Scottish magnate, investor and philanthropist supporting Third World countries in a number of social causes
Sir Thomas Blane Hunter (b. 1961) is a Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and millionaire, that created his fortune all by himself, just by a few simple but brave ideas.
His working life began by helping his dad on his shoes business. One day, Tom was looking for a job when he decided to do something related to his father’s company: he wrote a letterhead to big companies saying he had a great number of shoes that he would like to sell in those companies. The fact of having such number of products was a total lie, but he had nothing to lose. For his surprise, one of the companies agreed, so he had to ask his father and the bank a loan to buy many pairs of shoes to sell in the company. Before that, he had been selling trainers from the back of a van. With these activities and little by little, step by step, Tom began to create Europe’s largest independent sports retailer called Sports Division.
After having achieved such a successful business in the shoe industry, he decided to sell it, so he could focus on something different, so he founded The Hunter Foundation. His philosophy is to create money but to give it back to the world through his foundation. He donates money, he invests money, but he does not keep it, because as he says in his interviews: “I don’t want to be the richest guy in the graveyard”.
The Hunter Foundation, as stated in its webpage, “is a productive venture philanthropy that seeks to invest in determining model solutions, in partnership with others, to troubling systemic issues relating to poverty reduction and educational enablement”. This foundation is supported by big companies and organizations such as The Scottish Government, BBC Children in Need, University of Strathclyde, etc. And it is known and supported by great people like Barack Obama
- Bitesized Insight from Sir Tom Hunter, West Coast Capital. YouTube. 30.05.2014: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SACZkJDHNFQ
- Eye-Opening Interview with Scotland’s First Home-Grown Billionaire, Tom Hunter. YouTube. 29.02.2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kcp4nkMQLFA