Alistair Grimes’ first job was in 1979 on a Government job creation programme working for Age Concern in Scotland. After that he worked in local government (social work) and the voluntary sector before becoming Funding Controller of a social enterprise, the Wise Group in 1988, and building it from a £4.5 million company to a £14.5 million company in nine years. He then became Chief Executive of Community Enterprise in Strathclyde, supporting over 60 social enterprises a year, and taking over Developing Strathclyde, a CDFI meeting the financial needs of social enterprises and small local businesses. From 2005 – 2014 he was a Director at the consultancy Rocket Science and specialised in financial inclusion, employability, social enterprise and urban regeneration.
At various times he has been an expert adviser to the European Commission, chair of the Scottish Credit Union Partnership, chair of the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum, on the Board of Communities Scotland and a member of the McFadden Commission to reform charity law in Scotland. For seven years he was on the BIG Lottery Committee for Scotland. He has been chair of the Yorkshire based Key Fund which invests in social enterprises across the north of England and is currently on the board of two social enterprises – Forth Sector and Space Unlimited.