SRUC

The Alumni Entrepreneur Network has been established to enable networking and sharing of experiences amongst enterprising alumni, students and SRUC colleagues. The annual awards event celebrates alumni who are industry champions and a key part of Scotland’s Natural Economy.

The first Alumni Entrepreneur Network Awards event took place on 28 May at The Buffalo Farm, Kirkcaldy. In this first year we have focussed on alumni entrepreneurs primarily in the food and farming sector. The event was a huge success with a fantastic mix of alumni and staff gathering for an evening of great food, entertainment, networking and of course the 2022 award ceremony, hosted by Wallace Currie, rural podcast producer and SRUC alumni and lecturer.

To discuss the Alumni Entrepreneur Network with a team member please contact alumni@sruc.ac.uk.

Watch the 2022 Awards video

Environmental Sustainability Award 2022

The Environmental Sustainability award celebrates alumni businesses that are passionate about putting innovative, sustainable methods of farming and food production into practice.

Finalists

  • Elaine Booth and Peter Robertson, Ednie Farm, Aberdeenshire
  • Graeme Jarron, Ogilvy Spirits, Angus
  • Andrew Stewart, Marshill Farm, Lanark

Winner

What the judges said

“Another great entry, different from the rest. Great vision and a green perspective.”

“Very clear articulation to contribution to UN sustainable development goals.”

Diversification Award 2022

The diversification award focusses on alumni who have adapted their business model to respond to consumer market demands whilst sustaining their core operations.

Finalists

  • Richard Black, Lindores Equestrian, Fife
  • Elaine Booth and Peter Robertson, Ednie Farm, Aberdeenshire
  • John Sinclair, Craigies Farm, Edinburgh
  • Duncan McEwan, Arnprior Farm, Stirlingshire

Winner

What the judges said

“The team champions fairness on every level – staff, family, suppliers and partners.”

“They are hardworking and pioneering – Ross was the first to trial cherries as far north as he is – in partnership with a national retailer. This is so entrepreneurial.”

New Entrant Award 2022

This award is for dynamic new entrant alumni entrepreneurs who started up in business within the last four years.

Finalists

  • Morgan Reynolds, Halflawkiln Farm, Midlothian
  • Neil Gilmour, Castle Game, Linlithgow

Winner

What the judges said

“An excellent example of a passionate and driven entrepreneur with a clear vision, who has delivered on that and continued to build the business base including diversifying into new markets.”

“Katie’s business model has shown that she has seen a gap in the market and designed a business around it, showing her entrepreneurial spirit.”

Innovation Award 2022

Innovation is crucial to business success and provides new ways of approaching and finding solutions to old problems. This award is aimed at alumni who show particularly innovative approaches to their businesses.

Finalists

  • Scott Brown, Capielaw Farm, Midlothian
  • Duncan McEwan, Arnprior Farm, Stirlingshire

Winner

What the judges said

“Lochy is the driver of the business and provides a great example of having moved from relatively small entrepreneur to sustainable scale, but still retains that dynamic and commercial determination.”

“This is a highly innovative company demonstrating that food production can be both high tech and very tasty!”

Alumni Champion Award 2022

Celebrating alumni who selflessly demonstrate strong commitment to the food and farming sector as a whole and who participate in activities such as volunteering, charity work and advocacy efforts.

Finalists

  • Peter Eccles
  • Sally Williams
  • Richard Black

Winner

What the judges said

“Given SRUC’s involvement in environmental sustainability, I think Laura is a prime candidate for this award.”

“Her experience stands out from them all, and she is clearly driven and inspirational. I think she would make the perfect Alumni Champion.”

The inspiration behind the network

The Alumni Entrepreneur Network has been inspired by Bill Dingwall, retired SRUC Agriculture Programme Leader and Steven Mitchell, a former student who founded The Buffalo Farm in Fife in 2005.

In Steven’s pursuit to become the first Scottish producer of buffalo mozzarella, he set up a crowdfunding campaign with various levels of 'Founders Club' membership. Bill very generously donated one of these to the SRUC alumni community, so that we may hold an annual Alumni Entrepreneur Network prize-winners event at Steven’s Boglily Farm.

“The aim of the Alumni Entrepreneur Network is to encourage the sharing of experiences among members, and engagement with SRUC staff and students.” Bill Dingwall

Alumni Entrepreneur stories

SRUC produces inspiring alumni who are changing the world through enterprise. We've collected some of their stories.

Find out more

2023 Alumni Entrepreneur Awards

Watch out for the launch of the 2023 Alumni Entrepreneur Awards in our 2022 Alumni Matters magazine later this year, on this webpage and on social media in early 2023. If you would like us to email you when the nominations open, please email us at alumni@sruc.ac.uk and we'll add you to our mailing list.

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