Ambitious Inverclyde business people keen to become more successful and competitive, can learn from one of Scotland’s most accomplished businessmen next month (August), when Entrepreneurial Scotland holds its first event in the region.


Jim McColl OBE, the chief executive of investment company Clyde Blowers Capital, which is transforming the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow, will share the secrets of his success at a special evening in Greenock’s Custom House.


Organised by Entrepreneurial Scotland, Scotland’s leading membership network, in partnership with Riverside Inverclyde, the event promises to be inspirational for entrepreneurially minded individuals who will hear about the journey of the billionaire businessman, who left school at 16.


Jim McColl, Chief Executive of Clyde Blowers, said: “Having an entrepreneurial mindset is vital to the prosperity and growth of Inverclyde and Scotland as a whole. As a long-time supporter of Entrepreneurial Scotland, I am thrilled to be able to share my story at this inaugural event organised by Entrepreneurial Scotland and Riverside Inverclyde. 


“Every entrepreneur faces challenges as they strive to build a business and there are inevitable highs and lows along the way.  We can all learn from the experiences of others.”


Jim was an apprentice at Glasgow engineering company, Weir Pumps, before he left for university. He then held various engineering and consultancy roles and went on to buy a stake in Clyde Blowers plc and led a management buyout of the company. Later, he bought Weir Pumps from The Weir Group plc, to create Clyde Pumps.


In 2008, Jim led the largest transaction in Clyde Blowers’ history by acquiring the entire Fluid & Power Division of Textron Inc. Over the years, he has received a number of high profile business awards including Entrepreneur of the Year, and he is also a member of the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisers.


In 2014, Clyde Blowers acquired Ferguson Marine and has since invested £25 million in bringing the Inverclyde shipyard up to world-class standards. 


Andrew Bowman, Head of Business Investment and Operations with Riverside Inverclyde, said: “Riverside Inverclyde is delighted to be working in partnership with Entrepreneurial Scotland to further showcase Inverclyde as the place for businesses to flourish.” 


“We’d like to thank Jim for choosing Greenock to share his entrepreneurial journey.  Inverclyde has a proud tradition of entrepreneurship, with James Watt our finest example, and we are sure this event will support further entrepreneurial growth within our business community.” 


Entrepreneurial Scotland, the country’s premier member network and leadership development organisation for entrepreneurially-minded people from all backgrounds and sectors, plans a number of thought-provoking events across the region in the coming months, with leading entrepreneurs sharing best practice and future trends.

The organisation recently launched its new strategy outlining its vision to make Scotland the most entrepreneurial society in the world.

Helen McCormick, Regional Development Manager for Entrepreneurial Scotland, said: “Entrepreneurship is vital to the prosperity and growth of the area. Jim McColl’s journey is an inspiration to us all. Jim perfectly illustrates what it means to be entrepreneurially-minded and I am sure that many can learn from his incredible story.

“Membership of Entrepreneurial Scotland provides access to high calibre events, speakers and masterclasses – enabling anyone to grow their skills, showcase their talent and participate as part of a Scotland-wide network.”