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Acorn Enterprise Initiative

Nominee details

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Introducing Kallum

About Kallum “with a K” Russell

Kallum is passionate about helping others, connecting people, entrepreneurship and social enterprise. Since graduating with a First Class Marketing Degree in 2011, he has had five jobs and launched four businesses – he also had a show on his local community radio station!

Kallum has launched two private businesses: Dunfermline Talks Business, a networking group which meets regularly and brings together local businesses, and Audacious Marketing, which was launched to provide free-lance marketing advice to small businesses and social enterprises.

He has also launched two social enterprises: WhatsOnLocally.com, an events website which promoted local community events and allowed the event organisers to raise extra money, and the Acorn Enterprise Initiative, which is a business accelerator; a social enterprise dedicated to growing Scotland’s start-up culture.

Kallum connects people, places and ideas. He enjoys challenging the norm, the mundane and the accepted. Put simply, Kallum makes things happen and enjoys doing it. He is passionate about and excited by the power of blending entrepreneurial thinking to solve social problems; and is hoping to make a career out of helping people and making a real difference by doing exactly that.

Why should Kallum be recognised for a "Lived it" Award?

Kallum has lived the entrepreneurial rollercoaster as he has experienced both the highs and the lows. Regardless, he is steadfast in his determination to help others and make a positive impact through his various ventures.

Kallum embodies tenacity and has been on a search for the right vehicle to allow him to fulfil his personal values:

1. To help others
2. To change the world for the better
3. To connect people
4. To have control of his working life

His networking group (Dunfermline Talks Business), his events website (WhatsOnLocally.com), Kallum’s freelance marketing business (Audacious Marketing) and local radio show (Radio West Fife), allowed him to fulfil some of these values but not all. For him, the Acorn Enterprise Initiative ticks all of these boxes and more. It is his passion. It’s what he feels he was born to do.

Over the last three years, through a mixture of set backs and successes, private businesses and social enterprises, Kallum has finally found his calling in the Acorn Enterprise Initiative.

Initially, run as a pilot project in September 2013, Acorn was spun out as a separate entity at the end of year as a company limited by guarantee. Acorn runs a free 20 week start-up programme which offers 15 lucky new businesses (“Acorns”): free office space, weekly seminars to teach and challenge them, a mentor and much more.

Kallum is a workaholic and really goes out of his way to ensure that the “Acorns” get the support they need – whether this is to do with business contacts, advice or otherwise.

This is just the start as the Acorn Enterprise Initiative has ambitious growth plans that will really allow it to make a positive difference to Scotland’s start-up culture. Kallum is committed to being at the helm of this organisation by seeing it through this exciting growth period and achieving this ambitious mission and more.

Some evidence in support of this nomination

The following are three testimonials: two from “Saplings” (graduated Acorns) that took part in the first free 20 week start-up programme run by the Acorn Enterprise Initiative and the third by one of our current "Acorns":

“Kallum and the Acorn Enterprise Initiative were exactly what I needed when I was starting out. The weekly seminars were always interesting and even though every one didn't apply to me, they always applied to someone and were still insightful.

The mentor I got through Acorn was a perfect fit. Everything fitted in place as I went through and the support group I gained though the course was a hidden gem that I wasn’t expecting to gain.

Kallum was so on the ball all the time and really was so helpful. Where my business has gone because of Kallum and the Acorn Enterprise Initiative was worth so much of my time, I regret nothing.”

Catriona Maciver
Freelance Graphic Designer at CatMacDesign
“As a new start up I found the Acorn Enterprise Initiative weekly seminars very useful indeed, they were always varied and interesting, even if it was completely different to your own field, there was always something to take away from them.

I have to say that I found the 20 week program both inspiring and practically helpful. I met some truly amazing people and have continued to stay in touch with several members of the group. Furthermore, I have used the services of some of the group members.

The best part for me was being part of something bigger than myself, being part of a team of people all striving for the same thing, success! And I believe the Acorn Enterprise Initiative really helps gear people up for that.

Kallum is an inspiration, he is a very gifted young man with a real talent for helping others and connecting people.

For me personally, Acorn was one of the highlights in what can be a very lonely time when you are just starting out”.

Roddy Macdonald
Psychotherapist/Counsellor/Marriage Coach
"The Acorn initiative came along at exactly the right time for me. At the halfway point of the programme, I feel focused and confident that I can use what I have learned to grow and adapt my business.

Kallum and the weekly speakers are a huge help and inspiration because they have been there as start-ups; and the communal workspace is great for me because as a freelance I really miss working as part of a team".

Donna Cole
Freelance Editor and proofreader at Done Cole Ediorial