A FATHER-of-two is celebrating after picking up a prestigious university award.

Jeremy Roebuck was named Alumni of the Year in the category of ‘Outstanding contribution to society’ in the international Open University Business School Awards.

The 56-year-old, who gained an MBA with the university’s business school in 2000, was nominated by fellow alumni for his dedicated work with the Grow Movement.

Grow Movement helps to create prosperity in some of Africa’s poorest countries, working with entrepreneurs in Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda to grow their businesses.

Jeremy, of Haddington’s Alderston Meadows, acts as a mentor for Eric Iyaremye, head of Grow Movement’s Rwanda office.

Together, they have taken more than 100 entrepreneurs through the programme.

Recognising the strong bond between Scotland and Malawi, he has also built a good relationship with the Scottish Government, leading to a £60,000 funding grant for the charity’s Malawi programme.

Jeremy said: “I am really thrilled to be nominated. The Open University means so much to me because of the way that studying with the organisation changed my life.

“It has made all the difference in the world. Every role I’ve had since 2000 has only been possible because of my MBA.

“To be recognised like this is both a surprise and an honour.” Jeremy initially went straight into the workplace after leaving school.

However, he realised he was “approaching a ceiling” and would need more qualifications if he was to further his career.

It was then he chose to sign up for Open University’s Business School and, during his studies, he moved 200 miles north of the Border and into East Lothian.

He said: “Since finishing my MBA, I have been accepted as a Fellow by the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Leadership and Management; I have switched from a business career to an academic one; and I have become sufficiently financially secure to dedicate my time to the things that are important to me, such as my family and volunteering work for Grow Movement.” Rebecca Taylor, Dean of the Business School, said: “Our student and alumni winners are all exceptional individuals.

“Their outstanding abilities are reflected in their academic accomplishments and successes in the workplace.

“It is inspiring to hear how Jeremy is using the knowledge and skills he acquired during his MBA studies to help develop a successful entrepreneur programme with businesses in Africa.”