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Jim Duffy

Business mind behind Entrepreneurial Spark.

Jim Duffy spent 11 years with Strathclyde Police before venturing into the world of business. For ex-Sergeant Duffy it wasn't a complete success.

Jim learned as much from his failures as his successes in business. And when he leapt at the opportunity of a Saltire Fellowship, he landed at Babson College near Boston. One of the world's leading entrepreneurship centres, it sparked an evangelical gleam in the former Sergeant Duffy's eye.

On return to Scotland, Jim launched Entrepreneurial Spark. His idea was to 'hot-house' people with ideas for business start-ups. eSpark's first 'hatchery' was established in Glasgow's Gorbals and the first recruits arrived in early 2012.

Since then, Jim and his co-founder Brian McGuire have helped more than 100 people set up their businesses. Between them, those businesses are creating jobs, earning money and establishing themselves.

The Gorbals hatchery was followed quickly by a second at Dundonald in Ayrshire. In early 2013 a third opened in Edinburgh, and more are expected.

Jim has recruited eager supporters among Scottish leading entrepreneurs, including Sir Tom Hunter, Sir Willie Haughey and Ann Gloag.

Jim's infectious enthusiasm helped persuade the Scottish Government to establish the Edge Fund, a £1m award scheme for start-ups.


Creating a new culture

Jim Duffy explains his vision to help entrepreneurs.