Monday 19 May 2003

We need more like him

Tom Hunter is the outstanding Scottish entrepreneur of his generation - and I'm not saying that just because he comes from Ayrshire. He failed in his attempt to takeover Selfridges but still managed to come away with a £8 million profit from the deal. But not everyone is happy:
... the critics - and they are a sizeable minority - find some of the entrepreneurial evangelising a little too much to bear. They regard it as little more than an opportunity for Hunter and his apostles - other self-made tycoons such as Chris Gorman and Chris van der Kuyl - to massage their egos, and note how they always manage to finesse the black tie code with extravagantly-designed attire which means they stand out from everybody else.
Tom: keep evangelising
His friends say it is no exaggeration to describe him as passionate about enterprise and about Scotland. His commitment to changing the culture, to ridding Scotland of its historical dependency on others for support, is used at every opportunity as a lever to influence those in power.
Hunter, who started with two loans of £5,000, has given £10 million to promote entrepreneurship in Scotland. What have his critics achieved?

I once read that we should "never trust anyone under 40 with a Learjet." Tom's 42, so it's OK then.