Bill Fleming was the chairman of the small group of Scottish entrepreneurs who founded the Entrepreneurial Exchange in 1994.
His own business career started when he was 18, after a year of accountancy training.
After successful but small scale ventures in dance and concert promotion and publishing he went on to found the ‘Smiley’ chain of tyre and exhaust centres. When he sold out in 1992 it comprised 75 depots employing 500 people, with an annual turnover of over £25 million.
After the sale he became an investor in unquoted companies, including a chain of discount bookshops. This business failed in 1995 and resulted in personal bankruptcy, from which he was discharged in 1998.
Starting over again, he entered the field of computer consumables. This business now turns over £5 million per year and exports throughout Europe. In March 2002 he sold his interest and became, once again, an investor in unquoted companies. His latest venture is Welby Healthcare Ltd, a manufacturer of personal care and aromatherapy products.
He is chairman of Glasgow Opportunities and a director of LINC Scotland and also acts as a non-executive director and advisor to SME’s.
He continues as a director and founder member of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and, as a result of his own experience, is leading its campaign for the reform of the laws on business bankruptcy.