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SIS Retail Academy 2021

Applications for the SIS Retail Academy are closed – this page is for reference only.

Kindly sponsored by Asda and the Scottish Government, the SIS Retail Academy will host world-famous speakers, facilitating masterclasses on a range of topics, including digital marketing, online selling, and market trends.

Over five days, our cohort will learn how to:

  • Operate within the growing marketplace of ‘businesses-for-good’
  • Meet customer demands for the green economy
  • Reach customer markets in the rapidly changing world of retail
  • Strengthen your digital marketing and online sales
  • Tap into 2022 retail trends.

The cohort will also have a chance to pitch for exciting retail opportunities with a range of buyers, including Asda, and for retail space at the new Barclays Glasgow Campus at Tradeston in central Glasgow.

Your host

Rachael Brown: CEO – Creative Entrepreneurs Club

Rachael is currently CEO of The Future Economy Company, previously known as Cultural Enterprise Office. The Future Economy Company’s focus is to enable creative & social impacts to be at the heart of our economy, something that is relevant more than ever. She is experienced in supporting purpose-driven businesses & creative enterprises.

Guest Speakers Include:

Andrew Miles Davis: Digital Marketing Expert

Andrew Miles Davis is a Digital Marketing expert.

Andrew has worked with thousands of entrepreneurs and brands, such as Royal Mail and Tesco, leading them through digital transformation.

Bob Keiller: Entrepreneur and Businessman

Bob has a passion for inspiring others – he mentors CEOs, coaches entrepreneurs and trains teams from the third sector on change leadership and business storytelling.

Bob is the former Chair of Scottish Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Scotland and former CEO of Wood Group. In 2011 he was voted “Scottish Male Business Leader of the Year”, and in 2017 was awarded a CBE for services to business and entrepreneurship.

Celia Hodson: Founder of Hey Girls

Celia is a multi-award winning entrepreneur who founded Hey Girls CIC with the aim of eliminating period poverty in the UK.

The social enterprise launched in 2018 with a buy-one-give-one business model and has since donated 6.2 million period products to people in need.

Fleur Emery: Founder of REALWORK

Fleur is a start-up expert with 14 years’ experience both launching her own product ranges into major retailers and using her success to help to help other founders achieve.

She has grown two brands from scratch including through the 2008 recession. Her client roster includes Pip & Nut, Miso Tasty and Rosa Bloom.

Frankie Snobel: Founder of Tipplesworth

Frankie Snobel is a solo female founder of Tipplesworth. She exited her drinks business in six years, after acquisition from Diageo plc.

With her business sold, Frankie is now on Diageo’s cocktail innovation team and spends her free time giving back to the community that made her by advising entrepreneurs along their journeys.

Gerard Mckenzie-Govan: Founder of The Blankfaces

Gerard is SIS Retail Academy alumni. The Blankfaces is the UK’s first non-profit fashion label aimed at tackling homelessness. Each design is created or inspired by someone that has been/is affected by homelessness.

Jamie Jefferson: Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Equator

JJ is Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of award-winning digital transformation agency Equator, helping businesses in all sectors maximise their potential through digital evolution. JJ has worked with household brands including Baxters, Macallan and Malmaison.


Katie Ellis: Founder of Able Label

Katie founded The Able Label clothing having seen first hand the challenges her grandmother faced dressing with Parkinson’s.

The brand encourages independence and self-confidence, helping enable women and men to live life to its fullest in comfort and style.


Kathryn Welch: Specialist in Community Development

Kathryn is passionate about bringing people together, leading creative projects and strengthening communities. Now freelance, Kathryn has spent over a decade in senior roles across the Scottish charity and arts sectors, specialising in community development, strategic planning, project management and grant-making.

Katy Air: Founder of Katy Air Marketing

Having worked in marketing for over 12 years, Katy has had the fortune to move across most sectors from publishing to FMCG, finance, energy and the arts.

She currently works with several clients in developing their companies. This has been consistent over the last ten years, designing exit plans for merger and acquisition, as well as routes to funding for new business ideas.

Margaret McSorley Walker: Trends Expert

Margaret McSorley Walker is a recognised industry expert in the fields of product innovation and retail sales.

Margaret is currently Director of Scotch Cross and has decades of experience in leading product development for brands such as Greencore, McCain and Asda.

Stuart Brown: Head of Branch and Business Banking, Scotland

Stuart leads Barclay’s Retail and Business Banking teams in Scotland and supports their clients with banking requirements and achieving their personal and business ambitions.

He is also a Voluntary Trustee on the board of Inspire Ventures, a social enterprise providing quality of life choices for people with learning disabilities.

Find out more about the Retail Academy and follow #SISRA21 to keep up with activity on the SIS Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram channels.