Fifth cohort of Saltire Fellows celebrate graduation

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The fifth cohort of Saltire Fellowship graduates celebrated the conclusion of their programme last night.

The 21 new Fellows had embarked upon a 29-week journey of global travel, unique engagement and personal achievement, as they completed the world-class entrepreneurial leadership programme.

The programme included a residential week in Scotland, 13 weeks at the internationally-renowned Babson College in Boston, a week in Silicon Valley, a week in Shanghai, a 12-week Scottish project with high growth organisations and a final residential week in Scotland.

The Saltire Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland, hosted the graduation at Edinburgh’s City Chambers. The evening heard a keynote speech from John McGlynn, founder of the Airlink Group, one of Scotland’s most ambitious and fastest-growing privately owned companies.

He was joined by Professor Les Charm, Senior Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Babson College, Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of the Saltire Foundation and Susan Urquhart, chief operating officer.

Sandy Kennedy said: “Warmest congratulations are due to this dedicated and hard-working cohort of Fellows, who have amply demonstrated that they are worthy followers of those who have gone down this challenging path in previous years.”

The new Fellows now join the ranks of the 61 previous. 14 are chief executives, while the rest all hold senior positions in Scottish companies or have established their own businesses.

Of the current cohort, 50% of those undertaking Scottish projects have been employed by their host companies following the end of their externships.

The 2014/15 Fellowship is also the first to graduate into the Future Leaders Programme of Entrepreneurial Scotland, a network designed to help people build entrepreneurial enterprises and develop their careers and businesses.

Sarah Urqhuart said: “This is the largest cohort we have ever had and the highlights of this years’ programme included a trip to NASA in Silicon Valley and a tour around the Twinings tea factory in Shanghai. Scottish externship contracts have been carried out with companies such as STV, Money Dashboard and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.”

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