A graduate of Strathclyde Business School who founded a charity mentoring programme to help transform the lives of young people has been honoured for his work.
Iain MacRitchie is one of 33 business school graduates recognised by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) as part of the 2019 Class of Influential Leaders.
The AACSB is the world’s largest business education alliance and the annual awards recognise alumni from accredited schools whose inspiring work serves as a model for the next generation of business leaders.
Business entrepreneur Iain has been an Executive Chairman or CEO in 18 different organisations nationally and internationally, all of which required transformation or radical improvement when he took them on.
But despite being at the peak of his career, he has taken five years out to establish MCR Pathways, a school-based mentoring programme which works to radically transform education and life outcomes for young people who are care-experienced or disadvantaged.
The entrepreneur is working to establish the MCR Pathways model in both education policy and practice throughout Scotland and there are discussions to expand the model internationally.
Strathclyde Business School nominated Iain for the way he has used his business experience and talents to establish the charity and use insights gained from the business world to make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children.
The programme supports more than 1500 pupils each week, and matches young people with volunteer mentors who provide encouragement to stay on at school, improve their academic attainment and reach a positive destination on leaving school.
Iain’s vision is that every care-experienced and disadvantaged young person in Scotland gets the same education outcomes, career opportunities and life chances as every other young person. He said:
I was honoured to be nominated for this award by Strathclyde and it’s a fantastic opportunity to highlight MCR Pathways and the work done in establishing it in both education policy and practice throughout Scotland.
“We currently support over 1,500 young people in Glasgow on a weekly basis and we’re looking to increase that number to over 2,000, and nationally to at least 5,000.
“The beauty of mentoring is that it really impacts every part of our community. The change starts with young people who gain the confidence to realise their potential, mentors gain valuable skills, and organisations benefit from a more engaged staff.
“The community at large then sees the difference. Mentoring truly is a win for everyone involved.”
Executive Dean Professor David Hillier said: “Iain is a very worthy recipient of this honour through his work on MCR Pathways. He is an inspiration in the way he is helping those in or on the edges of the care system to realise their potential through education.
“We are fully behind this initiative at Strathclyde and support it through mentoring the disadvantaged children that MCR Pathways identifies. We are committed to having 20 per cent of staff become active mentors.
“Iain’s vision marries well with Strathclyde’s ethos of being a socially progressive business school."
Iain joins Sir Tom Hunter as the second Strathclyde Business School alumnus to achieve the honour.
Thomas R. Robinson, president and CEO of AACSB, said: “AACSB is honoured to recognise Iain MacRitchie and congratulates Strathclyde Business School for its role in preparing alumni who are leading examples of business education as a force for good in the world.”