Scottish Business Network

By Fraser Allen from Fraser Allen Communications

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As a journalist and member of the Scottish Business Network, I was keen to start a fortnightly podcast interviewing the big personalities of the Scottish business world. Dip in - you'll hear from some amazing people! Available on Apple Music, Spotify and all the main podcast platforms. If you like what you hear, simply search for 'Scottish Business Network' on your preferred podcast provider and subscribe. Thank you.

Episode Date
Ray Perman: Author, entrepreneur & business leader
From humble but happy beginnings in north London, Ray Perman has been a popular and much admired figure in the Scottish business world since permanently moving to Edinburgh in 1975. The former Scotland correspondent for the Financial Times, went on to found the successful Business Insider publishing group before becoming Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, Chairman of Social Investment Scotland and Chairman of the James Hutton Institute – as well as many other roles. But you may know him better as the author of a gripping book about the 2008 banking crisis called Hubris: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain – plus two more excellent books about the pioneering environmentalist John Lorne, and the financial history of Edinburgh. Interview by Fraser Allen on 17 May 2022.
May 25, 2022
Professor Calum MacRae: The GP's son from Skye at the heart of Boston's life sciences sector
Professor Calum MacRae, a GP's son from the Isle of Skye, has been based in Boston in the USA for more than 30 years and is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. As well as being a physician and a scientist, he is extraordinarily influential and well-connected in Boston’s buoyant life sciences, medical and technology sectors. And in this interview he casts an expert eye over what makes these sectors tick, how they compare to Scotland and the scope for transatlantic collaboration. This interview by Fraser Allen was originally recorded on 30 March 2022 as part of the Q Events, organised by the Scottish Business Network and supported by the Scottish Government to help build Scotland’s tech ecosystem.
Apr 14, 2022
Damian Riley-Smith: Publishing & drinks entrepreneur
Damian Riley-Smith grew up in Norfolk but has strong family connections with Jura – both the island and the whisky. A born entrepreneur, he avoided studies during his time at Cambridge University because he was busy running three enterprises he had started up – a magazine, a nightclub and boxer short business. Yep – it was the 80s! After a brief spell in venture capital, he then moved into magazine publishing, which has been the focus of his career ever since, drawing him back to both Scotland and whisky. He’s the founder of Scotland magazine and Whisky magazine, and has gone on to build a publishing empire based around drinks, hospitality, events and awards – culminating in his renovation of Rothes Glen Castle on Speyyside, turning it into a luxury retreat for whisky lovers. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 25 February 2022.
Mar 17, 2022
Philip Grant: Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise & leading Scottish banker
As a school-leaver, Philip Grant went straight to work in a branch of Bank of Scotland and, 40 years on, his career continues within the same group. He's now Chief Operating Officer for Insurance & Wealth at Lloyds Banking Group, as well as being Chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise. However, despite all that has happened since, Philip still remembers his first piece of advice from his boss: “Never take your jacket off in front of a customer.” He also says that much of his early time at the bank was spent fetching scones and pies for older colleagues, but he clearly had talent that was spotted further up the ladder. At the age of 26, he was parachuted into a full-time MBA at the University of Strathclyde and then steadily rose into senior positions, navigating the global banking crisis and the HBOS/Lloyds merger, and now helping the group to steer a way through the pandemic crisis, economic gloom and market disruption. Down to earth and a natural communicator, Philip tells his story with great humour and hard–earned insights in an interview with Fraser Allen recorded on 4 February 2022.
Feb 09, 2022
Shona Fleming: Supporting Scots in London
After a happy childhood in South Africa, Shona Fleming was brought back to Glasgow by her parents and found the transition difficult. Life at school became uncomfortable with taunts about her background – her education stalled and Shona abandoned any thoughts of higher education. A series of junior jobs followed, in which she always worked hard, but repeatedly found herself back at square one. By this point, she was by her own admission, developing a chip on her shoulder, but it also provided her with a great sense of motivation. Shona decided to study for a degree in London and discover what she was best at. That determination has since led to her becoming Chief Executive of Scotscare, a charity whose origins stretch back more than 400 years to King James of Scotland and England, and which now looks after Scots in London facing difficulties. And it’s a position she juggles with also being Chief Executive of Borderline, a charity supporting homeless Scots. Shona’s passion for her role, her team and the people they look after shines through and, as we start another no doubt challenging year, it’s good to hear what’s being done for Scots who may be struggling with particularly tough circumstances. Recorded on 16 December 2021.
Jan 19, 2022
End Of Year Special: Meet the resilience heroes
If you only ever listen to one episode of the Scottish Business Network podcast, make it this one. To round 2021 off, Fraser Allen dips into the archive to unearth some wonderful contributions from guests over the past two to three years. In particular, we hear from people who have shown extraordinary resilience in the face of adversity, as well as others who have found ways to help. There is humour, there are thought-provoking observations and there are some very poignant moments that you'll probably find moving. And all of this packed into just 28 minutes!
Dec 17, 2021
Todd Walker: The man who crossed the world to lead the University of the Highlands and Islands
When Todd Walker was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor at the University of the Highlands and Islands in February 2021, he started the role in the strangest of circumstances. Based in Australia, lockdown prevented his relocation to Inverness, so he spent several months leading the university from a desk at his home on the other side of the world, having to cope with the huge time difference. But Todd is now in situ and very much enjoying the challenge of developing this young and ambitious university that has campuses scattered across an area the size of Belgium. I was delighted to interview Todd in front of a live audience on 2 November 2021 as part of Scottish International Week. Todd tells the story of his career with great thoughtfulness and humour, and it’s a really good listen. If you enjoyed this episode, why not subscribe to the series? Simply search for Scottish Business Network on Apple Music, Spotify or the podcast platform of your choice.
Nov 25, 2021
Jackie Waring: Active angel investor backing female founders
Building on a highly successful business career, Aberdeenshire-born Jackie Waring founded Investing Women, a Scottish community of women angel investors, women entrepreneurs seeking growth, and those who want to help both. Scott Dalgleish takes over the reins from Fraser Allen in interviewing Jackie for this fascinating episode, exploring the unexpected growth in angel investment during the pandemic crisis and the powerful role that woman are playing in the growth of the Scottish economy.
Nov 10, 2021
Caroline Finkel: The Sheep Farmer's Daughter who swapped Argyll for Istanbul
To mark the opening of Scottish International Week on 2 November 2021, Fraser Allen considers the global Scottish diaspora and interviews a fine example of this inquisitive and adventurous breed. When Argyll-bred Caroline Finkel first visited Turkey as a student in 1971, she fell in love with the country and has spent much of her life since then living in Istanbul, developing a career as a leading Ottoman historian. We discover how this happened, her horror at the environmental catastrophe unfolding in parts of Turkey and how her relationship with Scotland has changed and strengthened over the years. Recorded on 15 October 2021.
Oct 27, 2021
Iain Anderson: Outstanding business comms strategist and the Government's LGBT Champion
Aberdonian Iain Anderson began his career working as a journalist for the Courier and the Herald before becoming a founding shareholder of Incisive Media, a B2B publishing company that has evolved into digital media and events. It was a wise move as his shareholding grew considerably due to a subsequent sale and flotation. That enabled him to found Cicero Group, which rapidly established a reputation as the market leader in financial sector lobbying. As a result he and his team have helped numerous big blue chip clients navigate change – and major events such as the global banking crisis, the Scottish independence referendum, Brexit and, of course, the pandemic crisis. He has also been an advisor to Kenneth Clarke MP, is a non-executive director of St Andrews University and, shortly before our interview, was unveiled as the Government’s first ever LGBT Champion. As you’d expect from a masterful communicator, Iain is wonderful to listen to as he explores some of the milestones in his career and explains why he’s watched All The President’s Men 30 times. The interview was recorded on 21 September 2021, at the first ever Scottish Business Network hybrid event, comprising myself and Iain with an online audience, brought together with two physical audiences in Glasgow and London.
Sep 29, 2021
Liz Barclay: UK Small Business Commissioner
Honorary Scot Liz Barclay has a long history of campaigning for consumer justice and financial inclusion through her days at Citizens Advice, a distinguished career as a journalist and BBC Radio 4 presenter, and her seat on the Financial Inclusion Commission. Then in July 2021, Liz was revealed as the new UK Small Business Commissioner. The commission is an independent body set up by the UK Government to support SMEs by tackling the late payment practices of all too many big businesses. It's a huge problem for many smaller companies, with levels of late payment across the UK now totalling around £50bn. Liz Barclay is the perfect person to listen to on this topic, and a highly entertaining interviewee too. We also hear about her brushes with Duncan Bannatyne and Philip Green, her colourful Scottish connections and her truly extraordinary lockdown project. For the first time in 19 months, this Scottish Business Network podcast interview was recorded in front of an audience of real people in an actual room. It took place at London Scottish House on 7 September 2021, with Christine Esson expertly taking the interviewer's seat.
Sep 15, 2021
Whisky Special: Exploring the world of Scotch with expert Blair Bowman
In 2012, a 21-year-old Aberdeen University student called Blair Bowman created a global celebration called World Whisky Day. Hundreds of thousands of people got involved, and the initiative continues to flourish. Meanwhile Blair has gone on to establish himself as one of the UK’s leading writers, experts and consultants on whisky. As we begin an occasional series of episodes exploring key sectors of the Scottish economy, who better to give us a fascinating overview of the state of play of the Scotch whisky industry. Slàinte! Interview recorded on 24 August 2021.
Aug 25, 2021
Gopal Hariharan: The Australian fintech entrepreneur who chose Scotland
It’s often been said that, here in Scotland, we underestimate just what a wonderful place this is to live and work in – particularly compared to many people looking on admiringly from overseas. Take the fintech entrepreneur Gopal Hariharan. He was so impressed by the Scottish business eco system that he moved his Black Arrow app start-up from Sydney to Glasgow. Furthermore, he and his wife have moved to Glasgow too, attracted by the culture, the scenery of the Highlands and – get this – the weather! Their only complaint so far has been the unusual warmth of this year's summer. A self-confessed maths geek as a child, Gopal was born to be a problem solver and has built a very successful career on understanding the full spectrum of money trails and fintech architecture. He’s a charming and thoughtful listen, and I thoroughly enjoyed the interview, which was recorded on 20 July 2021.
Aug 04, 2021
Eric McAfee: The Californian farm boy turned venture capitalist
Growing up on a Californian farm, Eric McAfee’s horizons were broadened by global travel, including extensive tours playing trumpet in a band. Yet running parallel to this, he and his brothers started a business at an early age called McAfee Farms managing agricultural properties. And at the tender age of 23, while he was still at college, Eric was part of a trio that staged a leveraged buyout of a $20m business. He’s never looked back and Eric very quickly established himself as a highly successful venture capitalist. Yet money is not the main motivation. Eric is driven by a desire to create a legacy of businesses that deliver significant global benefits through renewable energy solutions. Hearing him talk openly about this motivation and his approach to venture capital is fascinating. Eric is a great example of the powerful contributions being made by the Scottish diaspora across the world – and he also discusses his family connections with auld country and the isle of Colonsay. Interview recorded on 15 July 2021.
Jul 21, 2021
Fiona McKinnon: Insights on boosting your mental health
We now hear the phrase ‘mental health’ in the media just about every day, but it wasn’t always that way. People – and businesses – have become far more comfortable discussing issues such as stress, anxiety and depression – even more so in the wake of the pandemic crisis. And while a lot of people are understandably keen to throw themselves back into a more normal way of life, others are feeling anxious about emerging from lockdown. Who better to speak to then than Fiona McKinnon, co-founder of The Moment Company? Fi built up a highly successful global career in digital media and marketing before the crazy hours and endless long-haul flights caught up with her and she decided to re-boot her life. This ultimately led her to get together with kindred spirits Alex Strang and Charlie Cadbury to launch The Moment Company and their 'mental fitness product' the Moment Pebble. I asked Fi to provide some advice for anyone who might be struggling with lockdown-related anxiety. She offered some great practical tips and tells the story of her life and career to date beautifully. Well worth a listen. Interview by Fraser Allen on 26 May 2021.
Jun 03, 2021
David Brown: The extraordinary story of the Drumchapel fintech entrepreneur
David Brown may well be Scotland's most successful fintech entrepreneur. However, in a Glasgow accent undimmed by many years of living in London and the Middle East, he self-deprecatingly describes himself as a 'lunatic'. Well, if that's the case, he’s the lunatic behind the hugely successful Oxygen Finance and now Hi55 Ventures, which is revolutionising payroll for the benefit of employees and employers. And all of his start-ups have a strong social enterprise element inspired by the sense of community he appreciates from his upbringing in Drumchapel. In this fascinating interview, David also tells us about his business adventures in Saudi Arabia, and his early days as a music and fashion promoter in Glasgow, hanging out with the likes of Spencer Railton, Craig Ferguson and his old schoolmates Wet Wet Wet. He also explains the importance in life of 'jumping on the bus'. This interview with Fraser Allen was recorded in front of a live Scottish Business Network audience on Zoom on 19 May 2021.
May 19, 2021
Dr Marie Macklin: Rocking the world of regeneration
Dr Marie Macklin is on a mission. As the driving force behind the ambitious regeneration of the old Johnnie Walker bottling plant in her home town of Kilmarnock, Marie has developed a new model for creating vibrant communities for the benefit of everyone – and it’s a model she’s set on taking well beyond Scotland. The founder of HALO Urban Regeneration is a hugely energetic and charismatic businesswoman, but success has not always come easily to her, having struggled with undiagnosed dyslexia and almost losing her life in her twenties through endometriosis. Yet, inspired by caravan holidays in Aberdeen, the music of the Simple Minds, and a pair of black killer heels that she spray-painted gold, Marie has a great story, and it's beautifully told. Interviewed by Fraser Allen in front of a live audience on Zoom on 27 April 2021. Subscribe to the series by searching for 'Scottish Business Network' on Apple Music, Spotify or the podcast platform of your choice.
May 05, 2021
Russell Dalgleish & Fraser Allen discuss leadership insights from the podcast series
In this special episode, entrepreneur and Scottish Business Network co-founder Russell Dalgleish quizzes podcast host Fraser Allen about seven key leadership insights that he's gathered from interviewing 60+ Scottish business leaders in the series to date. Recorded in front of a live audience as part of the Scottish Business Network's celebration of Tartan Day.
Apr 21, 2021
David Sole: Outstanding leadership in rugby and business
For rugby fans of a certain age, the abiding memory of David Sole is of the Scottish captain leading the team out for the 1990 Grand Slam triumph against England. Yet as well as an outstanding rugby career, that also encompassed a World Cup semi-final and a victorious Lions tour of Australia, David has built a highly successful business career. He is now Managing Partner of The School For CEOs, a senior coaching business that he set up with Patrick Macdonald, recently appointed Chair of the Institute of Directors. In this extended episode, David shares insights into his rugby and business experiences, including the importance of humility and emotional intelligence in our leaders. We also hear about his recent adventure in the world of rearing chickens, why his Grand Slam celebrations were cut short and how, for a period at Diageo, he was the biggest buyer of alcohol in the world. David was interviewed by Fraser Allen on 30 March 2021.
Apr 07, 2021
Louise Worrall: The Royal Navy Navigator
At the age of just 23, Louise Worrall was a navigator in the Royal Navy, guiding a minehunter around the globe. It was her dream job. But just a year so later, her naval career was cut short by Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Previously undiagnosed in Louise, the effects of this disability rapidly escalated before she knew what was happening to her. Louise’s story about the impact this had on her, and how she now approaches life in a new role as a financial advisor is – and for once the word is justified – inspirational. Louise was interviewed by Fraser Allen in front of a live Scottish Business Network audience on Zoom on March 16 2021.
Mar 24, 2021
Clare Wareing: The entrepreneur who promised her grandfather she would tackle cancer
When Clare Wareing was growing up in Yorkshire, one of her friends lost her father to cancer at a very early age. The experience had a big impact on Clare and, when her grandfather was later diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia, she promised him that she would devote her life to cancer research. And that is exactly what she has done – while also proving to be an astute entrepreneur. Having founded and developed the research business Nexus Oncology, and steering it through two acquisitions, Clare dabbled with early retirement. But it didn’t suit her and, in 2017 she launched Cumulus Oncology – a ‘hub and spoke’ business with a plan to launch a minimum of five spin-out companies within the next three years, all with the continued theme of fighting cancer. Clare, who made Scotland her home after studying for her PhD at the University of Edinburgh, also reveals the influence of Jacques Cousteau, a rare talent for extreme flat-pack furniture assembly and her love for the music of Two Tone Records. Recorded on 26 February 2021.
Mar 10, 2021
Barry Fudge: Mo Farah's endurance coach
When British long-distance runner Mo Farah won his four Olympic gold medals, a key part of the team driving him forward was a Scotsman. Barry Fudge grew up in Fort William, obsessed with sport and with an increasing interest in the science behind it. This would ultimately lead him to the role of Head of Endurance at British Athletics, and those celebrated years with Mo. Barry is now applying his knowledge of performance to business, and he's a fascinating man to listen to. This interview was recorded live at a Scottish Business Network event via Zoom on 16 February 2021. Mo Farah pictured in Edinburgh (Image by Terry Murden/Daily Business)
Feb 24, 2021
Martin Perry: Scottish table tennis star
Martin Perry was born with one leg and both of his hands missing. He’s now a world-class table tennis player who says his disability is one of the best things that have ever happened to him. Yet despite these extraordinary facts and his hugely charismatic personality, Martin has always seen himself simply as a normal guy – one of four competitive brothers who loved the rough and tumble of sports from an early age. Martin’s story is funny, heart-warming and astonishing in terms of his sporting achievements to date. And it’s a story that will run and run, as he trains for the Tokyo Paralympic Games and beyond. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 9 February 2021.
Feb 10, 2021
Dame Laura Lee: The cancer care champion leading Maggie's
When Dame Laura Lee left the Peterhead area at the age of 16 to begin her career as a nurse in Edinburgh, she could never have imagined that she would one day be the CEO of a major charity operating around the world, and having a hugely positive impact on the experiences of cancer patients and those close to them. Yet, after nursing Maggie Jencks, a writer, gardener and designer who had been diagnosed with breast cancer, Laura was inspired by Maggie’s vision of creating beautifully designed spaces close to hospitals for cancer patients and their family and friends to take time out to chat, relax and seek advice. Sadly Maggie died, but not before installing Laura to take Maggie’s Centres forward – a challenge that she has met, and continues to meet in the COVID-19 era, with wisdom and determination. This interview was recorded in front of a live Scottish Business Network audience on Zoom on 19 January 2020.
Jan 27, 2021
Craig Brown: The last football manager to lead Scotland to the World Cup Finals
Any Scottish football fan of a certain age will remember the thrill of seeing Scotland line up against Brazil for the opening match of the World Cup Finals in Paris almost 23 years ago. Craig Brown was a key figure in a golden period for Scottish football, and a coach who was in many ways ahead of his time in the thoughtful way that he approached the game and led the players. And despite the steely resilience required of a manager steering a national team through ups and downs, Craig also has a well-deserved reputation for being one of Scottish sport’s stand-out good guys. He also has a fund of great anecdotes! In this special extra episode of the podcast, Craig is interviewed by Russell Dalgleish, Chairman of the Scottish Business Network
Jan 20, 2021
Alison Walker: BBC sports presenter
Alison Walker was the first woman to report live on a football match for the BBC. That’s a significant moment looking back but it didn’t feel like it at the time for Alison – she was too busy focusing on doing a good job while navigating the hostilities of the male-dominated media pack. However, this achievement heralded an outstanding career in sports broadcasting that has included covering seven Olympic Games and compering the Commonwealth Games athletics events at Hampden Park in 2014. A self-confessed Hamilton Accies fan, Alison tells the story of her career with great humour and some wonderful anecdotes. But she also discusses why she is campaigning for close relatives to be able to visit their family members in care homes – her parents suffer from dementia and she hasn’t been able to give them a hug for 10 months. We also close with a song that Alison has co-written as part of the campaign. Recorded on 11 January 2021.
Jan 13, 2021
Claire Alexander: The 'firecracker' bringing Scotland and Africa together
Claire Alexander swam for Scotland as a teenager before a life-threatening car crash wrecked her hopes of competing at the Commonwealth Games and London Olympics. After recovering, and playing football to a decent level, she travelled to South Africa and decided to make her life there. Her first job was washing dishes in a kitchen but she went on to establish Firecracker, one of South Africa’s leading events and marketing businesses, and has since created the Africa Scotland Business Network, forging links between the African continent and her homeland. Claire is a sparky, charismatic woman, brimming with energy, which really comes through in a fascinating interview. And that's not all in this episode, our last of the year. We also hear from Scottish Business Network ambassadors around the world reflecting on 2020, and finish off with a lovely performance of In The Bleak Midwinter by Chris Tolley.
Dec 16, 2020
Peter Proud: The tech entrepreneur who's passionate about apprenticeships
Peter Proud fizzes with energy and passion for his business and his people. It’s not hard to imagine the young boy growing up on a council scheme in Dunfermline who would set off on a four-hour milk round every morning before school. Peter won an apprenticeship with Marconi and then a scholarship to Sandhurst. Then, after leaving the army, he embarked on a career with IBM, Microsoft and Accenture before launching his own business, Forrit, to launch a content management system that he was convinced had a big future. Seven years on, the business is thriving, with clients includingTesco Bank and Lloyds of London. Hear Peter's story in this interview recorded on Zoom on 17 November in front of a live international audience of business people brought together by the Scottish Business Network.
Dec 02, 2020
Ruby Sweeney: Online events expert
This time last year, Ruby Sweeney was busy running a successful events business called The Events Hub. Then COVID-19 arrived and the events industry was thrown into disarray. After taking stock, Ruby challenged herself to lead the way in online events management. She believes that, post-pandemic crisis, the future will lie in hybrid events and, despite the difficulties of the last eight months, she is more positive than ever about her business. Ruby tells us about her career to date and offers advice for getting the best out of your digital events.
Nov 18, 2020
Chris Tolley: Scottish composer & musician
As a boy growing up in Edinburgh, Chris Tolley liked nothing more than a quiet evening in reading Mozart sheet music. Music was his destiny and, after university, he landed a job with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, rapidly progressing from photocopying sheet music to taking the lead on extraordinary events such as the Concert for Diana. Then, after a spell at Radio Two running am ambitious opera competition with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, he moved into writing music for TV and film. You may not know his name, but you will almost certainly have heard his music. A thoughtful, articulate and funny man, Chris discusses his family, life during lockdown and the power of audio branding – as well as a giving us a sneak preview of a track from his forthcoming album.
Oct 21, 2020
One To Watch: Phlo, the fast-growing digital pharmacy
Nadeem Sarwar, the founder of Scotland-based digital pharmacy Phlo, explains the extraordinary growth of his business, accelerated further by the impact of the pandemic crisis. Nadeem explains why this will continue to be a significant growth area, and how Phlo is seeking to build on it with a crowdfunding campaign launched on 12 October 2020 (lasting for 30 days). This is is the first episode in a new mini-series, in which we take ten minutes out to look at a business with a great future – the ones to watch.
Oct 14, 2020
Simon Milne: The Royal Marine fighting for conservation
Growing up in the Peak District and then the Sidlaw Hills, Simon Milne developed a passion for nature, conservation and the great outdoors at an early age. Discouraged from a career in conservation by his school, he embraced a long and rewarding career in the Royal Marines. However, after being invalided out, he returned to his first love and is now Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh. This fascinating interview with Fraser Allen was recorded on Zoom in front a large global audience at one of the Scottish Business Network’s autumn series events.
Oct 07, 2020
Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston: Chief of Clan Hunter
Is there still a place for clans in modern Scotland? Madam Pauline Hunter of Hunterston certainly believes so. She is Chief of Clan Hunter, and argues that clans have a key role to play in drawing the Scottish diaspora back to the old country, and helping to create business opportunities. And for her part, she’s highly active in pulling together Hunter clan members from all over the world to celebrate their shared culture – and historic home of Hunterston Castle. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 17 September 2020.
Sep 23, 2020
50th Episode Special: The fascinating story and thoughts of Poonam Malik
In 1999, Poonam Malik arrived in Scotland from India with two suitcases, £35 and a British Council scholarship to Glasgow University. 21 years on, she is an extraordinarily well connected scientist, academic, businesswoman, investor, consultant and mentor – and a passionate advocate for social enterprise and encouraging diversity everywhere from business start-ups to the boardroom. And all this carried with a grounded sense of humility – and a great sense of humour. The word ‘inspirational’ is over-used, but it truly applies to Poonam. Enjoy hearing her story in this special 50th episode of the series. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 8 September 2020.
Sep 09, 2020
Ian M Houston: A force for good in Washington DC
Ian M Houston is a dual US/UK citizen, with a strong Scottish heritage, who knows the political world of Washington DC inside out. He has wandered the corridors of power, advising and lobbying, with a mission to create opportunities for the disadvantaged. In this extended episode, Ian talks us through his journey from academia to enterprise, the challenges for diplomats under current US foreign policy, and why he’s a big fan of Scotland’s women’s football team. A published poet, he also reads from his new collection. Earlier this year, Ian was appointed as Scottish Business Network Ambassador to Washington DC. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 5 August 2020.
Aug 25, 2020
Graham McWilliam: Building a social enterprise from luxury mattresses
A long career in corporate banking gave Graham McWilliam a taste for branching out on his own. And after a couple of successful entrepreneurial adventures, followed by further spells at RBS and Clydesdale, he took over the reins of a very unusual business. Glencraft is an Aberdeen-based social enterprise founded in 1843 to provide dignity to the disadvantaged through work. The company had specialised in making mattresses for the oil industry but when Graham took over, the price of oil had plummeted, orders had dried up and the business was in trouble. Graham, however, saw an opportunity. Glencraft had a Royal Warrant and a wealth of expertise – and Graham has since transformed the business into a serious player in the international luxury mattress market. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 3 August 2020.
Aug 11, 2020
Hassan Peymani: The ethical face mask entrepreneur
When the pandemic crisis arrived, lots of people talked about 'pivoting' or starting a new business but Hassan Peymani went further, springing into action with a new venture. Concerned at the problems he encountered getting hold of face masks for his at-risk father and pregnant wife, Edinburgh-based Hass launched his own business to supply high-quality masks at a fair price without disrupting PPE supplies to the health service and with a percentage of sales going to NHS-related charities. It’s great story – as is his background as a self-confessed obsessive who previously immersed himself in the worlds of poker and TV before becoming established as a successful tech entrepreneur. In recent years, Hass and his wife have also had to overcome massive personal challenges which makes it all the more pleasing to see him embrace this new venture with his typical enthusiasm, single-mindedness and good humour. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 22 July 2020.
Jul 29, 2020
Nikki Slowey & Lisa Gallagher: Transforming the way we work
What a transformation we've seen in 2020 as organisations embrace the benefits of remote working. And as business leaders recalibrate to seek new opportunities post COVID-19, the broader issue of flexible working is likely to be high on many people's agenda. Step forward then Lisa Gallagher and Nikki Slowey, founders of Flexibility Works, which is part-funded by the Scottish Government and the Tom Hunter Foundation. Nikki and Lisa are helping organisations in Scotland to identify the benefits of flexible working and how to maximise value for both employers and employees. Interviewed recorded by Fraser Allen on Friday 10 July 2020.
Jul 15, 2020
Mark Bamforth: US-based serial biotech entrepreneur
After growing up in Glasgow, Mark Bamforth spent spells working in the oil and whisky industries before embarking on an outstanding career as a biotech entrepreneur in the United States, where he has been based for many years. Mark talks through his career, and also shares his thoughts on Scottish innovation, the impact of COVID-19 and the way business needs to respond to the BlackLivesMatter protests. This interview by Fraser Allen was recorded on Zoom for a global audience of 90 business people at the online Scottish Business Network gathering on the 23rd June 2020. If you enjoy this episode, why not explore the archive? We have a wealth of fascinating interviews with big personalities from the world of Scottish business – you can subscribe to the Scottish Business Network podcast on iTunes, Spotify and numerous other providers.
Jul 01, 2020
Sara Roberts: The Healthy Nibbles entrepreneur
After an idyllic early childhood in New Zealand, Sara Roberts endured severe bullying when she returned to the UK, leading her to leave school at the age of just 14. That experience inspired her to succeed on her own terms, launch several businesses and thrive on her own self-reliance and resilience. Sara is now the entrepreneur behind Healthy Nibbles, providing healthy vending machines and snack boxes for the workplace and public spaces. I interviewed her on 16 June 2020.
Jun 17, 2020
Mel Young: Founder of the Homeless World Cup
Mel Young is one of Scotland’s greatest social entrepreneurs, responsible for establishing the Big Issue and founding the Homeless World Cup. And as well has having a hugely positive impact on the lives of the disadvantaged in Scotland, he has demonstrated considerable business acumen and leadership skills. Mel talks us through his career, the ways in which he would like to see charities and businesses learning from each other, and his new venture to discover a better way forward for society. This interview was recorded on Zoom in front of a global audience of Scottish business people as part of the online Scottish Business Network gathering in May 2020.
Jun 03, 2020
Mollie Hughes: The youngest woman to ski solo to the South Pole
Despite only turning 30 this year, Edinburgh-based Mollie Hughes has climbed to the summit of Mount Everest not one but twice. And in January this year, she became the youngest woman in the world to ski solo from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, No wonder she's now making such a big impact as a motivational speaker. Interviewed by Fraser Allen on 18 May 2020. [For enquiries to book Mollie as a speaker, visit]
May 18, 2020
Michael Mancini: Furniture designer extraordinaire
Hailing from an Italian/Scottish family in Ayrshire, Michael Mancini could have got involved in the family ice cream business but, from an early age, he had a passion for woodworking and furniture design. His company, 1718, now creates outstanding furniture for clients across the world. Here he tells the story of his career to date. Recorded pre-lockdown, in Glasgow, February 2020.
May 04, 2020
Crisis Special 2: The Investor, the Diplomat & the Online Entrepreneur
Fraser Allen interviews Alasdair McKinnon (CEO of the Scottish Investment Trust), Ellen Wong (Principal Officer at the US Consulate in Edinburgh and Adam Hunter (Chief Commercial Officer of the online pharmaceutical delivery service PHLO). All three share their experiences of managing their way through the COVID-19 crisis and the lessons they have learned to date.
Apr 21, 2020
Crisis Special 1: Our Man in China, Stranded in Thailand & the Musician's Tale
Kicking off a new format for the podcast series, Fraser Allen interviews three personalities from the Scottish business world about the way the coronavirus crisis is affecting them, how they are managing the situation and what they have learnt from the experience so far. It's a truly international episode. We speak to Tom Simpson from the China-British Business Council in Beijing; Becky Woodhouse, the CEO of Pure Spa and Beauty, who is battling to manage her business while stranded in Thailand; and Scottish singer Ainsley Hamill, who also brings some wonderful music to this episode.
Apr 07, 2020
Mark Beaumont: The business story behind the cycling legend
As well as many other endurance feats, Mark Beaumont has cycled around the globe twice, breaking the world record both times – a record he still holds today. Yet few realise that Mark is as comfortable in a business suit as he is in cycling Lycra. His experience in defining a venture, developing the finance, building the team and then successfully marketing the concept has led to a portfolio of activity supporting Scotland’s start-up ecosystem. Interviewed by Fraser Allen.
Mar 24, 2020
John Newlands: The Scotsman who refused Fidel Castro's toast
There are two luxuries that John Newlands won't do without: dry cleaning and a good lunch. It therefore seemed only appropriate to convene over the latter to discuss his wonderfully colourful career in banking, commodities and investments. From an Edinburgh upbringing to a career in the City of London, via Brazil and Cuba (including a bold dinner-table challenge to the late Fidel Castro over the calibre of his locally distilled 'whisky'), John's story is a wonderful listen. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at Silk & Grain, City of London.
Mar 09, 2020
Brian Duffy: from Glasgow's housing schemes to CEO of Watches of Switzerland
Brian Duffy describes his Glasgow childhood as a tour of the city’s housing schemes – which is quite a stretch from his current role as CEO of the luxury brand Watches of Switzerland. The story of how he got there, which includes launching the Playtex Wonderbra in the UK, working with Ralph Lauren and serving as a director with his beloved Celtic FC, is highly entertaining and full of unassuming but hard-earned wisdom. Podcast interview and and production by Fraser Allen of, in association with the Scottish Business Network. All rights reserved.
Feb 24, 2020
Fraser Allen: Content marketing wizard* (*wizard costume not pictured)
The tables are turned in this episode as podcast host Fraser Allen is himself interviewed – by Sue Stockdale, host of the Access To Inspiration podcast. Fraser discusses the sale of his agency, White Light Media, his career to date (via selling magazines in the playground and narrowly avoiding jail in Turkey), plus observations on the world of marketing.
Feb 11, 2020
Norman Jackson: Rugby Special!
Norman Jackson is a chartered accountant who travelled the world working in the oil industry, going on to help many SMEs with strategic planning and corporate finance, and holding several non-exec director roles – including one for the past 11 years with London Scottish rugby club. To mark the start of rugby's Six Nations Championship, Norman offers us valuable and entertaining parallels between the worlds of sport and business. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at Maggie’s Centre, St Bart’s Hospital, London.
Jan 27, 2020
Russell Dalgleish: A big New Year for the Scottish Business Network
Before we kick off our regular series of in-depth podcast interviews for 2020, we speak to Russell Dalgleish about the exciting plans he and Scottish Business Network co-founder Christine Esson have for the year ahead. Interviewed by Fraser Allen over a rather unpredictable Skype line.
Jan 14, 2020
Ross Mickel: Leading a Scottish Housebuilding Dynasty
Ross Mickel hails from one of the great Scottish housebuilding dynasties, McTaggart & Mickel, which has built thousands of homes in Scotland and beyond since 1925 – although its origins actually go back to Victorian times. The company has also made a significant mark on the architectural and cultural landscape of Glasgow having been responsible for building many of the much-loved tenements in the West End. What's it like being born into a big family business, while having to ensure it adapts to the times? Ross Mickel reveals all with great humour and insights. Interviewed by Fraser Allen in front of a live audience at the Maggie's Centre at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London.
Dec 16, 2019
Sue Stockdale: Bringing 'Superhuman' performance to business
Sue Stockdale left school at 16 to join British Gas, and quickly climbed her way upwards – whilst also representing Scotland in athletics. An expedition to Kenya with Operation Rayleigh then proved a tipping point which led to further adventures, such as skiing to the North Pole and competing in Channel 4's Superhuman contest. These rich experiences – as well as building and then selling her own business – enable her to help people achieve more than they think they are capable. So strap on your boots and eat your greens - we're going on an adventure. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at London Scottish House in Westminster.
Dec 02, 2019
Rosemary McGinness: Global HR Expert
Rosemary McGinness is Chief People Officer at the Weir Group in Glasgow, overseeing 15,000 employees across 50 countries. Recently named by the Financial Times as one of the 100 most influential women in Engineering sector, she has built a highly impressive career around the world, making her way to the Weir Group via the likes of Rocco Forte and William Grant, Rosemary was interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Weir Group's headquarters in Glasgow.
Nov 18, 2019
Ivan McKee: Scottish Government Minister for Trade, Investment and Innovation
Ivan McKee describes his ministerial role as that of 'Sales Director for Scotland' and combines his passion for Scotland's potential with the acumen of a highly successful businessman who knows a good MBO opportunity when he sees it. In this interview, he gives a rare insight into his business career, his adventures around the world and why he believes Scotland can thrive as an independent nation. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Scottish Parliament.
Nov 04, 2019
Maggie Morrison: Globe-trotting IT evangelist
Maggie Morrison, currently Vice President and Client Partner at NTT Data UK, has a wealth of experience in IT and sales – and a thirst for travel. In the latest Scottish Business Network podcast, she shares some of the lessons from her career to date, including enjoyable diversions into the culture of the Isle of Lewis, American poetry, Eastern philosophy and Across The Universe by The Beatles. Interviewed by Fraser Allen in the Balmoral Hotel.
Oct 21, 2019
Magnus Wake: Scotland's rising star in the film world
Magnus Wake is one of Scotland’s finest film-makers, and has recently released his first full-length movie, Dark Sense. A tense thriller shot in Edinburgh, it’s the ambitious creation of a man who has had to spend as much time managing finance and stakeholders as he has behind the camera. His story is a fascinating glimpse of a demanding career – and the great news is that he has three more films in the pipeline. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at Magnus’s home in Edinburgh.
Oct 07, 2019
Anna MacDonald: Bringing music alive for child refugees
The career of Anna MacDonald, a London-based musician and doctor, changed when she visited an orphanage in Iraq in 2014. The experience compelled her and colleague Alyson Frazier to establish a charity called Play for Progress, which helps children and young people who have made it to the UK as a single refugees, without family or support. Play for Progress gives them the opportunity to immerse themselves in music, play instruments and learn to compose. It’s a wonderful outlet for children who, in many cases, have been through highly traumatic experiences and can sometimes struggle to express themselves. Anna tells the story behind Play for Progress as well as her other organisation, the Association for Exiled Scots. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at in the Caledonian Club, London.
Sep 23, 2019
Michelle Thomson: Politician, musician and driver of change
Some successful people have one career - Michelle Thomson has had at least five, and we're still counting. Originally a professional musician, she's best known from her brief but high-profile spell as an MP. Yet she has also made her mark as a senior IT executive at Standard Life and Royal Bank of Scotland, as well as proving something of a property entrepreneur. And now together with former SNP colleague, Roger Mullin, she’s leading a consultancy called Momentous Change which, among other things, has been working on the establishment of the new Scottish Stock Exchange. Michelle discusses some of the major challenges she has overcome in a colourful career – and entertains us with a mini piano recital. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at her home in Edinburgh.
Sep 09, 2019
Maggie Berry: Tireless champion of women in business
After brief spells in a library and a bank, Dundonian Maggie Berry moved to London to work for a recruitment agency. It led to a high-profile career promoting diversity and the role of women in business – not only in Scotland and the UK but across the world. The founder of the Women in Technology Network, she is now Executive Director for Europe for WeConnect International, which helps women business owners to succeed in global markets. She’s also a former Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum and, as you’ll hear, has an exciting guest list for her fantasy dinner party. Fraser Allen interviewed Maggie at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.
Aug 26, 2019
Matt Alder: World-leading talent acquisition expert
An early adopter with a love for technology and an eye for an opportunity, Matt Alder is one of the world's leading talent acquisition experts. From his base in North Berwick, on the East Lothian Riviera, his updates on trends and innovations in TA are awaited with bated breath by professionals across the globe – particularly in the US. And key to his success has been a podcast series that has so far racked up three quarters of a million listens. Tune in to find out how he did it. Matt Alder was interviewed in his office by Fraser Allen.
Aug 12, 2019
Lance & Alasdair Gauld: The father and son partnership
Lance Gauld is a self-confessed adrenalin addict who loves participating in four sports: motor racing, skiing, mountain biking and running a business. He’s the man behind Cloud Cover IT, a rapidly growing Glasgow-based company. And now he has brought his son, industrial designer Alasdair Gauld, on board to help drive the business forward. Lance and Alasdair were interviewed by Fraser Allen at Cloud Cover IT's HQ.
Jul 29, 2019
Summer Review: Brain food, confessions and entertaining tales from 20 Scottish business superstars
For our 21st episode, presenter Fraser Allen reviews the series to date with clips from all 20 interviewees.
Jul 15, 2019
Simon Skinner: The man who turned around the National Trust for Scotland
After making his name in the NHS and a brief spell at the AA, Simon Skinner entered the financial services sector, ultimately becoming Chief Executive of AEGON Ireland. However, personal circumstances led him to return across the Irish Sea and he has spent the past four years turning around the fortunes of the National Trust for Scotland. Fraser Allen interviewed Simon at the headquarters of the Trust, in Edinburgh.
Jun 24, 2019
Lorna Jack: The driving force behind the Law Society of Scotland
Aberdeenshire-born Lorna trained with Arthur Andersen as an accountant, left to join the then-pioneering world of cable TV and then embarked on a successful career with Scottish Enterprise, ending up as President of the Americas (quite a title for the CV). She then returned to Scotland to take on the challenge of modernising the Law Society of Scotland. Vivacious and energetic, she's a natural leader – and this is an entertaining romp through the career of a lifelong 'Girl Guide badge collector' with a lust for life and travel . Her story even includes the recitation of a poem – and a very good one at that. Fraser Allen interviewed Lorna at the headquarters of the Law Society of Scotland in central Edinburgh.
Jun 11, 2019
Stephanie Robinson: Meet the HR expert
Ask a business owner what their biggest problem is and the answer is often ‘people’. Workflows can be mapped, production lines can be automated and customer promises can be made, but if you have serious HR challenges, everything can be derailed. Step forward Stephanie Robinson. Coming from an entrepreneurial family, she created a business called Solve HR which provides bespoke HR support to organisations. As well as talking us through her career, Stephanie offers insights into some of the most common challenges she helps businesses with – and how she helps employees as well as employers. Fraser Allen interviewed Stephanie at the Bonham Hotel in London.
May 27, 2019
Edel Harris: Award-winning social entrepreneur
In 2017, Edel Harris became the first woman to be named EY Scotland Entrepreneur of the Year. What arguably made that an even greater achievement was that she is CEO of a third sector organisation – the Aberdeen-based health and social care charity Cornerstone. Edel is a strong and charismatic leader, but also down-to-earth, which helps her carry people through times of significant change. She began her career as a police officer, left to start a family and then worked her way up to CEO status after returning to work at admin level and gaining a first-class honours degree through the Open University. From an Irish background but brought up in England, she has since been adopted by Scotland, is a director of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, and is big fan of Aberdeen Football Club. Edel was interviewed in front of a live Scottish Business Network audience, at the London HQ of Bristows LLP, by Fraser Allen.
May 13, 2019
Hannah Taylor: Fierce ambition in the world of magazines
As a young single mother juggling a degree at Napier University with a full-time job, Hannah Taylor took the bold decision to launch a magazine. She Is Fierce was launched on a tiny budget yet the creativity, intelligence and distinctive voice of the project turned many heads. Remarkably, against all odds, Hannah has since turned She Is Fierce into a full-time job, has an investor on board and big plans for the future. Listen in for an inspiring triumph of imagination and creativity. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at Hannah's home in Edinburgh.
Apr 29, 2019
Andrew Morrison: Award-winning entrepreneur & bid specialist
Bids and tenders are critical pipelines of new revenue for some businesses. However, putting a bid together can be stressful, time-consuming and, when it doesn’t go your way, very frustrating. As someone with a wealth of experience on the client side of bids, latterly with British Gas, Andrew Morrison spotted this and, in 2014, set up AM Bid, a business focused on getting his pitch clients over the winning line. In this episode, Andrew provides us with a mini-masterclass on the challenges of bidding, as well as revealing how he has meticulously built a business that is set to turnover £1m this year. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at Andrew's home, deep in the East Lothian countryside.
Apr 15, 2019
Tomás Carruthers: The man behind the Scottish Stock Exchange that collapsed before it started
In spring 2019, Tomás Carruthers announced ambitious plans for a new Scottish Stock Exchange. Numerous talented people were recruited, there was a lavish launch at Edinburgh's Botanic Gardens and expectations were high. Then the project ran out of money and Tomás gathered some unflattering press coverage. So what had he been trying to do? This interview was recorded in April 2019, a few months before the project bombed. Interview by Fraser Allen.
Apr 01, 2019
Poonam Gupta: The girl from Delhi who took on the world
Originally from Delhi, Poonam Gupta came to Scotland to begin married life with her husband. But she was ambitious and, after carrying out meticulous research, decided to create a business in Greenock trading paper globally. Building the company from scratch with no money to invest, its huge success is a testament to her shrewdness, hard work and talent for building trust with customers and suppliers. Poonam is also a shining example of the value of integrity in outstanding business leadership. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the PG Paper HQ in Greenock.
Mar 18, 2019
Rhona Baillie: The 'bird from the chippy' transforming hospice care
Rhona Baillie is the driving force behind the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice in Glasgow, which is seen as setting new standards in hospice care across the world. As CEO, she draws on a career in nursing and her earlier experiences working in a chip shop to bring people along with her in creating better ways of doing things. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Hospice, whilst keeping an eye out through the window for the fox cubs living in Bellahouston Park.
Mar 04, 2019
Mel Sherwood: The pitch & presentation expert
Ever had to pitch to a potential client or investor, or speak at a conference? And ever felt full of dread about how you're going to do it? If so, Mel Sherwood can help. Channelling her experience as an accomplished public speaker and actress (as well as the stage-fright she has experienced as a singer) she helps people make a big impression when they most need to. We hear about Mel's journey from Melbourne to Edinburgh, and get a big bunch of tips for handling those tricky pitches and presentations. Interviewed by Fraser Allen from in Mel's home.
Feb 20, 2019
Sheila Flavell: From policewoman to business guru
It's the 1970s. A young policewoman is standing for hours in the freezing rain in Glasgow. All she has for comfort is a jar of pickled onions. "There must be more to life than this," she thinks. It turned out there was. Today Sheila Flavell is COO of FDM Group, the only company listed on the Stock Exchange that has a married couple on the board (husband Rod Flavell is CEO). Sheila tells the unpredictable story of her career with many laughs, honesty about the ups and downs and business insights aplenty. You will also hear the extraordinary anecdote of 'spot the organ' – not for the faint-hearted. Sheila is a brilliant storyteller and a great champion for women in business. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at the offices of Shepherd & Wedderburn, next to St Paul's Cathedral in London, in January 2019. Interview conducted by Fraser Allen.
Jan 28, 2019
Gary Turner: The charismatic champion of small business owners
From innocent escapades as a 15-year-old 'digital shoplifter' in Glasgow to developing the highly disruptive accountancy platform Xero, Gary Turner has a fascinating and uplifting tale to tell. Inspired both by his parents and by observing life in small businesses throughout central Scotland (the financial pressures, the hopes and fears; the chipped mugs and the daily sandwich van), Gary is firmly on the side of SMEs, and tells his story with passion, humour and warmth. Interviewed by Fraser Allen via Skype.
Jan 15, 2019
George Mackintosh: From farmboy to global tech adventurer
George Mackintosh is a modern-day business adventurer, always looking for the next big thing – and usually finding it. A natural storyteller, his often humorous tale of shrewd opportunism is a great example to budding entrepreneurs. This interview was conducted live in front of an audience at the Caledonian Club in London by Fraser Allen.
Dec 27, 2018
Alistair Gray: Scotland's sporting game changer
He played a key role in transforming Scottish sport, made a similar impact in Ireland, modernised the English FA and worked with brands such as NCR and Famous Grouse. Intriguingly, he also spent two hours in the company of Roy Keane after Ireland's football captain stormed out of the 2002 World Cup. He's Scotland's best-kept sporting secret and eminently qualified to write his new book, The Game Changer. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh.
Dec 11, 2018
Clare Campbell: The Highland entrepreneur reinventing tartan
Clare Campbell's business, Prickly Thistle, creates bespoke tartan designs for clients across the world, woven at her mill in north-east Scotland. But beneath Clare's evident passion for the craftsmanship of her brand, lies the steady, beating heart of a chartered accountant. She is ambitious and this business is one to watch. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Central Court in London.
Nov 28, 2018
Russell Dalgleish: Serial entrepreneur and co-founder of the Scottish Business Network
Russell Dalgleish was offered a career in banking but saw his future in technology. And far from wishing to be chained to a desk, he wanted to travel the world with his laptop. With his business consultancy Exolta, his role as founder of the Scottish Business Network and a plethora of investor and NED roles, he is now a very well-kent figure in the Scottish business scene, with fascinating stories to tell. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the IoD, Edinburgh.
Nov 13, 2018
Christie Doran: The racing driver who shot out of nowhere
When Christie Doran saw an appeal in a newspaper for rookies to be trained up in motor racing, she seemed an unlikely candidate. Aged just 15, not only did she not have a driving licence, she knew nothing whatsoever about cars. Seven years on, she has established a reputation as a successful competitive driver – it turns out she was a natural. But as Fraser Allen discovers, her career is also a business. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Balmoral Hotel Edinburgh.
Oct 29, 2018
Professor Russell Napier: The Library of Mistakes
Tucked away in a charming mews building in central Edinburgh is an antidote to the repeated hubris that causes banks to collapse, businesses to fail and empires to crumble. Professor Russell Napier established the Library of Mistakes to help us learn from all the cock-ups we have already made, and really shouldn't be making again. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at the Library of Mistakes in Edinburgh.
Oct 15, 2018
Julie Ashworth: Round The World Yachtswoman turned global entrepreneur
Julie Ashworth interrupted a successful career at Tesco to take part in the first ever Round The World Yacht Race – despite the fact that she knew nothing about sailing and couldn't swim. Thoughtful and funny, Julie reveals the lessons she learned from that experience and the platform it created for a diverse and successful career as an entrepreneur. Interviewed by Fraser Allen at Julie's home in Edinburgh.
Oct 01, 2018
Tweedie Brown: Soldier, businessman and bon vivant
Tweedie Brown was the senior British commanding officer in Berlin when the wall came tumbling down. It's one of many colourful events in the career of a high-achieving soldier, businessman, impresario and bon vivant. Interviewed by Fraser Allen in Waterloo Place, London.
Sep 15, 2018