World record-breaking adventurer Mark Beaumont has called on entrepreneurs to open their eyes to new market opportunities across the globe.
The Perthshire cyclist and Dundee University rector – who hit the headlines last year after completing his Around the World in 80 Days cycle challenge – said too few Scottish companies were scaling their operations in overseas markets.
He will raise the issue during his address to delegates at Entrepreneurial Scotland’s “Global Mindset” themed annual conference next month.
Mr Beaumont is one of a keynote speaker line-up that also includes electric car manufacturer Tesla’s director for Western Europe, George Ell, Cobra Beer founder Lord Bilimoria and Angus Macdonald, chairman of distance learning group ICS Learn.
The conference – which is being supported by headline partner Cazenove Capital and The Courier, Press & Journal and Energy Voice as co-media partners – will take place at the Gleneagles resort in Perthshire on April 26.
“I am a patron of the Saltire Foundation and have been for about 10 years now,” Mr Beaumont said. It sits within Entrepreneurial Scotland and my interest in the conference is very much about encouraging young people.
“I see far too many people my age – in their mid-30s and 10 to 15 years into what they do – who, yes, are financially secure but wish they had made different choices.”
He said the growing social enterprise sector provided some great opportunities to learn and grow and for entrepreneurs to make their mark. And he also highlighted the start-up scene in Scotland – in his role as rector at Dundee University he recently opened Elevator’s new business incubator hub on campus – and said it was crucial to support fledgling companies as they got off the ground.
But he also said he wanted to see more companies expand their trading horizons into new territories.
“There is so much good stuff happening around Scotland,” Mr Beaumont said. “My message is partly going to be my personal story of how you go from being a 12-year-old lad to, 20 years later, taking on the Everest of my career – can you get around the world in 80 days on a bike?
“That’s about being the best you can be and surrounding yourself with talent. But also I’ll be talking about the belief to achieve your ambitions.
“The biggest thing for me is encouraging people to constantly look outside.”
Further information about the conference is available at www.entrepreneurialscotland.com