Co-founder & Managing Director of Social Enterprise Academy International CIC (Scotland)
Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sam is leading the international replication of Scotland’s Social Enterprise Academy.
With an established social licence network across 9 countries, the Academy is in search of new partners to join the SEA international team, share learning and development approaches, and collaborate in developing social enterprise ecosystems around the world.
Co-founder of five social enterprises over 17 years, Sam’s experience ranges from environmental conservation to community asset development, social inclusion, refugee issues, theatre and film. He is now experimenting with new ventures: Industrial Nature - bio-composite sustainable building materials, and Backstory - back pain relief and prevention products made from upcycled materials.
As a practising social entrepreneur Sam was one of the first Associates recruited to facilitate learning programmes in leadership, entrepreneurship, social impact and personal development with the Social Enterprise Academy in 2004.
Facilitated by practitioners rather than technical experts, the Academy focuses on peer learning to support the practice of leadership and entrepreneurship. Beyond knowledge and skills, the Academy supports leaders at all levels to deal with their day to day challenges, gain clarity, confidence and insight to lead transformational impact. Its Social Enterprises in Schools programme has now also reached almost half the schools in Scotland, engaging the next generation in social change.
Responding to international demand for replication of its model, in 2012 the Academy secured social investment from the Scottish Government, Big Issue Invest, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and Social Investment Scotland. Learning by doing, the Academy team jumped in and tested how to share its approach, developing an international trade-based social licence model with reciprocal sharing and mutual support at its heart.
In 2017, the Academy has now delivered learning programmes in over 20 countries, and local social licence partners are engaging almost 100 staff and Associates in adapting its model across 9 countries including Australia, South Africa, Malawi, Malaysia, China, Pakistan, India and around Europe.