SIS Associate Business Support Programme

15 Jan 2024, 12:00

This is an opportunity for social enterprise leaders, and their boards, to have 1:1 support to improve the operations, systems, strategies and/or financial projections for growth.

What is the SIS Associate Business Support Programme?

This is an opportunity for social enterprise leaders, and their Boards, to have nuts and bolts support to improve the operations, systems, strategies and/or financial projections for growth. The starting point for leaders and Board members engaging on the programme is often – what keeps you awake at night and what support would be useful to address this. We can the offer up to four days support from one or our associates to support you with the ‘nuts and bolts’ of your organisation to grow. This may be:

  • Executive Coaching – Coaching for you as a leader to grow
  • Entrepreneurial Experience – Support from an experienced social enterprise leader who has ‘been there’. Someone who has a track record in scaling an organisation
  • Financial projections – from an experienced account and/or businessperson to support with projections for growth. Support as a ‘critical friend’ to test some assumptions
  • Data, IT and Management Information – support to build systems and processes to provide a better overview of your finances for management and governance purposes
  • Governance and Risk – Support to have conversations around risk, growth, and social investment with your board

We have made available the equivalent of up to four days support from a SIS Associate. This could be less time, or slightly more depending on your needs. How and when you use this time is up to you and completely flexible, and to be agreed between you and the associate.

Who are the SIS Associates and what experience and skills can they offer?

We have a range of associates that work with us. Some are experienced social entrepreneurs. Some have grown and sold lucrative private businesses. Some have experience as senior finance / operations, or data executives and financial analysts. :

Robin Aitken (1)

Robin Aitken

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Executive coaching | Personal development | Experienced FD & CFO | Raising capital funding | Development of finance function | Strategy development & business planning

Robin is a professionally trained executive coach and experienced finance director. He also lectures in finance and entrepreneurship at the University of Bath. Over the last 30 years, he has helped develop a wide variety of organisations from the size of the BBC and an NHS mental health trust to start-ups and growing businesses. These days he focuses on helping people and organisations build lives that share:

  • a more sustainable environment
  • more cohesive communities
  • better health, mental and otherwise.

He works with curiosity combining extensive knowledge of financial management, business planning and personal development techniques to enable people to gain clarity and develop themselves and their organisations.

Robin’s Linkedin profile can be found here.

Callum Blackburn

Callum Blackburn

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Sustainability Strategy | Grant Application Support | ‘Critical Friend’ and Mentor | Resilience Planning | Climate Change & Circular Economy Advice

Callum has more than 20 years experience developing pioneering strategies & plans in waste management, environmental sustainability and the circular economy.  

Callum was the Head of Policy & Research at Zero Waste Scotland for over seven years. He chaired an evidence programme identifying the potential business opportunities to underpin the Scottish Government’s Circular Economy Strategy. He is passionate about helping organisations make resource use and sustainability integral to their activities.

Callum is a charity Trustee, a Non-Executive Director with a national NHS Health Board and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM).

Callum’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Marcella Boyle headshot (465 × 350 Px)

Marcella Boyle

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Business Strategy | Board Engagement | ‘Critical Friend’ and Mentor | Strategy Development | Governance and Risk

Marcella’s early career was in economic development before joining a global talent management company where she was UK & Ireland Client Services Director. For the last 10 years she has worked as an Interim Manager undertaking assignments across the third and public sectors:- initiating and implementing new projects, supporting Executive Teams in the development and execution of strategies and undertaking Board governance reviews.

Marcella has worked with SIS for 3 years on a range of assignments including SIS funding design and development and directly with social impact organisations on board development, Trustee recruitment, governance, funding/fundraising reviews and development of strategic business plans.

She is an experienced charity Trustee, a Non Executive Director with a national NHS Health Board and (part-time) CEO of an independent UK grant-maker.

Marcella’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Rachael Brown

Rachael Brown

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Creative Sector | Business Development | Public Speaking | Storytelling | Strategic Planning

Rachael is a seasoned leader in the creative industries and social enterprise sector with over twenty years of experience. She is the CEO of the Creative Entrepreneurs Club - a member-driven community designed to help creative people grow sustainable businesses in an authentic and empathic way. 

Rachael was previously Chair of the Board for Youth Theatre Arts Scotland. She is experienced in supporting impact-led businesses and creative enterprises to flourish and grow.

Rachael's LinkedIn profile can be found here

Jane Bruce headshot (465 × 350 Px)

Jane Bruce

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Coaching | Leadership and Team Development | Experienced CEO | Trading and Business Growth | Charity Operations | Engagement with Boards | Board Development

Jane Bruce is the Founder of Founder at Brilliant Leaders a transformational coaching & development for mission-driven leaders and teams. She offers a model of modern leadership that is accessible and effective for the challenging times we are living in.

Jane has been operating at an executive level for the past 17 years including the role of CEO of Social Bite, a charity and social enterprise focused on ending homelessness where she led a team of 100+ staff and 90 volunteers to run a chain of social enterprise cafes, mass fundraising events and innovative housing programmes.

Jane’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Chloe Cannon

Chloe Cannon

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Business Planning & Corporate Strategy | Commercial Contracts & Tendering | Procurement & Supply Chain | Legal & Risk Management | Real Estate & Asset Management

Chloe Cannon is a qualified solicitor who has worked with both SMEs and FTSE-listed companies in commercial and strategy leadership roles across the engineering, energy and defence sectors. She has supported leadership teams with development and execution of corporate and commercial strategy. She has worked all over the world supporting multi-million-pound tenders, commercial contract negotiations and procurement activities. She has also been involved in multiple special corporate projects including Mergers & Acquisitions, partnerships and real estate developments.

Chloe is passionate about using her corporate and commercial skills to support impact-driven organisations to successfully develop their strategies to deliver maximum impact.

Chloe's LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Claire Carpenter

Claire Carpenter

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Placemaker | Social Impact | Social Innovation | Leadership | Coaching | Fundraising

Claire Carpenter is a social entrepreneur and expert in shaping public space that harnesses the ideas and assets of the people who use it. She is the founder of Scotland's Centre for Social Innovation, The Melting Pot.

After 20 years of leading The Melting Pot, Claire transitioned in late 2023 to focus on coaching and mentoring others in their own leadership roles. She is also involved in social impact consultancy and facilitation. In her free time, Claire enjoys climbing.

Claire's LinkedIn profile can be found here

David Cook

David Cook

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Property Development | Leasing | Capital Projects Governance and Structure | Business and Management Strategy | Raising Capital Funding

David Cook runs Cook Creative, a consultancy which supports creative, social and commercial companies with business change, property development and management support for social, cultural and community use. 

Over 3 decades, David has led charities and social enterprises, raising and investing over £30m in capital finance. He has developed numerous projects, from small community facilities of £100k up to complex multi-million-pound historic building refurbishments. He has served as trustee and chair on numerous charities and social enterprises and sat on boards distributing grants and loans.

David is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and a previous winner of the EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year Scotland award.

David’s LinkedIn profile can be found here

Naomi Johnson

Naomi Johnson

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Circular Economy | Sustainability Policy | Social Entrepreneurship | Partnership Development

Naomi is passionate about the circular economy having started her career managing operations for a recycling social enterprise in 1997.

She has worked on UK Waste Policy, recycling, reuse and repair strategies and overseen business support services for social enterprise and charity waste and recycling enterprises. Chair of Circular Communities Scotland, she is also currently working on various upscale reuse, repair and alternative consumption initiatives.

Outside of the circular economy, Naomi established a start-up social enterprise agency, Firstport, and its Social Entrepreneurs Fund developed the Buy Social Scotland initiative.

Naomi is also a published author relating tales of her 2-year world cycling tour!

Naomi's LinkedIn profile can be found here

Keith Macdonald headshot (465 × 350 Px)

Keith MacDonald

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Executive Coaching | Leadership Training | Mentoring | Self Growth

Keith is a certified Coach and a senior partner at The Rubicon Partnership, one of the leading executive coaching businesses in Scotland. He tailors his coaching to be specific to your needs.

Keith has 30 years of commercial and marketing expertise and has coached in the not-for-profit and charity sectors. His coaching will bring real insight and learning, challenging and guiding you to a fresh perspective and understanding of the challenges in front of you.

Keith’s LinkedIn profile can be found here

Karina Macleod

Karina MacLeod

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Experienced Paralegal | Social Economy Expert | Legal Structures |Governance | Charity Operations | Engagement with Boards | Board Development |

Karina is the CEO and founder of Àrachas³, a social enterprise that provides consultancy support combined with practical paralegal services to the third sector and the wider social economy. She is skilled in interpreting the law, drafting legal documents and providing legal solutions tailored to the needs of the client.  

Karina has worked in the social economy sector since 2010. During her time working within the social economy sector, Karina has developed knowledge of policy and and a particular expertise in legal structures and governance.

Karina holds a BA (Hons) in Law and Specialist Paralegal Qualifications in both Employment Law and Wills Trusts & Executries.

Karina's LinkedIn profile can be found here

Ross Mcculloch (1)

Ross McCulloch

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Digital Skills Development | Service Design | Digital Marketing | Digital Strategy

Ross McCulloch is the Director of Third Sector Lab - a digital agency specialising in work with social enterprises, charities and housing associations. Ross has over a decade of experience in tech for good and is a trustee of Parenting Across Scotland.

Ross developed and runs SCVO's acclaimed Digital Senior Leaders Programme, which has supported over 250 charities since 2016. Ross was named one of Big Issue Magazine's Changemakers of the Year. Ross is also the founder of a range of sector-support programmes, including The Curve, Digital Trustees, The Open Working Programme and Tech for Good Scotland.

Ross's LinkedIn profile can be found here

Rob Moore (1)

Rob Moore

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Talent Acquisition Advisory | Leadership Coach | Personal Development | Sales and Marketing | Management Consulting

Rob is a proactive, experienced Business Leader, Non-Exec Director, Career and Executive Coach, Training Facilitator and Talent Acquisition Advisor with over 25 years of experience in public and private sector coaching, talent development, and entrepreneurial business ownership.

Rob helps and supports individuals and organisations with personal development, career transition, intergenerational team effectiveness, business start-up, management, leadership, personal impact/ growth, sales, and marketing skills training through engaging 1:1 and group learning.

He values integrity, honesty, respect, and shared goals which help to promote effective communication and develop people in the best way possible for their specific needs.

Rob's LinkedIn profile can be found here

Ingrid Webb

Ingrid Webb

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Management and Leadership | Service Redesign | Working with/Developing Social Enterprises| Governance and Risk | Customer Engagement | Crisis Management

Ingrid has a 30-year career working in public and third-sector organisations in both Scotland and Australia promoting and developing meaningful social change. Ingrid has significant experience in leading complex organisations, supporting excellence within organisational practice, leading strategic planning, developing cohesive and effective teams, leading change, and supporting financial sustainability.

Prior to becoming an independent consultant in 2022, Ingrid was CEO of COPE Ltd, an award-winning retail-based social enterprise. For 10 years Ingrid led the organisation through a significant period of change and supported growth in its markets and retail offering. In 2015 COPE Ltd was awarded the accolade of Scotland Social Enterprise of the Year. Ingrid sat on the Board of Social Enterprise Scotland for 4 years with an aim of representing the operational complexities of social enterprises particularly those in rural areas.

Ingrid's LinkedIn profile can be found here

Jo Weston

Jo Weston

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Mentoring | Vision & Mission | Brand building | Communications | Circular & Sustainable | Tech | B Corp

Jo Weston, aka ‘Chief Mission Officer’ helps CEOs and leadership teams to build impactful brands centred around a clear purpose and mission.

She does this by combining the business strategy with clear structured storytelling and communications that resonate with customers, staff and investors.

Jo has a broad marketing, branding and communications background gained from working in advertising agencies in the UK and with award-winning start-ups, scale-ups, green tech, social enterprises and B Corps internationally in the Netherlands.

Jo's LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Jane Wilson (1)

Jane Wilson

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Communications | Stakeholder Engagement | Public Relations | Net Zero | Brand Story | Securing Funding


Jane is a former CEO, a non-executive director, communications adviser, coach and an adjunct professor at Strathclyde Business School. She led the Chartered Institute of Public Relations through a period of growth as CEO and was Director of Corporate Communication at FTSE-listed radio group GCap Media. Before this, she was corporate communications manager at Scottish Media Group. 


She has advised multinational organisations including NATO and the UK’s Department of International Trade on communication strategy and currently works with the Scottish Government leading communication and stakeholder engagement within the Net Zero directorate.


Jane has significant experience in the not-for-profit sector and as a leadership coach, she advises emerging businesses and start-ups to build their brand story and secure funding.  


She is a regular media commentator and has appeared on CBS, BBC, Sky and Channel 4 television channels.


Jane's LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Marin Leonard 465 X 330

Martin Leonard

KEY SUPPORT AREAS: Strategy and Leadership| Operations Management| Procurement and Supply Chain| Environmental Sustainability

Martin is a business executive with over thirty years operational experience in the food and beverage sector. His experience includes manufacturing and procurement/supply chain roles within international companies. He was Operations Director and most recently Managing Director of a multi-site Scotch Whisky Company that forms part of an international food and beverage group.

As well as Executive Director experience, he has operated in a non-executive role for a research and technology organisation.

He is an advocate of social sustainability action, and his private sector experience has included collaboration between business and local community groups on projects with an environmental or social impact.

He has a broad background in Business Leadership and Management including strategy development and sustainability.

He is also a keen cyclist who retains a vision for the West of Scotland of less rain, fewer potholes, and more tolerant drivers!


Martin's LinkedIn profile can be found here.

Who is eligible and how to apply?

Interested? Have a look at the list of SIS Associates to give you an idea of the range of skillsets available.

You can have a conversation with our Head of Market Building, Kieran Daly and our Market Building Manager, Julie Kyle by emailing or

Organisations applying should:

  • Have an ambition to grow and an interest in social investment
  • Should have the support of and awareness from your board in this process
  • Be open to committing some time, and collaborating with the SIS Associate

Register your interest

Please complete a short survey to provide background on your organisation.