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Our People

Full contact details for all staff are here. Members of the Board have to meet an established membership criteria but are present as individuals and do not represent the organisations they work or volunteer for. To contact a Board member or to ask questions about Board membership please email:

SES Staff

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Alex Baker, Acting Chief Executive

Alex joined Social Enterprise Scotland in 2017 as Strategy and Projects Manager and is currently Acting Chief Executive. Prior to this, Alex worked as a policy and strategy consultant in Edinburgh, London and Australia. She supported government policy teams, third sector organisations and social enterprises in a range of different sectors including early education, social care and justice, helping them with strategy and policy development, research and analysis, evaluation and stakeholder engagement. / 07419 213 466

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Duncan Thorp, Policy and Communications Manager

Duncan joined Social Enterprise Scotland in 2011 and works on all policy and communications, from the website and social networks, to engagement with The Scottish Government and Parliament, the media, local authorities and public. Duncan is a Journalism graduate of Edinburgh Napier University. He previously worked as a Journalist, as Communications Officer for Planning Aid for Scotland, as well as for a political magazine and events company. Duncan has worked extensively in The Scottish Parliament, firstly as media officer for an MSP group and then as a parliamentary aide to two MSPs.

                               / 07501 221 581

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Kate Walshaw, Administrator

Kate joined Social Enterprise Scotland in 2007 as Administrator, responsible for membership, administering events, and acting as PA to the Chief Executive. Prior to this she was working at the Scottish Government as a temporary Policy Officer. Her background is in publishing and she worked at Elsevier for 10 years producing medical textbooks and journals. Prior to this she studied Geography at Edinburgh University.

SES Board Members

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James Dunbar, Chief Executive, New Start Highland (Chair)

James Dunbar is the founding Chief Executive of New Start Highland. He developed it from an organisation with a single employee in 2000 to one with 70 employees and a multi-million pound turnover. New Start provides training and support to over 3000 people. Additionally James has created a range of services including; furniture recycling, a retail chain, bikes, removals, horticulture, landscaping and decorating in the rural Scottish Highlands. James has a principle centred leadership style that develops and empowers a high performing team to achieve a shared vision for creating opportunities to Transform Highland lives. He is a 2 time Institute of Directors “Director of the year” winner. Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year awards 2013 recognised him as Scotland’s current leading social entrepreneur. He also led New Start to win the SCDI business excellence award for environmental sustainability.

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Claire McLaughlin, Business Advisor and Trainer, Lanarkshire Enterprise Services (Vice Chair)

Claire is a Business Advisor specialising in Social Enterprise for Lanarkshire Enterprise Services Ltd (LESL). LESL is a social enterprise that provides specialist business support services including Business Gateway. Claire has been providing business advice to new start and growing Social Enterprises in Lanarkshire for the past 10 years. Prior to this Claire worked for TLC The Learning Company, developing and delivering bespoke business and management skills training. Before this she worked in various European funding roles, writing bids and managing and administering European Funded projects for FE Colleges and the Wise Group.

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Alex Stobart, Business Development, Mydex CIC, (Treasurer)

Alex works for Mydex, a Community Interest Company (CIC), which provides identity and personal data services to citizens and organisations across the public, private and third sectors in the UK. Alex has worked in technology, food and drinks industries, in the third sector and the public sector in Scotland, UK and Europe and has an MA from University of Edinburgh. Alex is also a Board Member of Birthlink.

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Angela Beardsley, Executive Director, Resonate Arts House

Angela founded Resonate Arts House in 2010 as a self funding social enterprise. Resonate Arts House is now a welcoming environment that is accessed by 300 people per week. Resonate now has 3 industrial units housing; two gallery spaces; a shop; wellness room; functional office; a printing trading arm (Resonate Press); and a printing press for publications (Resonate & Blue). Angela is also a Board Director of ACOSVO.

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Rachael Brown, Chief Executive, Cultural Enterprise Office

Rachael is a leader within the creative and social enterprise sector who thrives on solving problems and turning ideas into reality. With a strong track record of operational success, Rachael works extensively to support creative entrepreneurs and social enterprises to develop, grow and scale their business. Rachael is part of the Leader Network at Entrepreneurial Scotland. She is Social Entrepreneur in Residence with Social Investment Scotland, Chairperson at Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and Fellowship Councillor for Scotland at RSA.

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Karen Bruce, Administration and Finance Manager, HISEZ CIC

Karen has worked with HISEZ for 10 years. Her main role is handling all contract management responsibilities for the Scottish Government's Just Enterprise business support programme which HISEZ delivers across the Highlands and Islands. She also advises some of the many clients HISEZ work with, specifically in the area of developing and managing accounting systems. Before joining HISEZ Karen worked in a senior management level in the banking sector where she gained significant experience in financial planning and management, human resources and customer care.

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Zahra Hedges, Business Advisor, CEIS

CIPD qualified, Zahra is a Business Adviser at CEIS with 15 years management experience in the public, private and third sectors. Having established, grown and sold her own successful business, Zahra now enjoys helping social entrepreneurs make the most of their business opportunities in order to maximise their social impact. She also managed the social enterprise, VoiceOver which provides interpreting and translation services across Scotland.

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Conor Lanigan, Community & Business Initiative Manager, Dunedin Canmore Group

Conor has worked at a senior level within Dunedin Canmore since 2007, and his business development role involves finding creative and innovative ways of delivering added value services that benefit the business and local communities. Prior to this, Conor's business management expertise has evolved from working in the manufacturing industry, private sector sales, the voluntary sector, housing and property.

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Shona Sinclair, Managing Director, SKS Scotland CIC

Shona is the founder of SKS and an experienced senior manager who specialises in setting up and growing organisations, providing feasibility studies, research and business planning. Shona brings together the breadth of experience gained from thirty years of successfully working both within the commercial business sector, integrated with the cultural ethos of the public and not for profit sector. Shona has a strong focus on employability and health and well being projects.

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Chris Thewlis, Director of Operations, GTS Solutions CIC

Chris Thewlis is the founder and director of GTS Solutions CIC, the only independent social enterprise to operate in Scotland's private security industry, he has a wealth of experience in security and safety with both an operational and training background, and a strong knowledge of business process, compliance, quality assurance and public procurement.

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Ingrid Webb, Chief Executive Officer, COPE Ltd

Ingrid Webb is the Chief Executive Officer of the successful Shetland Based Social Enterprise COPE Ltd. COPE Ltd consists of 5 business units including The Shetland Soap Company which provide employment and training for people with learning disabilities and ASD. Ingrid has worked in the statutory and voluntary sectors in both in Scotland and Australia championing for the right of people with disabilities to have the opportunity to work and be valued.