Scaling Up Scotland – Major Conference and Networking Event Launched by the Hunter Foundation

THE HUNTER Foundation (THF) will bring together some of the UK and Scotland’s top entrepreneurs this autumn at its ‘Founders Conference – Scaling Up Scotland’.

The event, which is being supported by Entrepreneurial Scotland, is the first of its kind hosted by the organisation in partnership with the Scottish National Investment Bank (The Bank).

It continues the partnership between THF and the Bank, following their existing collaboration on ScaleUpScotland 2.0. 

Taking place on 3 November at Gleneagles Hotel, the conference will feature speakers with illustrious backgrounds in entrepreneurship.

Sir Tom Hunter, Founder of The Hunter Foundation
“As many will tire of me saying – it’s scale-ups that move the economic dial and we need far greater focus on supporting them” – Sir Tom Hunter, Founder of The Hunter Foundation

These include Matthew Moulding, founder of THG plc (formerly The Hut Group), on what it takes to start from nothing and build global Prestige Beauty and Wellness brands.

Matthew will also speak about the end-to-end digital commerce platform Ingenuity, the only UK listed technology business to be recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant.

The conference will welcome Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert, Professor of Vaccinology at the University of Oxford’s Pandemic Sciences Institute and co-founder of Vaccitech, who initiated development of the Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

The speakers will also include Lord Willie and Lady Susan Haughey, who will, for the first time together, share their story of building a billion pound family business from the Glasgow’s Gorbals.

Guests will also hear from Line of Duty star Martin Compston and journalist and broadcaster Gordon Smart over dinner.

Meanwhile James Timpson OBE DL will reflect on how he has built the family-owned retail company Timpson’s whilst championing the recruitment of prison leavers into employment.

Chris van der Kuyl CBE, serial investor and developer of Minecraft is also part of the line-up, as is co-founder and co-CEO of £200m+ global business Ooni, Darina Garland.

David Duke MBE, will also talk through his journey from homelessness to founding and scaling Street Soccer, helping thousands of challenged individuals to a positive destination.

The transformative potential of entrepreneurship for disadvantaged individuals and communities will be a prominent theme at the conference. 

Sir Tom Hunter, Founder of The Hunter Foundation, said: “Over the years we’ve seen what a compelling role entrepreneurship plays in driving innovation, powering the nation’s economic growth and facilitating positive change within our communities.

“Our Founders’ Conference will, we hope, provide inspiration, insight, motivation and connectivity that will help entrepreneurs scaling businesses to build more quickly and more effectively by learning from those that have been there and done it.”

Willie Watt, Chair of the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “At the Bank, we believe that a healthy scale-up support landscape is critical to enable growing businesses to thrive.

“Ensuring that scaling businesses can access the support and guidance they need to sustain their growth brings productivity gains, enhanced R&D investment, high-value job creation and export growth, having the power to transform our economy.

“We’re delighted to partner with the Hunter Foundation to offer that insight and practical help to Scotland’s scaling businesses,” Willie added. 

The conference will be followed by a sold-out dinner, enabling networking opportunities, with any profits being donated to charity.

The Hunter Foundation is a proactive venture philanthropy that seeks to invest in determining model solutions, in partnership with others, to troubling systemic issues relating to poverty eradication, educational enablement and entrepreneurship.

The Scottish National Investment Bank is Scotland’s first development investment bank, wholly owned by the Scottish Ministers on behalf of the people of Scotland.