Scotland’s first chief entrepreneur was appointed today as the government brought in some tech flair to boost its economic transformation agenda.

Mark Logan, a former top executive with Scottish unicorn firm Skyscanner, was unveiled in a key new role that seeks to galvanise the country’s post-Covid recovery and growth plans.

Mr Logan, author of the influential Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review, will look to embed entrepreneurship in the economy and ensure that partnerships with industry and investors are prioritised and strengthened.

The chief entrepreneur is expected to be in post for an initial term of two years and will act as a senior advisor to the Start-up Nation Programme, which was established to deliver the National Strategy for Economic Transformation recommendations on entrepreneurship and the remaining recommendations of the Scottish Tech Ecosystem Review (STER).

Mr Logan was selected after consideration of a list of acclaimed professionals, according to the Scottish Government ‘all with proven entrepreneurial backgrounds and is expected to work around eight days per month in this new role, at a rate of £2,000 per day’.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “This is a significant post with a number of responsibilities that requires a high level of time commitment and involvement and the remuneration reflects that.”

The chief entrepreneur will also support the work of the forthcoming Stewart Review of women in enterprise.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said: “The appointment of a chief entrepreneur will ensure entrepreneurship is instilled within the Scottish Government and future policy making.

“Mark Logan will be a brilliant asset to the Scottish Government; we’ve already drawn on his expertise in developing the STER report and enhancing Scotland’s tech credentials. Now we are ready to take this to the next level and ensure entrepreneurial thinking and skillsets are enshrined in the curriculum and across the public, private and social enterprise sectors.

“As we look beyond the pandemic we must be ready to seize the economic opportunities that come with achieving net-zero and becoming a fairer country. The National Strategy for Economic Transformation is clear – embedding an entrepreneurial mind set across the economy will be key to achieving our economic goals and I look forward to working closely with Mark on this.”

Chief entrepreneur Mark Logan said: “I am looking forward to building upon my existing role with the Scottish Government, working in partnership with our business community to boost entrepreneurialism across the economy.

“There are so many innovative, creative enterprises across Scotland, and part of the task ahead is to provide the best possible environment in which they can thrive. A still greater opportunity is to free the untapped entrepreneurial potential of our people, and to ensure that every citizen has equal access to that opportunity.”

Mr Logan was chief operating officer of Skyscanner, one of Europe’s most successful technology companies, which was sold to Chinese firm Ctrip in a £1.4bn deal in 2017.

He has been a key figure in the rollout of the Tech Scaler network across the country following government adoption of his 30-plus recommendations in his ecosystem review.

Mr Logan’s role will focus on:

  • engaging closely with Scotland’s existing community of start-up founders, entrepreneurship programmes and the small business community to ensure that policy development and implementation is strongly focused on meeting the needs of business
  • ensuring that entrepreneurship is instilled in the education and skills systems with clear routes established to setting up a business
  • supporting increased diversity and inclusion in business start-up and scaling
  • acting as a public advocate for the Start-Up Nation Programme
  • advising Ministers on an entrepreneurial first approach within the public sector
  • advising Ministers on the longer-term structure and focus of the role, based on learning accumulated during the first term