“I feel the responsibility of the occasion. Responsibility is proportionate to opportunity.” So said former US President Woodrow Wilson. I’m certainly not drawing comparisons between my role and his weighty office, but I have been made very aware of my responsibilities recently.
I’ve just been through the judging process for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Scotland and what an inspiring, thought-provoking occasion it was. As a finalist, do I feel a sense of responsibility? You bet I do and I also left feeling that this was a time of enormous opportunity for SwarmOnline.
Four years ago I was a living room start-up and now I’m sitting alongside some incredible businesses and being interviewed by an esteemed panel of judges for a coveted award. But what struck me most about the process was the overwhelming sense that with success comes responsibility. This is not a glory hunting process.
Since our launch, I’ve found the Scottish business community to be very good at sharing knowledge and, in the case of the EY judges, wisdom. We already employ two interns, have just agreed to fund a PhD looking at cutting edge research into e-health at the University of Strathclyde and have signed up to the Scottish Government’s Business Pledge. In short, I feel we have already started to do the right thing and this will only grow as we do.
We are indeed very fortunate in Scotland that business leaders are invariably accessible and willing to give their time to inspire the next generation – that’s responsibility and opportunity in equal measure and long may that continue.