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Our culture needs to change to embrace entrepreneurial failure

THEY say entrepreneurs are always looking for the next opportunity and there has been one that's staring us in the face.

Bringing the Entrepreneurial Exchange and the Saltire Foundation together accelerates a huge opportunity for positive change for our respective constituents and, indeed, partner organisations.

This move enables all our Exchange members to tap into the richest seam of entrepreneurial talent. A seam of talent that we have already, in part, funded. Equally, it gives the nascent entrepreneurial leaders developed by Saltire access to outstanding employment and learning opportunities.

But if that was all this was about, it's hardly groundbreaking. No, this also builds on Saltire's global connectivity and phenomenal alumni. By combining the entrepreneurial talents, global mindset and ambition of young, and not so young Saltire alumni with seasoned entrepreneurs from the Exchange, we build a substantive force for change. When eBay founder Pierre Omidyar addressed the Scottish Parliament, he said his first question to budding entrepreneurs was 'tell me about your failures'.

Our culture needs to change to embrace failure. Most entrepreneurs I know have failed and will again.

Entrepreneurial Scotland will make its voice heard about the culture of opportunity in Scotland. We will help our businesses and our people grow, extend their ambition and enable heightened focus on exporting.

But, we also aim to be a catalyst to bring disparate and often competing organisations who serve Scotland's entrepreneurial community together to build a compelling network of aligned resources to build our economy.

It's early days but, for example, with Sir Tom Hunter, E-Spark and Business Gateway we are coming together as an Advisory Board for the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship to align entrepreneurial research to entrepreneurial need.

The creation of Entrepreneurial Scotland is another step in a no doubt long journey. There will be many more steps but we are in this for the long haul. We all want one thing- Scotland as a leading entrepreneurial nation.

Chris van der Kuyl is ­chairman designate of Entrepreneurial Scotland

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