In Pioneering People, Morven McIntyre talks to some of the most innovative entrepreneurs around. Creative thinkers who have paved their own way and become pioneers in their field. We'll hear their stories from early life, what shaped their ambitions and how they managed to carve out their own path to success.
Sophie Amono is quite the entrepreneur being founder of ethical skincare social enterprise PERF and social media agency, Stuffs. Whilst volunteering in a homeless shelter, Sophie saw the value in bringing skincare products to homeless people. With encouragement and support from the charity Streetwork - Sophie setup vegan and cruelty free beauty brand, PERF in October of 2018. A name inspired by Australian comedian, Chris Lilley’s TV character, Ja’mie with the deeper messages of inclusivity and self acceptance. All products are handmade in Scotland using organic plant based ingredients and with each product sold a proportion of profits goes back to charities that help to support homelessness. She is also an equality campaigner being an inclusion and diversity council member at the British interactive media association. Sophie talks about how her community values translate into her business model and why she wants to inspire the next generation of black women.
Daryll Morrow is a Scottish entrepreneur and the co-founder of Udrafter, a micro internship platform. Once graduating from university, Daryll struggled to find a job which led him to set up Udrafter - an online platform that allows students to complete paid internships that compliment their degree choice. It aims to make work experience more accessible and an all round more efficient process through the use of technology. Businesses can access a pool of talent from Udrafter to select a candidate to complete paid work placements from anything between 2 and 50 hours. Candidates will be given points based on their work alongside comments and this will then be validated on their online portal. Businesses benefit from a cheaper way of sourcing work and students benefit from having more skills and experience. The platform also has a section where students can up skill and have their skills validated by mentors on the platform. The company also organised a 3 day event called the Digital Draft in response to businesses freezing recruitment during the pandemic where students competed to help businesses solve problems. Daryll shares he thinks the pandemic has shown that working remotely is the way forward and why he hopes that Udrafter will go full circle in terms of employment.
Georgia Stewart is a Scottish entrepreneur and the co-founder and CEO of financial tech company, Tumelo. Georgia's interest in ethical finance began early, whilst studying at Cambridge university she joined a campaign called Positive investment Cambridge which aimed to secure a more transparent approach to the university portfolio. Tumelo’s aim is to help individuals, people who have money invested in a pension or money invested in the stock market, understand where their money is going when they are making an investment. Tumelo partners with investment platforms and pension providers to engage investors by giving them a more transparent view of the companies they own and a shareholder voice on issues they care about. Indirect investors can vote on shareholder proposals and have a say in the wider stock market. Shareholder proposals include topics from gender equality to animal welfare. Tumelo aim to encourage responsible investment and to involve the wider public. Georgia talks about she thinks having a voice in the stock market is the best way to promote positive social change and why she thinks being ethical and making a profit can go hand in hand.
Nick Cousins is a Scottish entrepreneur and the founder of Exizent. After 20 years of working across the financial and service sector. In 2018, Nick founded Exizent- a business to business financial tech startup that aims to be the UK’s first bereavement platform. Exizent aims to connect executors, legal services and the institutions such as banks and insurance firms. The ethos of the business is to make administering an estate easier for an executor by making it more cost effective and a quicker process. The aim of the platform is running non value added tasks at scale to bring down the cost and make it more efficient. This will be done through open access to data, reducing the time it takes to discover and validate information and to improve the overall process. Nick shares why he thinks it's timely to add technology to the bereavement sector and why a service design approach is the best way forward.
Brie Read is an entrepreneur and the founder of Snag Tights - a size inclusive tights brand. Snag was founded in 2018 after an embarrassing experience left her throwing away her tights on George Street in Edinburgh. Brie began talking to her friends about it and found that they shared similar bad experiences. She then conducted a demographically representative survey which found that 90% of women were unhappy with their tights. This gap in the market led Brie to set up Snag tights, an all-female founded and female led company. They are the first tights designed to fit people by their size, height and body shape. With a background in marketing for high growth companies, she set up her website with the viewpoint that nothing would be on the website unless the customer asks for it. It’s this simple business ethos ‘of tights that fit’ that she credits to her success. In 2019, Brie was awarded start-up Entrepreneur of The Year at the Barclays Entrepreneur Awards and is active in her wider charity work with the LGBTQ+ community. Brie talks about why she thinks tights play a part in our self acceptance journey and why she takes an unconventional approach to business.
Christian Arno is a Scottish entrepreneur who is the co-founder and CEO of Pawprint: The Eco Movement and Founder and President of Lingo24, the translation company. Pawprint was co-founded by Christian in the summer of 2019. It is an app which acts as an eco companion that allows individuals and companies to calculate, understand and reduce their annual carbon footprint- or as Christian would call it their ‘paw print’. The idea came to Christian after he thought applying numbers to individual choices would help people quantify the relative importance of climate change. The app offers a personalised tracking and tips service for users with an ambitious goal of supporting a million people taking one tonne of CO2 emissions off their annual pawprint. Other features include helping users with lifestyle goals such as saving money, eating better and being more active. The app also has a rewards based feature whereby users can complete challenges and receive tokens known as ‘paw points.’ Paw points allow users to vote on different climate change causes, and those with the most votes will receive a donation from PawPrint. Christian shares why he thinks individuals coming together have the power to tackle the climate crisis and why the key is setting the right tone and providing digestible information.
Pioneering People Series 2 - Coming Soon
In this new series of Pioneering People, host Morven McIntyre is back with a new line up of entrepreneurs from a wide range of sectors including eco tech, ethical investment and many more! The podcast explores what makes and motivates entrepreneurs and hears their stories first-hand.
Sarah Ronald is a Scottish entrepreneur and angel investor, who is the founder of Nile, a service design company. Sarah had an early interest in psychology and how the mind worked. This led her to study an MSC in Human Computer Interaction, the study of how humans interact with machines. Then in 2006, with 3 others, she founded Bunnyfoot Scotland- a user experience company specialising in technology such as i-tracking. However, different business goals among the founders resulted in Sarah undertaking management buyout. As part of the agreement, Sarah re-branded under the name of ‘Nile’ to focus on service design. An area of design specialising in imagining products and services whilst figuring out what technology and human resources are necessary in delivering them. Nile’s clients include RBS with work including designing the Scottish bank note. Sarah has been active in championing service design including being the Co-chair and founding member of the Service Design Network UK. She also has a passion for investment. Not only does Nile have a venture arm that invests in local entrepreneurs but also Sarah is a syndicate investor for Par Equity. Among other things, Sarah shares her business insights on why investment can activate positive change and why an optimistic outlook is key to running a successful business.
Peter Orr is an accomplished entrepreneur having founded three businesses to date. Beginning his career in the legal profession, Peter worked in areas such as IT, corporate and E-commerce law. Then in 2004, he co-founded Intelligent Mobile, a digital innovation agency offering services in mobile websites and app development. Peter's other business ventures include the company the Legal Broker, an intermediary between the buyers and sellers of legal services and the charity Hearts and Minds which offers the service of therapeutic clowning for the elderly and children. Peter talks about how the lessons from sport can translate into business and why great people are the key ingredient for innovation.
Ray Bugg is an entrepreneur who is the founder and director of DIGIT FYI, a technology media and events company. After a few years working in catering, Ray got the opportunity to work for a major publishing company which was the kickstarter of his career. Ray was then headhunted to run the prestigious event, The World Youth Congress where he learned the value in engagement and the meeting of people to discuss ideas. His roles in publishing and events came together at Holyrood ICT Media and Events where he held conferences and major stakeholder events for the government. After seeing a gap in the market for events and news catering to the enterprise sector, Ray pitched his idea to Holyrood but it was not taken forward. Ray didn’t want to leave the idea on the sidelines and he secured clients at Holyrood to come to his first IT conference which provided seed funding to start his business. Fast forward to now, DIGIT FYI is Scotland’s leading technology media and events company providing tech news, views, opinion for IT and Digital users and consumers. Ray talks about the value in protecting the data that you hold and using that data in a meaningful way, his philosophy of two ears and one mouth and finally, why he is sceptical of digital media in an era of fake news.
Peter Proud is the founder and CEO of Cortex Worldwide, a technology company innovating in cloud computing and application development. From an early age, Peter was interested in technology, IT and computing. Following a dynamic career at some of the world’s leading technology companies such as Microsoft, Accenture and IBM, Peter decided to set up his own company- Cortex Worldwide. The foundations of the company originate from Peter’s work at Microsoft where he focused on consumer engagement and how to communicate with customers across multiple platforms. Inspired by this work, Peter set up a software service that helps clients build scalable global websites. Peter shares many business insights including learning the difficult lesson of patience when setting up a business, the value in building a strong business network and his philosophy of why cash isn’t the only currency in business.
Karen Berry is a Scottish entrepreneur. She is the founder and principal teacher at Danscentre- one of the longest standing partnerships in the UK. Karen has had a 33 year career in dance as a performer, researcher, choreographer and teacher. Among other things, she is a teacher training manager at the Royal Ballet School in London and has designed courses for both the Royal Academy of Dance and the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Karen talks about why both creativity and diversification are key to a long standing business. She also touches on the importance of the arts in society and why dance helps to connect with both the physical and emotive side.
Roy Hotrabhvanon is the CEO and co-founder of PlayerData- a multi award winning start-up innovating in the sports technology sector. With a passion for building things and programming them, Roy began his journey in building sports improvement technology after taking up archery whilst studying computer science and electronics at Edinburgh university. At this time, Roy met co-founder Hayden Ball. Together they combined heart monitoring technology and a motion tracking product which created the foundations for PlayerData. Roy went from a beginner in archery to competing in the World Championships representing Thailand. However, a life threatening car accident meant that he was no longer able to compete. Instead of being deterred by his experience, he went onto develop two products: a 3D model analysis and GPS tracking product which can be used for a variety of sports. Through his experience from a beginner to elite in archery, Roy's vision is to help athletes at all levels improve their performance with no barriers to entry through his affordable subscription model.
Julie Grieve is a Scottish entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of Criton, an award winning guest engagement platform simplifying digital transformation in hotels. Among other things, Julie is a Director of Women in Tourism and sits on her Majesty's Culture and People Advisory Board. Julie discusses why she wants others to see entrepreneurship as accessible and the daunting reality of saying 'no' to business to avoid spreading yourself too thin. In addition, she sheds some light on the difficulty of being an entrepreneur and trying to create a work-life balance.
Mel Young MBE
Mel Young MBE is one of Scotland's most successful and best known social entrepreneurs. His extensive work includes being the co-founder of the Big Issue magazine in Scotland and Senscot- the Social Entrepreneurs Network Scotland. But perhaps Mel is best known for the hugely successful Homeless World Cup where he is President and co-founder. Mel talks about starting out, his drive for tackling inequality and how the only profit he needs is seeing positive social change.
Pioneering People Trailer
Here's what you can expect from Pioneering People, presented and produced by Morven McIntyre.