, she engages with students, manages relations with University Partners and contributes to the delivery of the Saltire Scholars Programme.

Fiona graduated from university with a joint Honours degree in English and French, including a year working in France.

Kristen Hirst

Kristen Hirst

Business Development Director

Kristen is our US-based Business Development Director, working closely with the US Trustees to develop relationships in one of Entrepreneurial Scotland’s most important markets.

Kristen has over 25 years’ experience in international business, having worked in both the UK and US, and joined us from the UK Department for International Trade where she served as Deputy Head of the Financial Services team.

Kristen is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Executive Management Education from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School in Atlanta.

Sandy Kennedy

Sandy Kennedy

Chief Advisor

Sandy Kennedy was the CEO of Entrepreneurial Scotland until 1 July 2021, before moving into an advisory role. He holds positions on numerous additional Scottish boards.

With 20 years’ experience leading commercial, social and charitable enterprises, his varied career includes founding an online start-up, working in venture capital and being the first member of The Saltire Foundation team.

Sandy has a law degree from Cambridge and writes regularly for The Herald.

Jules Lancastle

Jules Lancastle

Head of Executive Development

Jules’ stated purpose is to challenge restless minds to help them benefit the communities they serve and enrich society. She has built her career around entrepreneurship, leadership development and participant engagement. As the founder-leader of her own business for 13 years, she relates to start-up and scale-up enterprises and has a practical, empathetic approach that promotes momentum and progress.

An experienced facilitator in both in person and online environments, Jules draws upon established models and coaching methodologies to support learning on both a group and individual level. Most recently she has been instrumental in the creation and development of Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Leader Catalyst Programmes.

Gillian McGill

Gillian McGill

Business Engagement Executive

Gill joined Entrepreneurial Scotland in August 2019 as a Programme Executive for Saltire Programmes. She has recently moved across to the Business Engagement side, working closely with host companies, Alumni and the wider ES community.

Gill’s background is in project and programme management having worked in within busy educational environments, in both public and private sectors, for over twenty years.

Sean McGrath

Sean McGrath

Chief Executive

Sean McGrath was appointed Chief Executive on 1 July 2021.

He is on the Advisory Boards of Scottish EDGE Fund and Glasgow City Innovation District and is a member of the Advisory Council for Economic Transformation, chaired by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Economy.

Sean is a Chartered Accountant and joined the Foundation in May 2019 as Finance Director. Prior to this he worked with leading brands including Red Bull, NorthgateArinso and Monster.com and held a number of financial management roles within organisations such as Deloitte and London & Scottish Investments.

A passionate advocate of entrepreneurial thinking, Sean firmly believes that Scotland’s future will be shaped by those who think, act and lead in an entrepreneurial way.



Seonaigh Paterson

Seonaigh Paterson

Business Development Manager

Seonaigh Paterson is Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Business Development Manager.

With extensive third sector experience focusing on income generation and developing long term strategic partnerships, Seonaigh is responsible for growing participation in Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Leadership Development Programmes and contributing to Scotland’s success as the most entrepreneurial society in the world.

Anna Rafferty

Anna Rafferty

Programme Executive

Anna Rafferty is the Programme Executive at Entrepreneurial Scotland, focusing on sourcing world-class internships for Scottish university talent.

With 5 years’ experience in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, she has held positions across the public and third sectors, including the Scottish Government.

Anna facilitates the transformation of students who participate in the Saltire Scholars Programme, supporting them to fulfil their leadership potential.

Ros Turbett

Ros Turbett

Programme Executive (Maternity Leave)

Rosalie Turbett is Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Programme Executive, providing support for the Saltire Scholar Internship Programme.

With experience in communication, her role focuses on student engagement for both current programme participants and Alumni.

Rosalie graduated from the University of Stirling in 2008 with an Honours, Upper Division, in Film and Media Studies, subsequently working in a range of customer service roles.

Rachel Wallace

Rachel Wallace

Programme Manager

Rachel Wallace is Programme Manager, responsible for the Scotland Can Do Programme, funded by the Scottish Government and facilitated by Entrepreneurial Scotland.

With previous experience as the Partnership Officer for a social enterprise and registered charity, she now connects partners, improving communications, and boosting collaboration.

Rachel graduated with a First-Class joint Honours Degree in Management with Hospitality & Tourism Management.

Vicki Wells

Vicki Wells

Development Executive

Vicki Wells is Development Executive at Entrepreneurial Scotland, providing fundraising support and stewardship for donors and Trustees and executive support for the Senior team.

With a career in HR, she left London to spend 10 years living abroad in the Middle East, the Bahamas and South Africa. She has also undertaken a variety of volunteer roles, supporting vulnerable children and young people.

Vicki has a BA in Interpreting and Translating.