“After school, I went to study International Business with Marketing at Heriot Watt University. At school I was very much in between career paths and in all honesty was completely unsure as to what I wanted to do in later life, and I in many ways still am! I decided to study International Business as I thought it provided a good foundation for many potential career prospects I had in mind. During the summer between my 3rd and 4th year I started a marketing internship at a local Edinburgh hospitality group. It was during this period that I began to realise what my interests were in business. I became fascinated by not only the marketing element of the business but perhaps more so the business development side of the company. More than anything, I enjoyed the entrepreneurialism within the company. Working for a small firm meant I had greater contact with the partners and more responsibility. I decided during that summer that inevitably my ambition was to run my own business. I didn’t know what in, but I was engrossed by the drive and the spirit of the partners of the company I worked with and they instilled a desire for me to eventually go create something of my own.
After graduating in 2019 with a 2:1, I left University and went down perhaps one of the more unconventional paths. In 2018, I started competing in the Scottish Motor Racing Championships. When I graduated, I decided I wanted to take the remainder of the year to put all my efforts into pursuing a career in Motorsport. I bought a racing car with my student loan and worked as a racing instructor at Knockhill racing circuit and used everything I had learned throughout my 4 years at Uni to help bring in sponsorship to help support my racing. However, whilst I still race now, I began to realise that my main interest lied in business and that racing for me will always be a passion but perhaps not a career. I don’t regret this period. Motorsport is an interesting economy to learn and I learnt a lot about the commercial side of the sport and gained many transferable skills that have helped me in business. Sponsorship is a tricky game and racing has given me a great experience and knowledge of how it operates and how to sell.
At the start of 2020 I started a job at Eastern Western Motor Group as a trainee sales executive. 6 weeks later I was furloughed and was realistic about the likelihood of me ever returning to work. I wanted to do something with my time to help, whilst also using the skills and experiences I had learned through my time at university. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ‘shop local’ movement began. I decided that I would like to create an online platform that supported this movement. The next day I had a play about with names and came up with YourEdinburgh which for me embodied a sense of pride, responsibility and togetherness which I thought would work when creating an online platform to help support local businesses. It started off as an Instagram page purely promoting independent and local businesses through features. However, as it began to gain a following, I looked at ways of creating new avenues and channels within the existing business model which would help the platform grow.
Over time, I launched a couple of initiatives to start to grow my audience: a Photo of the Week competition and a Guest of the Week. Momentum grew with the participation of Scottish Rugby legends John Barclay and Greig Laidlaw and most recently TV broadcaster and presenter Lee McKenzie.
YourEdinburgh was inspired by lockdown but its purpose and ambition will hopefully travel much further than a lockdown economy. I want it to become a sustainable platform for local businesses, entrepreneurs and the wider community. Our website has now launched and you can find out more at youredinburgh.co.”