A senior figure at Heriot-Watt University is to use his experience in academia to help fledging social enterprises in Scotland succeed.
Professor Mark Biggs, Vice-Principal, Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor at Heriot-Watt, is one of four new members appointed to the Board of Directors at the Edinburgh-based, Firstport.
Launched in 2007, Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for social entrepreneurs and social enterprises. Its goal is to support individuals as they grow their business ideas with social impact at their core.
The skills and experience of the new Board members will work towards Firstport's ambitions to grow commercially and increase interest in its grant and social investment programmes.
Professor Mark Biggs, who will continue in his University role while contributing to Firstport, said on his appointment: “I’m excited to bring my expertise and knowledge to this important role. Firstport plays a vital role in encouraging businesses to grow here in Scotland and I’m honoured to be part of this effort.
“I look forward to sharing my insights and ideas with the board and helping to guide the organisation as it continues to pursue its important mission.
“I’m also eager to learn from the other members of the board who bring a wealth of experience from diverse backgrounds. Together, I’m confident we can make a real difference and create positive change for the communities we serve.”
Professor Biggs has nearly 30 years experience in higher education in the UK and beyond before joining Heriot-Watt in 2020. In addition to his numerous academic and leadership roles in universities, he has been a member of a number of company and charitable boards. His work is driven by a passion to support others to realise their dreams, and particularly so those that have experienced disadvantage in life.
The three other new board members joining Professor Biggs are Al Donald, Lee Fitzpatrick and Trevor Civval, representing backgrounds in commercial banking, marketing and governance.
Yvonne Greeves, Chair of the Firstport board, said: "I am delighted to welcome Al, Lee, Mark, and Trevor to the Firstport board. Combined, they bring together a wealth of knowledge, expertise and connections that will prove invaluable to Firstport.
“Now is a crucial time for the organisation as it gears up to deliver its strategic objectives over the next few years. With these new appointments, the board will be better equipped to support the team to achieve its goals."