Unlocking Ambition cohort spend three days at London masterclass

The Unlocking Ambition cohort in London
The Unlocking Ambition cohort in London

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Twenty high growth Scottish based entrepreneurs have just completed a 3 day purpose-driven masterclass in London as part of the First Ministers Unlocking Ambition program.

As well as a meeting with Rajesh Agrawal, deputy mayor of London for business, the event included a large list of high profile names covering a breadth and depth of business acumen including Con Gornell, former EVP EMEA Marketing Warner Bros. Pictures along with CEO’s and heads from Cultural Enterprise Office, B Lab UK, Social Investment Scotland, Big Society Capital, Social Enterprise UK, Cordant Group, Keller Group plc, Nooli, and Kantar.

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The 3 days were masterfully designed to provide clarity of the ‘how’ and ‘why’, and the profitability of purpose-driven entrepreneurship, whilst creating and sustaining a culture of impact and performance in their companies.

Entrepreneur Paul Blackler, alongside Isatou Njai is a co-founder of Drink Baotic an innovative functional multivitamin and Prebiotic drink made from the African Baobab superfruit was one of the high growth participants to the program.

Paul said “It was an incredible few days, packed full of rich, experienced insight and knowledge connecting us better to the London network, learning about scaling businesses and with a common theme of socially driven entrepreneurship.

“The amazing list of speakers created a framework of conversation that has filtered down to the cohort, and I’m sure will continue as we support each other through the similar challenges of building a business.”

From left – Isatou Njai and Paul Blackler

The prestigious Unlocking Ambition Challenge is a £4 million flagship entrepreneurial development fund created by the Scottish Government, initiated by the First Minister for Scotland, that supports highly ambitious entrepreneurs chosen for their individual potential, the quality of their ideas and the contribution they can make to the Scottish economy and wider society. The program includes two strands through Scottish Enterprise and the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

The London based UA Masterclass Series, “Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship”, is an integral part of the Programme and saw Unlocking Ambition entrepreneurs inspired to grow businesses that have a social conscience; through developing products and services and implanting inclusive business practices that will have a positive impact on the lives of its workers, suppliers, customers and society.

Paul Blackler added “The trip was an opportunity to take time away from working ‘in the business’ to invest time working ‘on the business’ by learning from experts and each-other to challenge thinking and inject new motivation into the growth of our work. 

“At Baotic we have developed a functional healthy drink to tackle some of the health challenges of our modern diet, such as lacking fibre and guthealth, nutrition, sugar, and poor blood sugar levels, whilst supporting and contributing back to the Gambian communities that we work with to build agricultural gardens to improve health and nutrition. As a socially motivated business the three days have helped challenge my thinking and given me very tangible things that we can apply to achieve genuine social impact.” 

Entrepreneurs selected to be a part of the Unlocking Ambition cohort also receive support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh or Scottish Enterprise, are matched to a world-class business mentor via Entrepreneurial Scotland and gain access to the GlobalScot network and the Scottish Investment Bank. They also benefit from significant grant funding investment and a dedicated account team of specialists to support their business development.

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