Delegates attending an upcoming Edinburgh business awards ceremony will be given a chance to bid for a day with former US President Bill Clinton in New York, a track day at Silverstone with race legend Sir Jackie Stewart and a one-to-one with Live Aid hero Sir Bob Geldof – ahead of a trip to Africa.
The stellar opportunities will be on offer at the Scottish Business Awards, where First Minister Alex Salmond, Sir Tom Hunter, and John Swinney will rub shoulders with the likes of Sir Jackie and Clinton, the keynote speaker.
Awards organiser Josh Littlejohn said: “We were lucky enough to have the same prize available last year and it eventually went for a bid of £60,000, which was divided 50/50 between The Clinton Foundation and our charities. We’re also delighted to be offering the chance to win a track day at Silverstone with Sir Jackie Stewart.”
The Scottish Social Business Fund charity plans to work with final year students in Scotland’s top business schools.
Another prize on offer at the prestigious event is a development trip to Africa, which comes with a personal briefing from last year’s keynote speaker, Sir Bob Geldof .
At the 2012 Awards Sir Bob spoke to the assembled industry heads about social business, a concept this year’s awards are looking to take even further.
Mr Littlejohn said: “The idea is that the students who work with the Social Business Fund will be asked to come up with a feasible business plan for a socially conscious business, based along the same sort of model as Social Bite, which tackles a problem in Scotland that they want to see addressed.”
Sandwich shop Social Bite, based in Rose Street and owned by Mr Littlejohn, donates all profits to charity and also employs ex-Big Issue vendors.
He said: “Events like the Scottish Business Awards are important because they bring people in the business community together, entrepreneurs who really have the power to manifest change.”
Businesses from across Scotland, including amputee charity 500 Miles, Lothian Buses and family pharmacy Lindsay and Gilmour, will be competing for prizes such as the Microsoft Social Entrepreneur of the Year, the Chivas Brothers Entrepreneur of the Year and the People’s Postcode Lottery Green Business of the Year.
With a turnover of more than £100 billion estimated between the 140 companies competing in 18 different categories, this will be one of the largest business events held in Scotland, and it is hoped it will make £250,000 for charity.
Sir Tom Hunter said: “These are exceptional awards run by a young social entrepreneur who is an example to us all. The fact he has President Clinton speaking at the event tells you all you need to know about the quality of the awards.”
Sir Tom, a member of the judging panel, is also offering a day as his “ultimate employee” to the highest bidder.
The Scottish Business Awards will be held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre on June 21.
NOMINEES ARE GOING THE EXTRA MILE
Among those shortlisted is Olivia Giles, who is in the running to win the Microsoft Social Entrepreneur of the Year award for her charity, 500 Miles.
In 2002, when she was 36, Olivia, right, gave up her career as a lawyer after contracting meningococcal septicaemia and requiring quadruple amputations.
She set up 500 Miles to help provide prosthetics for children and adults in Africa who have also lost limbs.
She said: “I was nominated by a friend and am amazed and delighted to have got this far.”
Also celebrating was Nigel Cumming, chairman of Lindsay and Gilmour Pharmacy, who is in the running for Family Business of the Year. He said: “I think it’s the fact that every pharmacy is different, that we will cater to the needs of the community rather than just opening identical branches, that sets us apart. In an area with a lot of elderly people we will ensure we are properly equipped to deliver to them.”