One of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs will be honoured for his philanthropic work at a prestigious award ceremony next month.
Sir Tom Hunter will be one of six recipients of this year’s Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.
Described by some as the “Nobel Prize for philanthropy”, the medal recognises those who use their private wealth for public good and is awarded biannually.
This year’s winners will receive their medals at a ceremony at the Scottish Parliament on 17 October.
Now in its 12th year, it will be only the second time the ceremony has been held outside the United States. Holyrood first hosted the event in 2005.
The award recipients were announced yesterday by the Carnegie UK Trust, which said the philanthropic activities of this year’s medallists span the globe and include support for education, science, entrepreneurship and the arts.
Sir Tom was knighted in 2005 for services to entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
A long-term advocate of “giving back,” he has championed the cause of philanthropy in Europe, the trust said.
The son of a shop owner, he started his first business selling sports shoes from the back of a van with a £5,000 loan from his father, building the business into Europe’s largest independent sports retailer and eventually selling it in 1998 for £290 million.
Along with his wife, Lady Marion, he went on to establish The Hunter Foundation, which supports educational and entrepreneurial projects.
This year’s other medal recipients are Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chair of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development; American mathematician Dr James Harris Simons and his wife, economist Dr Marilyn Simons; Dr Dmitry Zimin, the founder of the second-largest telecommunications business in Russia; and Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton on behalf of the Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation, which supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts and humanities.
Previous winners include the Gates family, the Sainsbury family, the Cadbury family, George Soros and Kwik-Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer.
This year’s celebration of philanthropy will coincide with the centenary of the trust set up in the name of industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who was born in Dunfermline in 1835.
The Scottish Parliament will hold a public ballot to give members of the public a chance to attend the ceremony in the debating chamber.
Those who want to attend should apply to Holyrood in writing before Wednesday 2 October. Further details of how to apply are on the parliament’s website.
THE FULL LIST OF WINNERS:
• Sir Tom Hunter, entrepreneur and founder of Hunter Foundation
• Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chair of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development
• American mathematician Dr James Harris Simons and his wife, economist Dr Marilyn Simons
• Dr Dmitry Zimin, the founder of the second-largest telecom business in Russia
• Dame Janet Wolfson de Botton on behalf of the Wolfson family, founders of the Wolfson Foundation, which supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts and humanities.