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Saltire Foundation looks for next generation of Scottish business leaders in Food & Drink sector

Scotland's hugely successful Food & Drink sector is being targeted by the Saltire Foundation as it once again recruits the business talent of the future.

Scotland’s hugely successful Food & Drink sector is being targeted by the Saltire Foundation, the world-class entrepreneurial leadership programme and the philanthropic arm of Entrepreneurial Scotland, as it once again recruits the business talent of the future.

The sector, which employs some 360,000 people across the supply chain, is on track to meet its latest ambitious target of £16.5 billion by 2017. Scotch whisky exports alone accounted for £4.3 billion by value.

The Saltire Foundation is now inviting ambitious Scots within the Food & Drink sector to join this year’s cohort of Saltire Fellows, the class-leading programme which combines theory and practice guided by the principle of entrepreneurial thought and action.

The prestigious course – which provides Fellows with an unparalleled chance to engage with global thought leaders and entrepreneurs – is again likely to attract a huge following.

Susan Urquhart, recently appointed chief operating officer of the Saltire Foundation, said: “The Food & Drink sector has some remarkable individuals in it and we want to offer them this very unique opportunity to join 2015’s cohort of Fellows.”

Rosemary McGinness, the Group HR Director of William Grant & Sons, the family-owned premium spirits company which is home to brands such as Glenfiddich, The Balvenie and Hendricks Gin, is backing this year’s recruitment drive.

Ms McGinness, who has held a series of senior global positions, said: “The Saltire Foundation is recognised as having contributed hugely to entrepreneurship – as well as encouraging intrapreneurs, who are supported by their companies to further their ambitions.

“The food and drink industry in Scotland has some very talented people and the Saltire Fellowship programme is an ideal way of helping them to realise their potential at the same time as enriching the sector.”

Bruce Turner is managing director and chairman of PureMalt Products, based in Haddington, East Lothian, which produces an extensive range of high quality malt extracts, which it exports to more than 50 countries worldwide

Mr Turner said: “The Saltire Fellowship training produces exactly the entrepreneurial mindset we need to make Scotland’s food and drink output even more internationally successful than it already is.”

The 2015/16 Fellowship programme runs from August 31, 2015 to April 2, 2016.

Susan Urquhart said: “Our new Fellows will all be different and will think in different ways – that is what makes it so special. We will have entrepreneurs, who have founded or want to found their own companies, and we will have intrapreneurs, who are sponsored by their companies or organisations to take part.

“Intrapreneurs are people who have been identified as being special within an enterprise and are ready for that extra fuel injection to learn how to scale the business in a global marketplace.”

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of the Saltire Foundation, said: “Fellows will spend 13 weeks in a dynamic learning environment in Babson College in Boston, working together to address real world business challenges.”

Over the programme, the Fellows will undertake two projects and have the opportunity to work at Massachusetts Institute of Technology or in California’s Silicon Valley.

They will also spend a week in Shanghai, learning from entrepreneurs operating in China and a residential week at the RBS Business School in Edinburgh.

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