Josiah moves from farm to Firstport

New chief executive of Firstport, Josiah Lockhart
New chief executive of Firstport, Josiah Lockhart
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Social enterprise agency Firstport has appointed a new chief executive.

Josiah Lockhart takes on the role as it celebrates ten years of supporting social enterprise start-ups in Scotland.

The experienced social entrepreneur was most recently chief executive of Gorgie City Farm where he led a successful crowdfunding campaign which raised more than £100,000 in less than six weeks.

The campaign saved the much-loved social enterprise from closure, putting it into its strongest financial position in its 40-year history.

Josiah also managed the start-up phase of the Grassmarket Community Project and helped launch Slow Food Scotland as an independent charity.

He is a committee member of the Scottish Land Fund, which supports communities to acquire and manage land and land assets, and an SCVO Digital Pioneer.

Josiah, who starts at Firstport on November, 1 replaces Karen McGregor, who is moving on to become business development director at David MacBrayne Ltd.

He said: “My motivation comes from finding ways to use business to do good and to develop more sustainable and resilient methods for achieving those results.

“I am really looking forward to building on the successes Karen and her team at Firstport have achieved over the last ten years.

“It is an exciting time to join the organisation and I look forward to meeting many of the social entrepeneurs Firstport supports.”

Peter Shakeshaft, chair of the Firstport board, added: “We are delighted to welcome Josiah to the Firstport team. He brings a wealth of experience in the sector as well as business, third sector and co-operative governance experience to the role.” Established in 2007, Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprises.

It offers a full package of free business support and resources that includes start-up funds, business advice, practical tools and connections.

Firstport delivers an awards programme, which distributes money from the Scottish Government’s Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Firstport is also part of the Just Enterprise consortium, with responsibility for providing business support to start-up social enterprises across Scotland.