John Willsdon

Enterprise Educator

Skills Hub, Student Services

Portrait photo of John Willsdon
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+44 (0)1382 388718


1 Airlie Place


What did you study at university?

BA in Accounting - Heriot Watt University

CA - Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland

MSc Entrepreneurship - University of Stirling

What does Entrepreneurial or Enterprise mean to you?

For me, entrepreneurial and enterprise mean the ability to see and act upon opportunity in both a commercial and non-commercial way. Spotting how things could be done differently where others will gain a benefit and hopefully those that develop the opportunity make money or save costs. Entrepreneurs are open to new business possibilities and the enterprising are not constrained by what’s done now.

Who is your favourite entrepreneur?

I have to choose someone like Josh Littlejohn of Social Bite. He’s not really doing anything that new in the catering side of things, but his inclusion of the homeless in the operation of his business and the opportunity given to paying customers to buy homeless people a meal has caught the public’s imagination. Everyone wins.

What are your aspirations?

As you get older your aspirations change, but one constant aspiration for me since joining Abertay back in 1986 is the desire to fire the imagination of students as to what they can be. The days of the safe nine-to-five job for life, if they ever existed, are gone and students need to consider all the potential exit routes that arise from their degree studies. Entrepreneurialism and simply being enterprising have to be part of those routes.