Alan has more than 30 years of experience in community development and social enterprise support in the UK and overseas. His background is in overseas development and he has lived and worked in East Africa and South East Asia attached to a variety of different organisations including HelpAge International, ActionAid and VSO. Since returning to Scotland in 1988 he has mainly worked with community-owned enterprises and social enterprises. He believes in empowering people so that they can get involved in economic activity to create sustainable communities. Over the years, he has developed links with a wide range of social economy organisations and carried out research, planning, training/facilitation and evaluations.
Alan worked for CBS Network and then for a community enterprise support unit before carrying out commissions for a wide range of clients in the statutory, charitable, public and third sector in the UK and abroad. He helped to found the Social Audit Network and continues as a Board member. He continues to help organisations with social accounting and audit and wrote Prove, Improve Account: New Guide to Social Accounting and Audit. He is an Associate Lecturer at Glasgow Caledonian University and assisted them to establish a Diploma and MSc in Social Enterprise. He was an active Director of CBS Network until it ceased trading in 2014. He acted as the Treasurer for the Community Development Journal for over 15 years and is currently the Vice Chair. Alan is a Visiting Senior Fellow of the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health at Glasgow Caledonian University and has written a number of academic papers that have appeared in journals such as the CDJ and the Social Enterprise Journal.
Alan’s formal qualifications include a BSc (University of Aberdeen) and a MA in Rural Development (University of East Anglia) and he is also a Member of the Institute for Economic Development.