Entrepreneur Sarah Downs, co-founder of Aberdeen-based sales and marketing consultancy Doqaru has been appointed chairwoman of her local branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD).
She takes over the chairperson’s duties from Mark McCue, who has led the Aberdeen branch of employers’ group IoD Scotland since 2015.
Better directors create better businesses, and in turn a better economy.”
Ms Downs, who has held positions in the private and third sectors in both advisory and non-executive roles, assumed her new IoD duties earlier this week.
She said “I’m delighted to be taking on the branch chair role, especially during what is undoubtedly an important time for businesses in Aberdeen as they navigate change.
“I share the passion with the IoD that better directors create better businesses, and in turn a better economy.
“I’m looking forward to working with my predecessor, Mark McCue, and the existing committee, while meeting our local members over the coming months.”
Ms Downs started her career in nursing, working for NHS Grampian before moving into business, in 2011, after a health scare.
She has volunteered for several charitable causes, including a recent project which saw her co-author an anthology – Purposeful People – which made the Amazon Business best-selling list and helped to raise funds for four UK charities.
Supporting firms in the ‘new normal’
As a past finalist in the young entrepreneur and start-up of the year categories for both the Federation of Small Businesses Scotland Awards and Great British Entrepreneur Awards in both 2019 and 2020, she said was now looking forward to sharing her experience and knowledge with firms across the north-east as they navigate the “new normal”.
IoD Scotland national director Louise Macdonald said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sarah as our new chair of the Aberdeen branch.
“Her diverse career and personal experience, combined with her commitment to connecting and engaging with cross-sector directors in Aberdeen and the north-east mean our existing members and those who are considering joining have a true champion to work with as they focus on great governance and leadership.”
Doqaru supports energy and technology companies at every stage of their business journey, from startup, turnaround and growth, to diversification and exit.
It was launched in 2018, the result of a merger between Ms Downs’ first business, Sarah Downs Ltd, and Yekemi Otaru’s YO! Marketing.
IoD members include chief executives of large corporations, as well as entrepreneurs and directors of public sector bodies, charities and start-up companies. The business group, founded in 1903, has seven branches in Scotland.