Fiona Cruickshank OBE, Chair

Business owner, angel investor and philanthropist

Fiona Cruickshank OBE is a renowned North East business owner with a 25-year career in the pharmaceutical industry. As a former North East Woman Entrepreneur of the Year, she received an OBE in June 2010 for her services to business in the region.

Fiona’s career began as a pharmacist. In 1999 she founded The Specials Laboratory which in less than ten years was sold to United Drug Plc for £20.1 million. Fiona became non-executive chair of SCM Pharma, whose trading assets were later acquired by Shire in 2014.

Fiona is now an angel investor and active philanthropist. She founded Gabriel Investors in 2011 with a collective of female entrepreneurs in the North East and has invested in digital companies, healthcare, consumer goods and food manufacturing. She has set up personal and corporate funds at the Community Foundation, and was appointed its Chair in 2016.

Fiona is also a trustee of the International Centre for Life, and a former board member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership. She has held positions as a David Goldman Visiting Professor of Business Innovation at the Newcastle University Business School, and as a Fellow of The School of Pharmacy UCL.

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