An East Ayrshire born entrepreneur has proven teachers and former bosses wrong with his booming business.

When the admiral on his ship told him he wouldn’t succeed outside the Royal Navy, Scott Weir knew he would make something of himself.

The Cumnock born businessman said: “My childhood shaped me to always want to do better for myself.”

After leaving school with no qualifications, Mr Weir joined the navy to escape a chaotic upbringing, with many of his friends embroiled in drugs and crime.

When he left the navy after five years, he ended up doing cleaning jobs in nursing homes for the NHS.

Realising he could make more money working for himself, he set up his own carpet cleaning business earning £50 an hour.

He ploughed the money back into his education, completing a Higher National Certificate, a Higher National Diploma, a Bachelor of Arts in management and finally a Master of Business Administration.

“I was determined to be better educated than the teacher that said I’d never achieve anything in my life,” Mr Weir said.

His Dundonald-based company, Pillow Property Partners, expects to grow turnover from £1.1 million to £7.2m this year.

Mr Weir has set his sights on overseas expansion, and plans to launch Pillow in five European countries this year – Spain, France,Croatia, Netherlands, and Portugal. Openings across the pond in California, Massachusetts and New Hampshire are also planned.

He recently returned from a visit to Silicon Valley.

He said: “We did some really interesting stuff, visited Apple, LinkedIn, and Facebook and really made some great connections.

“They see failure as a good thing. In Scotland, if we fail, it’s bad and damages our reputation

“In Scotland, we downplay ourselves and are very self-deprecating. That doesn’t work in the US. You’ve got to have confidence and self-esteem.

“You need to change your personality to go out there, especially if you’re pitching to venture capitalists.”

Pillow’s aim is to be the largest and best quality property management company across the UK.

“I want to make a difference and help other entrepreneurs – to give them a chance and make them into superstars,” Mr Weir said.