Two Upcoming Scottish Referendum Debates hosted by Scottish Entrepreneurship Organizations

Two upcoming events of interest by entrepreneurship groups in Edinburgh are on the schedule. The first is being held by WeDo on May 1st, 2014 (tomorrow) and is billed as a Referendum Debate (see the overview of the event below). WeDo has about 120 members.

The second is on May 20th, 2014 and is hosted by the Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club (aka “E-Club”) that I co-founded in January of 2005 and is now coordinated by Jo Young. Its a referendum debate as well and the details are below. The E-Club is the largest entrepreneurship club in Scotland with over 1300 members.

We haven’t yet noted a referendum debate event hosted by the Entrepreneurial Exchange which is about 450 people big primarily serves Glasgow. Other groups as well are planning referendum debates and we’ll add to this list as we learn about them.

I will ask attendees to send me one page overviews and/or video or audio recordings of each and place them here on this post after the events are over so do check back. Interesting discourse as there has been really little mention of the independence prospect from the perspective of the entrepreneurial community outside of that which sits on the blog of the Academic Entrepreneur.


wedo entrepreneurs scotland

The Scottish Referendum Debate Breakfast – hosted by WEDO on May 1st, 2014*

*reference: from the Eventbrite site:





WeDO Scotland is delighted to be hosting a Scottish Referendum Debate on behalf of the SME community in Scotland. The event will be chaired by Bill Jamieson and representing the YES campaign will be Fergus Ewing MSP and the NO campaign, Iain Gray MSP.  Our thanks to Howies Restaurant at Waterloo Place for hosting us.Come along and join us for a lively debate and the opportunity to question Fergus and Iain on the pros and cons of each campaign.  Places are limited and will be allocated on a first come first served basis so please book as soon as possible to guarantee your attendance.







Elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 for the constituency of Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Fergus has been re-elected on each of the three subsequent elections, moving from a majority of 441 to a more substantial total of nearly 10,000 for the new seat of Inverness and Nairn.During the first three sessions of the Scottish Parliament he sat on various committees, and was a front bencher on Finance and then Transport.   In 2007 in the minority SNP administration he served as Minister for Community Safety. He has been Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism since 2011.


Elected to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 for the constituency of Edinburgh Pentlands, Iain has held 4 different Ministerial posts, including Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, alongside Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell. He also spent 4 years as a Special Adviser to the then Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Darling.  The experience gave him a unique understanding of how devolution works. Iain became MSP for East Lothian in 2007 and was Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament from September 2008 to December 2011.

                                              CHAIR – BILL JAMIESON                                                         FOUNDER OF SCOT-BUZZ & FORMER EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF THE SCOTSMAN

Bill Jamieson is the founder of Scot-Buzz, a media website which brings news and instant analysis on key business and economic data together with practical help and support for SMEs as well as sharp and incisive commentary on business and current affairs.  Formerly Executive Editor of the Scotsman Newspaper and the economics columnist for Scotland on Sunday, Bill continues to write for both publications on a freelance basis in addition to the Spectator Business magazine & City AM.  He is also regular commentator on business & economic affairs for BBC Scotland.   



eclub banner

Debate on the Scottish Independence Referendum & Entrepreneurship – hosted by the Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club of the Business School at the University of Edinburgh on May 20th, 2014

*reference: as placed on the Business School’s event website – University of Edinburgh

The Eventbrite sign up page is here:


Two possible futures for our entrepreneurs! So which one & what of the financials/ economics?

This is a joint event with MBM Commercial which looks at how the entrepreneurial landscape in Scotland could be affected by the independence debate. Join us for an evening of debate and discussion whether you are an entrepreneur, a funder or involved in supporting entrepreneurial activity.

Award winning journalist, Bill Jamieson, will chair a Question Time debate with an expert panel of politicians, economists and financial commentators. Following the debate at 7.30pm, guests will be invited to the Informatics Forum for drinks and canapes.


Update: 23 May 2014:  According to Jo Young, 450 people attended the event. That is an excellent turnout for an Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club Event, which tend to average about 100.

Update May 24 2014:

Here was the panel per the E-Club website:


Bill Jamieson, Chairman

Bill Jamieson is an award-winning journalist who has specialised in financial journalism and economics over a forty year career. In 2012 Bill stepped down as Executive Editor of The Scotsman after twelve years but is retained by the paper in a freelance and consulting capacity. He has launched Scot-Buzz, a website dedicated to supporting enterprise and business start-up.

Dr Angus Armstrong, National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)

Dr Angus Armstrong is Director of Macroeconomic Research at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) and a Visiting Professor at Imperial College London. He is an ESRC Senior Scottish Fellow and a member of the Management team of the ESRCs Centre for Macroeconomics. Prior to joining NIESR, Angus was Head of Macroeconomic Analysis at HM Treasury, closely involved with stability measures to mitigate the financial crisis. He was previously Chief Economist Asia and managing director at Deutsche Bank. Angus’s research interests are in macroeconomics, comparative financial systems, financial crises and early childhood interventions. He has studied at Stirling, Harvard, MIT and Imperial.

James Barbour, ICAS

James Barbour is the Director of Technical Policy within ICAS and has worked for the Institute since August 1999. He qualified as a CA in 1996 having trained with the Glasgow office of a Group A firm. He then spent a further four years in general practice with one of Scotlands largest independent firms before joining the Institute. James oversees the work of several ICAS technical committees including the Business Policy Committee and has regularly provided assistance on overseas contracts on accounting, auditing and ethical matters; particularly in developing nations. He is a member of the CCAB Ethics Group, the CCAB European Issues Task Force, the Audit Quality Forum and the FEE member Assembly. He was also as an expert reviewer of the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) SME Guide on the Application of International Standards on Auditing and previously acted as audit adviser to the Global Accounting Alliance.

Iain Gray, MSP

Iain Gray MSP became a Member of the first Scottish Parliament in 1999 after a career as a teacher of maths and physics and then as an aid worker for Oxfam. As a MSP Iain has held four different Ministerial posts, including Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, alongside Donald Dewar, Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell. He also spent four years as a Special Adviser to the then Secretary of State for Scotland, Alistair Darling. The experience gave him a unique understanding of how devolution works. Iain became MSP for East Lothian in 2007 and was Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament from September 2008 to December 2011. Iain is currently the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth.

Professor Brian Quinn


Professor Brian Quinn CBE is a well known economist and financial commentator who has held may senior executive and non-executive director roles involving international finance and economics. He also runs a financial consulting business. Between 1964 and 1970 Brian worked for the International Monetary Fund (IMF), first as an economist at the African Department, then as IMF Representative for West Africa. He then joined the Bank of England as an economist, eventually rising to Deputy Governor in 1995. In 1996 he joined Celtic plc as a non-executive director, and was made chairman in 2000. His non-executive roles have included Bank Gesellschaft Berlin (UK) plc, Britannic Asset Management Limited, Sumitomo-Mitsui Bank, Nomura Bank International, G.E. Mortgage Insurance and the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority. Brian is also a Fellow of the Institute of Bankers in Scotland and is an advisor to the World Bank and IMF. Brian has written three papers on Scottish independence for the David Hume Institute which are available on its website.

Cally Russell, Mallzee

Cally Russell is an entrepreneur and CEO of start-up Mallzee, a personal shopping app business based in Edinburgh. In their first year Mallzee has raised in excess of 0.5m and been named as one of the six apps to change the way the world shops by Yahoo. Cally previously worked for Weber Shandwick Public Affairs following graduating from Dundee University with a degree in Politics and International Relations, where he has written about fiscal autonomy. Cally is an advocate of young people in business and supports multiple organisations in this area. Cally is a finalist in the 2014 Young Scot of the Year awards and has been named in the 2014 Ones to Watch listings by the Scotsman. He is a member of Business for Scotland.

Andrew Wilson, Charlotte Street Partners

Andrew Wilson was a civil servant and bank economist who was elected as a Member of the first Scottish Parliament in 1999. During his time in Parliament, Andrew served as the Shadow Minister of the SNP for Finance, Economy, Transport and Lifelong learning. He was also a columnist for The Sunday Mail. From 2003 Andrew held a number of posts at RBS Group including Deputy Chief Economist and through the banking crisis as Head of Group Communications. In 2012, Andrew joined WPP in a client strategy role before launching Charlotte Street Partners in 2014. Andrew is a Trustee of The John Smith Memorial Trust and a Director of Motherwell Football Club and writes and broadcasts regularly including a weekly current affairs Scrutiny column in Scotland on Sunday.


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