Jim McColl OBE to Inspire Young Entrepreneurs at SIE

One of Scotland’s best known entrepreneurs, Jim McColl OBE, will be the keynote speaker at the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) Student Enterprise Summit 2012, which will take place at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on March 22.

As Chairman and Chief Executive of Clyde Blowers Capital, Jim McColl is widely credited as taking it from a loss making business in 1992 to a very successful global business with an annual turnover today in excess of £1.35 billion. Speaking at the summit he will share his insights and experiences with Scottish students.

SIE’s Student Enterprise Summit stimulates and inspires students to become more entrepreneurial. Hundreds of students from all of Scotland’s 19 Higher Education Institutions will attend to learn from expert speakers and network with business people. They will be able to participate in activities designed to inspire them and learn how they can recognise their potential and accelerate their own business ideas.

Other confirmed speakers include: Mel Young, President and CEO of the Homeless World Cup and co-founder of The Big Issue, who will bring his social enterprise perspective, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne (Genius Foods) and Gregor Lawson (Morphsuits). The range of speakers demonstrates a wide spectrum of entrepreneurial talent and experiences to inspire Scotland’s students.

Fiona Godsman, Chief Executive Officer of SIE, said: “Our Student Enterprise Summit is a highlight of the entrepreneurial calendar and one we’re committed to making better and better. We had tremendous feedback from last year and this year will be just as memorable and inspirational. We’re delighted to have Jim McColl on-board as our keynote speaker and he joins a wonderful line-up of some of Scotland’s most inspirational entrepreneurs. By showcasing some great talents SIE aims to inspire our students to become Scotland’s entrepreneurs of the future!”

For further information on the SIE Student Enterprise Summit, including sponsorship opportunities, contact Evelyn Hynan, SIE Office and Events Manager: e.hynan@sie.ac.uk (0141 330 8793).


Pictured: Jim McColl OBE

Press Enquiries:

Scott McKellar, Marketing Communications Manager
Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), Top Floor, 11 Southpark Terrace, Glasgow, G12 8LG
Tel: 0141 330 8788 Email: s.mckellar@sie.ac.uk

Notes to Editor

1. Jim McColl left school at 16 to take up an engineering apprenticeship with Weir Pumps in Glasgow. After  6 years he began full time study for a BSc Degree in Technology and Business Studies at Strathclyde University.  Graduating with an Honours Degree in 1978 he returned to Weir Pumps for 3 years. Concurrently Jim studied for a Master’s Degree in Business Administration.In 1981 he moved to Diamond Power Speciality Limited, an engineering company supplying equipment to the power industry worldwide. At this time Jim also studied for a Master’s Degree in International Accounting and Finance.  In 1985 Jim was head hunted by Coopers & Lybrand as a senior consultant involved mainly in “corporate care” assignments, working in various companies who were in financial difficulties and in need of turnaround.  In 1986 he became a self-employed “company doctor” and, after two successful turnarounds, in 1992 he bought 29.9% of a small Scottish engineering company, Clyde Blowers PLC.   Turnover was around £4m, with a loss making core business subsidised by investment income.   The company was the smallest of eight companies doing what it did in the world market.  Over the following five years Jim acquired six of the remaining competitors. In May 2007, Jim announced the acquisition of Weir Pumps (Glasgow) from The Weir Group plc.  As a result of this transaction, 600 jobs and an important part of Scotland’s engineering heritage was saved.Over the past 10 years Clyde Blowers has developed into a truly global portfolio of 85 Companies in 27 different countries, employing 5,000 people around the world, with an annual turnover in excess of £1.35 billion.

2. A physiology graduate and chef, Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne published a successful book on cooking for food allergies in 2007. In 2009, Lucinda launched Edinburgh-based Genius Foods Ltd which produced award-winning gluten and wheat free bread. The brand has expanded to offer a range of popular gluten free products with the philosophy that everyone has right to enjoy the food that they eat.

3. Gregor Lawson is co-founder of Edinburgh-based Morphsuits, who produce all-in-one party costumes. In their first year of business they achieved sales of £1.2m. After leaving their jobs and taking on managing the business full time they achieved year-on-year growth of 300%, and reached global sales of £4.5m in 2010-11.

4. Mel Young is recognised as one of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Previously he worked as a journalist; co-founding The Big Issue in Scotland in 1993, and co-founding Senscot (Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland).He is currently President and CEO of the Homeless World Cup which he co-founded in 2003. He is also a non-executive director on two boards: Sportscotland and Glasgow Culture and Sport, and a member of the World Economic Forum Sports Agenda Council.

5. Students in all of Scotland’s 19 Higher Education Institutions are supported by SIE’s national network of Interns and Regional Business Advisors. Year on year growth in the numbers of new business ventures and the continual increase in the number of surviving student businesses is a powerful testimony to the continued success of SIE.

6. SIE’s programme of activities includes regional events, the national New Ventures and New Ideas competitions and an annual summer Bootcamp; an intensive residential workshop designed to fast-track student ventures from idea to market.

7. SIE’s flagship national event is the Student Enterprise Summit, which includes a gala reception for the winners of the New Ventures competition. Previous speakers include journalist and former political aide Alastair Campbell, Jacqueline Gold (CEO of Ann Summers), Kanya King (Founder and CEO of the MOBO Awards), and Sir Tom Hunter OBE (The Hunter Foundation, West Coast Capital).

8. For more information about SIE and its activities, visit the SIE website: www.sie.ac.uk.

Contact: Scott McKellar
Phone: 0141 330 8793
Email: s.mckellar@sie.ac.uk
Website: http://www.sie.ac.uk