Following our announcement that Stuart Gilmore joined Jenson Solutions as a Partner, we are delighted to follow-up with a Partner Q&A. Stuart is based in Scotland and will focus most of his time in Scotland and the North, also working throughout the UK. We hope you enjoy reading Stuart’s story.
Q: When you left school, what did you think you would end up doing? What were your aspirations? Has this come to fruition?
A. Whilst at school I found I had an aptitude for Geography. I went on to study Geography and Economics at university with a view to utilising my degree within a career in surveying or land economy. As it happened I received an offer to work with a large banking group and my career in commercial banking began. I found that working with businesses people, facing and addressing challenges, very rewarding – and I was good at it! My business career took off from that point.
Q: What have you enjoyed most about your career to date?
A. I have enjoyed the huge variety of experiences my career has brought. I have been very fortunate to have been involved in a large number of interesting businesses – some highly successful, some facing problems. What is common throughout all of these businesses are the individuals who own and manage them. Building and developing relationships with these people has been extremely satisfying and rewarding – it is this which I have enjoyed so much.
Q: What prompted you to become a Partner with Jenson Solutions?
A. Having met Paul Jenkinson of Jenson Solutions whilst pitching for funding for one of my projects I instantly identified that Jenson Solutions could provide the platform for me to provide the professional services and skills I had developed throughout my corporate career and combine them with the entrepreneurial skills and experience I have developed more recently. In addition, Jenson offers, through its SEIS/EIS Fund, the opportunity to make investments in new exciting start-ups which sits very well with the mentoring work I undertake. Finally, Jenson offers a close network of like-minded individuals who act as a sounding board and can provide peer reviews. It is the support that is so often required when operating as an individual. When I received the offer to become a Jenson Partner it was an easy decision to accept.
Q: What services do you offer as a Jenson Partner?
A. Change Management, Company Director, Corporate Finance, Financial Mentoring, Mergers & Acquisitions, Non-Executive Director, Start-Up Services, Turnarounds. – See my full profile HERE
Q: Do you have a preferred sector that you like working in?
A. During my career I have been involved in many business sectors. Whilst I have significant experience in the agricultural sector and renewable energy sector I will continue to look to be involved in a wide range of businesses. Businesses operating in any sector very often face similar challenges and I am confident that my experiences can help address many issues.
Q: What’s the best part of your job?
A. The best part of my job is having the opportunity to become involved with owners and managers in their businesses and projects and help make a difference.
Q: What motivates you and keeps you going throughout the week?
A. Working closely with business owners and managers, identifying new opportunities, arranging funding for new start-ups, identifying alternative sources of funding, assisting owners and managers face up to and overcome business challenges, helping owners and managers achieve their aspirations and develop their businesses – this is what really interests me and motivates me.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge?
A. My biggest challenge was taking the decision to move from the corporate world to starting my own business. I have absolutely no regrets in making that decision. I have found it extremely rewarding and I have met many interesting people along the way.
Q: Are there any blogs/websites/influential people you recommend that people follow?
A. I follow a number of entrepreneurial feeds on Twitter. I also find the Stanford eCorner Podcasts very interesting.
Q: What technology could you not live without?
A. My mobile phone provides access to a wealth of information and facilitates communication so readily. It would be very difficult to return to a life without it now. It also has a very useful feature. I can switch it off!