Scotland celebrates entrepreneurial success

I am thrilled to congratulate both Jim and Chris. This year we received a tremendous response to the awards resulting in the highest-ever number of nominations. Each of the finalists was chosen after a rigorous judging process and they have emerged as Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurial leaders.

Entrepreneur of the Year awarded to James Milne CBE, Chairman & Managing Director, Balmoral Group
Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year awarded to Chris Gauld, Chief Executive, Spark Energy

Entrepreneurial Scotland, hosted its 20th annual dinner and awards last night (30 November 2016). The St Andrew’s Day event was a celebration of entrepreneurial success, recognising the role of entrepreneurial leaders at all stages, and their vital contribution to developing a modern and successful Scotland.

The evening was hosted by Stuart Cassells, a Saltire Fellow and founder of the international bagpipe phenomenon, Red Hot Chilli Pipers, and took place at the newly refurbished Doubletree by Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. More than 500 of Scotland’s most successful and respected entrepreneurial leaders attended the event, including members of Entrepreneurial Scotland, alumni of the Saltire programmes and Scotland’s business community.

In association with Deloitte and media partner, The Herald, Entrepreneurial Scotland’s awards feature two elite categories: ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ and ‘Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year’ – each honouring those individuals who have excelled in leading their organisations over the past 12 months.

The Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to James Milne CBE, Chairman and Managing Director of Balmoral Group.

Chris Gauld, Chief Executive of Spark Energy, was announced as the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said:

“Awards and achievements matter because they recognise skills, determination, talent, tenacity and hard work. They highlight excellence and, most importantly, they provide an opportunity to focus on the characteristics that we want to see more of for ourselves, our businesses and our communities.

“I am thrilled to congratulate both Jim and Chris. This year we received a tremendous response to the awards resulting in the highest-ever number of nominations. Each of the finalists was chosen after a rigorous judging process and they have emerged as Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurial leaders.”

The event was a celebration of entrepreneurship, recognising individuals at various stages of their own entrepreneurial journeys, as well as recognising their achievements. The event raised funds for the Saltire Foundation that aims to find, fuel and spark the next generation of entrepreneurial leaders – represented by several Saltire Alumni who were in the audience.

In 2015, the Entrepreneur of the Year award was presented to Mike Loggie of Saltire Energy. Julie Wilson and Amy Livingstone, co-founders of Cheeky Chompers, were awarded Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

Richard Slater, Partner and Head of Private Markets for Deloitte in Scotland, and a member of the judging panel for the 2016 awards, added:

“Congratulations to all of the finalists and winners. This year we saw a real mixture of companies from a range of sectors on the shortlist for both awards, this is great news for Scotland, as the economy continues to diversify and breed new success stories.

“Uncertainty may be the word that currently pervades the Scottish economy – yet there are businesses, and people, who are finding ways to do incredible things, whatever the circumstances. The ambition and drive of Scotland’s entrepreneurial community continues to thrive.”

Two years on from its launch, Entrepreneurial Scotland is one network that offers three tiers of membership – Leading, Growing and Emerging – giving members the right peer to peer experience at every stage of their entrepreneurial journeys. The Leading tier represents what was formerly known to many as the Exchange and remains a unique peer-to-peer network for founders, owners, MDs and CEOs. The Growing tier meets the needs of those who are running, growing and scaling up the businesses and the organisations they belong to. Finally, the Emerging tier represents what was formerly the Future Leaders network, and is for aspiring leaders and start-up business owners at the outset of their journeys.