Cape Horn sits at 55.98° S, 67.27° W.

This rocky point at the tip of South America so feared by sailors is where two great oceans meet.

It’s where the sea floor drops sharply to a depth of four kilometres producing lethal currents.

It’s where freezing waters are whipped by winds aptly named the Furious Fifties, and the odd stray iceberg looms into view.

Cape Horn lay in wait for Ferdinand Magellan as he neared the tip of South America in October 1520, 500 years ago.

The same latitude in the northern hemisphere, 55.98° N, runs through central Scotland, Balloch in the west and Leith Docks in the east.

Right now, Scotland has, like Cape Horn, its own great flows of impact and uncertain winds of change: the Covid pandemic, Brexit, the climate emergency, the fourth industrial revolution, Scotland’s uncertain constitutional future to name a few.

Each creates disruption of their own, together they create a swirling, unpredictable turbulence.

A turbulence that bewilders the entrepreneurial mariner as they chart a course through it all.

What will be their compass?

Bob Keiller, entrepreneurial seadog and former chief executive of Wood Group, has a ready answer.

It is your and your organisation’s core values that will guide you, “a strong set of core values is a great way to help leaders faced with difficult choices”.

Each of us needs to be clear on what we value as individuals, in our enterprises and as a society and then be true to them.

This is not wishy, washy team planning days in a fancy hotel (remember those) where glossy values are developed and pinned to the wall and forgotten.

The critical point is to be clear on

what you value and how you act

on them.

Scotland should celebrate its role models, the Ferdinand Magellan’s who are carving out new routes.

There is a clan of Scottish entrepreneurs who are putting purpose and values at the heart of what they do.

They have founded great businesses which are creating jobs, profits

and impact.

Jo Halliday and Elizabeth Fairley co-founded Talking Medicines, an

award-winning AI (artificial intelligence) life science firm whose goal is to put

power back in the hands of


That blend of profit and purpose is why they were the first investee for SIS Ventures (the ventures arm of Social Investment Scotland).

B Corps, Zebras Unite, Conscious Leadership are all movements that evidence this trend to purpose.

Scotland should, also, celebrate its successful entrepreneurs who follow their values and roll their sleeves up to give back to their local communities – Tom Hunter with Kiltwalk and Scottish EDGE; Hugo Burge in the Borders supporting creatives and makers; Angus MacDonald with the stunning Highland Cinema in Lochaber. There are others.

A big question is does Scotland’s society and Scottish Government, really value entrepreneurial endeavour.

Words are one thing, action is another. Scotland’s future will be shaped by those who think, act and lead in an entrepreneurial way.

Ferdinand Magellan found a safer channel bypassing Cape Horn, the Magellan Strait.

In November 1520, he and his crew were the first known Europeans to see the ocean that emerged before them

and named it Mar Pacifico, the

“peaceful sea”, to contrast the danger they had overcome and their hopes for the future.

Sandy Kennedy is chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation