GARETH Williams, chief executive of the Skyscanner flight search business, has been named Scotland’s Entrepreneur of the Year at a prestigious dinner in Glasgow.

Mr Williams was presented with the award in front of 400 business and entrepreneurial leaders at the SWG3 events space.

He won top billing in the 22nd year of the annual awards programme staged by Entrepreneurial Scotland. The Herald is the media partner for the awards.

Mr Williams was recognised for the part he has played in developing Edinburgh-based Skyscanner into a global success story.

Founded by Mr Williams and his friends Bonamy Grimes and Barry Smith in 2003, Skyscanner was bought by China’s Ctrip for £1.4 billion last year. It has maintained strong growth under Mr Williams since the deal.

The award was sponsored by Deloitte. Richard Slater, partner and head of private markets at the professional services firm said: “ Skyscanner is a company Scotland and its business community is immensely proud of.”

Angus MacDonald won the new Scale Up Entrepreneur of the Year award, sponsored by Barclays, after building growth businesses in fields ranging from financial publishing to recycling.

The former fund manager’s portfolio includes stakes in ICS Learn, Specialist Waste Recycling and Renewable Parts, all of which he chairs.

The dinner followed a Scale-Up Scotland Forum at Strathclyde university. Hosted by Entrepreneurial Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, the forum considered how the scale-up challenge could be addressed. Speakers included Sir Tom Hunter.

Callum Murray, founder of Amiqus won the new Rising Star Entrepreneur of the Year award, following a period in which the firm achieved significant success with its identity-checking software.

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said the awards encouraged others to go out there and do it.