Since selling his own successful business in 1995, Nelson has been a key player in the development of the business angel community in Scotland, and in helping the LINC model achieve widespread international recognition and adoption.
The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion is for individuals who have played an important role in promoting enterprise skills and supporting entrepreneurs. As an active business angel, Nelson has directly provided numerous start-up and early stage entrepreneurs with funding, support and mentoring.
While there is a certain aura of mystery surrounding business angels, who are largely invisible, Nelson says he is thrilled to receive such an important and prestigious award.
"People like myself become business angels because we want to invest our capital and knowledge into local businesses with the potential to make a significant economic difference. Seventeen years ago my wife and I invested in a Borders company which has grown into one of the largest employers in the area.
"I feel that we’ve put something back into Scotland, particularly for young people, it’s not just a financial payback but a social one. I am a ‘hands-on’ investor and like to help businesses as well as providing money and if we can have fun along the way, even better."
Speaking on behalf of Scotland’s angel community, David Grahame the Executive Director of LINC Scotland says everyone involved in angel investing is hugely pleased to see Nelson’s contribution recognised with a Queen’s Award. "Over the years Nelson has been a superb champion for the angel community in this country and his activities overseas both for LINC Scotland and as a GlobalScot have helped angel groups around the world set up networks based on the Scottish model.