Sir Tom Hunter won the inaugural International Scot Award in recognition of his charitable work around the globe.

The billionaire philanthropist, who made his fortune in sports retail and property, beat off competition from the Tartan Army and the National Theatre of Scotland production, Black Watch.

A graduate of Strathclyde University's business school, Sir Tom famously started off by selling trainers from the back of a van before founding the Sports Division chain in 1984.

He sold it to JJB sports in 1998, making around £250m in the process. The 46-year-old's fortune has increased further through the investment firm West Coast capital, of which he is a founding partner, but it is his determination to use his wealth to help some of the world's poorest people which has earned him worldwide recognition.

Through the Hunter Foundation, which he set up with his wife Marion, he has spent millions on education projects for young people in the developing world.

The Campaign of the Year award was won by those who have spent the past year trying to win compensation for the thousands of Scots who lost money when the Farepak Christmas savings scheme collapsed.

Around 150,000 families - 31,000 of them in Scotland - lost an estimated £40m as a result, although £6m was collected following a national fundraising appeal by the Farepak Response Fund.

The Office of Fair Trading, backed by the Treasury, has now put in place an awareness-raising scheme for savers in an attempt to prevent a repeat of the Farepak chaos, while Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also pledged to help the campaigners in their quest for justice.

Other winners last night included the SNP MSP Christine Grahame, who was named Free Spirit of the Year, Finance Secretary John Swinney, who won Debater of the Year, and the Tory MSP Derek Brownlee, who was chosen as the One To Watch.