Bruce Walker was just 11 when he ran his first business, selling recyclable products as part of a primary school enterprise scheme. At 17, he started what would become WeAreTheFuture, a global organisation working to inspire and connect entrepreneurs, and bring through the next generation of enterprise talent.
WeAreTheFuture hosts summits and programmes around the world, bringing together renowned founders and business leaders together with emerging entrepreneurs. “We have worked with more than 4,000 entrepreneurs in 12 cities worldwide over the last three years,” he says.
Events, which include an annual Startup Summit, have been held on a global basis from Edinburgh to Chicago and Abu Dhabi, with representatives from companies including Uber, Google and eBay. WeAreTheFuture also runs the TakeAction programme, which works with secondary schools to develop entrepreneurial skills and thinking.
The social enterprise, which was founded in 2011, has been able to grow through a flexible global model and empowering its eight-strong team: “We have created a flexible working policy which allows our team to work from anywhere in the world or in the office, allowing them to take as many holidays as they like,” Bruce says.
He believes a vibrant economy will be about businesses that focus on community impact as well as profit. “I think that we should put more emphasis on creating a culture of socially conscious business, that focuses on building profitable, sustainable businesses, [and] also considers the positive impact that [we] can and should have.”