The Circle Academy Topics & Speakers

During the 12-week training programme, The Circle Academy candidates will be taught by The Circle team and a panel of speakers who come commercial and More Than Profit backgrounds. Many have founded their own businesses and understand the challenges that founders and people in leadership roles face.

We recommend candidates apply for the full academy programme but we also offer options to attend for the 12-week programme only, or attend specific topics.

This page is being updated regularly as speakers confirm and forward information.

Topics & Speakers – September 2019 Cohort

Week 1: Mindset (23 – 27 Sep)

  • Global Mindset
  • Growth Mindset – Jamie McBrearty, Y Mindset
  • Money Mindset – Barry Davidson, Thorntons Investment
  • Your story – Social Bite
  • Entrepreneurial Mindset – Chris Martin, Waracle

Week 2: Social Impact (30 Sep – 4 Oct)

  • What is your Social Impact? – Elle Adams, Scotland Can B
  • Social Impact – The Hunter Foundation
  • Impact and purpose – Bruce Walker, FutureX
  • Your story
  • What is More Than Profit? – Kirsty Thomson, The Circle
  • Sustainable Development Goals – Project Heather
  • B Corporations – Kali Gibson, Scotland Can B

Weeks 3 & 4: Business Planning (7 – 18 Oct)

  • Introduction to Design Thinking – Rod Mountain, ENT Surgeon & Service Designer
  • Service Design, Mike Press & Hazel White, Open Change
  • Your story – Susan Aktamel, Homes for Good
  • Setting your strategy – Kirsty Thomson, The Circle
  • Market research
  • Understanding your service
  • Business plan support
  • Your story – Celia Hodson, HeyGirls

Week 5: Marketing (21 – 25 Oct)

  • What you need to know
  • Marketing your vision
  • Brand guidelines
  • Your brand – Linda Isles, Archie Foundation
  • Your vision – Janet Haugh, Mary’s Meals
  • Your marketing

Week 6: Legal (28 Oct – 1 Nov)

  • Legal structures – Gilson Gray LLP
  • Structure Q&A Panel – Gilson Gray LLP, GTS Solutions, Homes for Good
  • Employment Law – Kate Wyatt & Peter Tweedie, Lindsays
  • Staff and Client Contacts – Kate Wyatt & Peter Tweedie, Lindsays
  • What are your liabilities? – Gilson Gray LLP
  • Insurances – Bobby Boag, Towergate

Week 7: Governance (4 – 8 Nov)

  • What is governance? – Donald McPherson, Chairperson, The Circle (and former Company Secretary, Alliance Trust)
  • Implementing governance – Chris Thewliss, GTS Solutions
  • Roles and responsibilities – Kirsty Thomson, The Circle
  • Board diversity – Changing the chemistry
  • Your story – Mary Sneddon, Dundee Independent Advocacy Service
  • Your story – Leanne Carling, Carling Properties & McGill

Weeks 8 & 9: Finance (11 – 22 Nov)

  • Grants, loans and other investments panel – Social Investment Scotland, Cornerstone, UnLtd, Resilient Scotland
  • Your income diversity story – Edel Harris, Cornerstone
  • Diversity of income with The Circle – Kirsty Thomson, The Circle
  • Thinking big about finance – Project Heather
  • How do you measure your impact – Tim Hartley, ScotlandCanB
  • How to manage cash flow – JCCA
  • Financial planning – JCCA
  • HMRC – you and your staff’s salaries – Ruth Finnan, The Circle
  • Your Living Wage story – Cheryle Sexton, Star Clean
  • One-to-one with The Circle Consultancy team

Week 10: People (25 – 29 Nov)

  • Recruitment – Piper Group
  • Operation of a More Than Profit – Chris Thewliss, GTS Solutions
  • Building a team – Pete Baillie, WL Gore
  • Workplace culture – Susan McRoberts, Curated Consultancy
  • Workplace culture – Ann Gillies, The Circle
  • Creating a culture Q&A – WL Gore, The Circle, Curated Consultancy, Cyrenians

Week 11: Sales and selling (2 – 6 Dec)

  • Upselling
  • Pitching – Mairi Dammer, Word Up Communications
  • Social Enterprise Ecosystem Partners – Social Enterprise Academy, Senscot, First Port, UnLtd

Week 12: Pitch week (9 – 15 Dec)

Support from The Circle team in preparing funding pitches to The Circle Board and Ecosystem Partners.