Social enterprise agency strengthens board with new four appointments

24/05/2023
Clockwise from Top Left: Al Donald, Lee Fitzpatrick, Trevor Civval and Mark Biggs

FIRSTPORT Scotland’s support and funding agency for social entrepreneurs, has announced the appointment of four new members to its Board of Directors. The skills and experience of the new appointees will support Firstport’s ambitions to grow commercially and increase interest in its grant and social investment programmes.

Firstport has a well-established reputation as one of the key support agencies in the Scottish social enterprise ecosystem. It manages the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund, which offers seed funding to new start social entrepreneurs, alongside free business support and training as part of the Just Enterprise contract. In addition, Firstport delivers LaunchMe, an investment readiness programme and the Catalyst Fund, a flexible social investment fund.

Yvonne Greeves, Chair of the Firstport board, said: “I am delighted to welcome Al, Lee, Mark, and Trevor to the Firstport board. Combined, they bring together a wealth of knowledge, expertise and connections that will prove invaluable to Firstport.

Now is a crucial time for the organisation as it gears up to deliver its strategic objectives over the next few years. With these new appointments, the board will be better equipped to support the team to achieve its goals.”

The four new board members are:

Al Donald

Al has a background in finance, working in commercial banking with TSB for 23 years before joining LINC Scotland in 2012 as their Development Manager.

LINC is Scotland’s angel capital association, an independent not-for-profit whose role is to support and encourage angel investment in Scotland. Al spends most of his time liaising with the syndicates and providing investment-ready information to early-stage businesses seeking capital. He is also Deputy Chair of Art In Healthcare, a Scottish charity which uses art to help those with mental issues.

Lee Fitzpatrick

Lee is the co-founder and Managing Director of Zebra Growth, a creative marketing agency that supports ethical entrepreneurs to scale their impact.

A problem solver at heart, Lee has been an entrepreneur operating in the start-up space both in the UK and globally for 15 years. Born into a 4th generation family business, Lee was inspired by purpose and legacy. He has been involved in ‘business for good’ initiatives since 2012 and has grown increasingly disconnected from the traditional profit-driven business ecosystem. This disconnection led to him co-founding Zebra Growth.

Professor Mark J. Biggs CEng FIChemE 

Mark is a chemical engineering academic with extensive international experience. Since 2020, he has served as Heriot-Watt University’s Vice-Principal and Provost.

Mark spent eight years as an academic at Edinburgh University before becoming Professor of Chemical Engineering and Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at Adelaide University in 2008 and Dean of Science at Loughborough University in 2014.  

Trevor Civval

Trevor is an experienced executive and non-executive director with commercial and third sector organisations with expertise in finance and governance. Recent appointments have included as Chair of Corra Foundation and trustee of Social Bite. In addition, Trevor is a member of the Kilfinan Group, which offers mentoring advice to charity chief executives. 

Trevor’s professional career has largely been in corporate finance and corporate advisory. Most recently, he was a founding partner of a firm established specifically to advise pension scheme trustees. 

Gael Drummond, Firstport Group’s Chief Executive, said: “On behalf of the team, I would like to welcome our new members onto the board. Al, Lee, Mark, and Trevor share our passion for social enterprise, and its potential to contribute towards a society in which doing business is synonymous with doing good. Their insights and expertise as leading figures in their fields will be invaluable.

We are looking forward to working with and learning from them.”

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