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Future Leaders campaign

Young entrepreneurs set global ambition

Future LeadersAn initiative which aims to create a new generation of leaders drew more than 170 established and would-be entrepreneurs to an event at Edinburgh Castle tonight.

Chris van der Kuyl, chairman of Entrepreneurial Scotland, is spearheading the Future Leaders campaign which aims to put the country among the global elite of business creators.

The event was launched with a simultaneous social media message, or Thunderclap, from hundreds of supporters.

Entrepreneurial Scotland was formed last year from the combination of Entrepreneurial Exchange and the Saltire Foundation.

Mr van der Kuyl  said: “Our established entrepreneurs are great ambassadors for Scotland and represent excellent role models for our aspiring entrepreneurs, but it is this next generation of innovators on whom we must rely to help Scotland to be all it can be.

“I am confident that with the launch of Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Future Leaders that we are creating a framework for Scotland’s economic future to be in safe hands.”

 The first five members are:  

Lisa Thomson

Lisa is founder and MD of Purpose (HR & Coaching) Ltd, providing niche HR outsourcing services to early stage and high growth companies. She is also Director for Scotland of Startup Grind, a global startup networking community for entrepreneurs and runs chapters in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Lisa has extensive experience establishing HR functions and people management frameworks within high-growth, entrepreneurial businesses including: Wolfson Microelectronics; Axios Systems; Sumerian Europe; and Aridhia Informatics.

A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with an MA in French and Politics, Lisa also studied at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques Grenoble (one of France’s prestigious ‘Grandes Ecoles’) during her undergraduate degree through the Erasmus European Exchange programme, and has a postgraduate qualification in Human Resource Management from Napier Business School.

Lisa is also a Fellow of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Saltire Fellowship programme, a Chartered Member of the Institute of Personnel and Development and a qualified executive business coach.

Omari Whyne

A Londoner, Omari Whyne is a Saltire Scholar and completed an internship at Edinburgh Airport as a Digital Marketing Analyst. Since then, he has remained in close contact with the Saltire Foundation and has spoken extensively about his journey coming from London to Scotland, his Saltire experiences and how he has fallen in love with Scotland and wants to build a career here.

A recent marketing graduate from the University of Stirling, Omari works in one of the fastest growing technology companies in Scotland – Skyscanner – on the company’s marketing graduate programme. Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site offering an unbiased, comprehensive and free flight search service as well as online comparisons for hotels and car hire.

Outside of the working world, Omari is a keen tennis player, having once been ranked the 3rd best tennis player in the United Kingdom at junior level.

Kirsteen Stewart

Orkney-based Kirsteen Stewart started her fashion career studying Fashion Design & Surface Print at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle.  Kirsteen worked in New York with independent label, Elizabeth Powell, and Gap as a design assistant.

After returning to her hometown of Kirkwall, in Orkney, Kirsteen launched her own design and retail business.  She opened The Studio Shop in 2009, in Kirkwall, which stocks Kirsteen’s own brand products alongside UK products from independent and up and coming UK designers.

Kirsteen is also an ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

Michael Corrigan

Michael Corrigan is a co-founder and Commercial Director of Trtl (pronounced “turtle”) which has created the next generation of travel pillow – the Sleepscarf.  Engineered to look like a scarf it provides support for travellers whilst being “as light as a muffin” and fitting easily into – or attaching onto – hand luggage.

Trtl also stands for “travel refreshed, travel light” which encompasses Trtl’s mission to create affordable solutions for travellers to sleep comfortably in economy class.

Trtl’s founders, David Kellock and Michael Corrigan, met at university.  They knew they wanted to work together and it was a speech to their engineering class from Sir Tom Farmer that ignited their passion to start a business.  The Sleepscarf is now being sold in a number of airports in Europe and Michael has just returned from a successful trip to a trade fair in Orlando.

Leah Hutcheon

Leah Hutcheon is the founder and CEO of Appointedd, an Edinburgh-based startup which helps businesses to provide online booking for customers, and offers small businesses access to CRM, marketing and business management tools.

Originally from Blackpool, Leah came to Edinburgh for university and fell in love with the city. After a couple of jobs in the creative industry she started up Appointedd to enable the small businesses she was freelancing with to take bookings online.

Leah’s company has been supported by Entrepreneurial Spark and has been a ScotEDGE award winner. Leah is a proud Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

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