Ann Budge

1948 -

Entrepreneur. Born in Edinburgh, Budge was one of five children. Her father was a labourer in Leith Docks and she was raised in modest circumstances in West Pilton. Budge read psychology at the University of Strathclyde and then joined Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, working as a computer programmer. She went on to found IT service company, Newell and Budge, with business partner Allison Newell in 1985, serving clients including government and some of Edinburgh's leading banks and insurance companies. In 2005, this company was bought by the French IT giant Sopra, netting Budge a considerable fortune. Sopra are a €1 billion turnover systems integration company headquartered in Paris and Budge remained as Chief Executive of what became Sopra Group UK until 2008.

Budge is perhaps better known for running Heart of Midlothian Football Club. She bought the club and ensured its transition to ownership by its fans in the form of the Foundation of Hearts. She is also noted as an advocate for the Hearts Women Football Club, also based at Tynecastle Stadium.

Budge has received honorary degrees from Heriot-Watt University and Edinburgh Napier University. She was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2005 and presented with the prestigious Edinburgh Award in 2019 by the Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh.

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