The chief executive of Aberdeen-based health and social care charity Cornerstone has been named Scotland’s entrepreneur of the year.
Edel Harris was described as “truly inspirational” at an awards ceremony in Gleneagles last night, which also saw recognition for young Highland businessman Magnus Houston.
Cornerstone was set up in 1980 and has expanded to offer support services for adults, children and young people with disabilities and support needs across Scotland.
During Ms Harris’ nine years as chief executive, the charity has seen £10million growth, diversified into new care markets and created homes for people with disabilities and autism.
As well as the top title, she was also presented with the building a better working world accolade at last night’s awards, organised by professional services firm EY.
Annie Graham, a partner at EY, said: “Edel Harris is an entrepreneur with wow factor.
“Her passion, drive and strategic mindset have made a significant impact to the lives of the people who work and are supported by Cornerstone across Scotland. As a leader she is a shining example of Scotland’s vibrant entrepreneurial community.”
Ms Harris was up against 18 other entrepreneurs from around Scotland for the top award.
Mr Houston, who launched Inverness-based fresh fish and shellfish company Coast and Glen in 2011, triumphed in the rising star category of the awards.
The firm started out as a wholesale business, supplying locally caught produce to hotels and restaurants in the area. It has since expanded to include Fishbox, a subscription service delivering direct to individual customers.
Ms Harris and Mr Houston now go forward to represent Scotland at the EY Entrepreneur of the Year UK final, which takes place in London in October.
Ms Graham added: “There was no denying the strength and entrepreneurial credentials of our cohort of finalists this year.
“The shortlist for the 2017 awards was a diverse and remarkable collection of individuals who are building impressive businesses here in Scotland.
“In addition to making a positive impact on Scotland’s economy and in their chosen markets, these entrepreneurs are making a real difference to the people and communities they work with.”