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Issue 55 | Jan/Feb 2020 www.bwsltd.co.uk

STEPHANIE ROBINSON First time tech entrepreneur chosen to meet the finest minds in Silicon Valley

ZOE OGILVIE Director of BIG Partnership answers our questions


All the information inside on the BWS 2020 events

BWSBusinessRoadshow Edinburgh - 4th March 2020


Improving board effectiveness through diversity of thought



BWS CONTACTS Editor Lynne Kennedy MBE lynne@bwsltd.co.uk Awards Coordinator Laura-Jane Clements lj@bwsltd.co.uk

to the Jan/Feb edition 2020 of Business Women Scotland

Social Media & BWS membership Tracy@bwsltd.co.uk Editorial edit@bwsltd.co.uk Press and publicity Angela@bwsltd.co.uk Events events@bwsltd.co.uk Happy New Year! Accounts and Finance accounts@bwsltd.co.uk BWS Programme for Growth & BWS awards lj@bwsltd.co.uk


0141 332 8801

info@bwsltd.co.uk www.bwsltd.co.uk @BWS_SCO businesswomenscotland bws_scotland

business women scotland

Business Women Scotland

2020 isn’t just a new year, it’s a new decade. The end of one 10-year stretch and the start of a new one creates the opportunity for many to think about long-term goals. So, what’s your plan for 2020? Generally, most career-driven people have experience focusing on shortterm wins, thinking more holistically about our vision and aspirations can feel somewhat foreign. But it can be especially useful. Pinpointing our North Star, especially when it’s far out of reach, can guide our choices and path. In this issue of BWS we invite business leaders to let us know how they are setting themselves up for success in 2020. Here at BWS, we have many exciting projects for 2020. It’s great to have the Programme for Growth return for a second year to help existing businesses looking to scale up this year. It is always a privilege to listen to their stories and share the highs and lows that entrepreneurs face as they try to grow. In each issue of BWS we feature a variety of businesswomen and in this issue, there is no exception! We hope you enjoy the January/February issue of BWS, and we look forward to meeting you at many of our events and awards in 2020!

Published by Business Women ScotlandLtd Tel: 0141 332 8801 | www.bwsltd.co.uk Independently owned and published by Business Women Scotland Limited. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means whatsoever, without the express written permission of the publisher. The design of advertising copy produced without additional charge by our company remains the copyright property of Business Women Scotland Limited and may not be reproduced in any other publication without our express written permission. © All rights reserved by Business Women Scotland Limited.

Lynne Kennedy MBE Editor lynne@bwsltd.co.uk



Business Women Scotland Magazine is written, designed, produced and distributed to our subscribers in Scotland using Scottish resources and suppliers. www.bwsltd.co.uk



Contents Jan/Feb 2020






















Focus on Success...

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EDINBURGH 4TH MARCH 2020 Ghillie - Dhu, 2 Rutland Place Edinburgh EH1 2AD A new format for 2020, the BWS Business Roadshow is now in its seventh year bringing together Scotland’s most inspiring, like-minded and motivated women at an event to encourage female entrepreneurs to discover,network and learn more when it comes to their businesses. Hosted by journalist and newsreader, Rachel Mctavish,the BWSBusinessRoadshow event that will take place in the creative surroundings of Ghillie - Dhu in Edinburgh, Wednesday, 4th March at 8:30am. The event aims to support women with the tools they need to thrive and realise their business potential. Rachel McTavish will be joined by an expert panel of female entrepreneurs to offer their unique experience and guidance through a live panel discussion and Q&A with the audience. The next portion of the event will be a speed mentoring session, where we will have female entrepreneurs across a variety of industries across Scotland.

Learning Labs




ROADSHOW connecting women in business









TICKET PRICES Part 1 Learning labs £10 Part 2 Business lunch £28 Part 3 Business labs £10 08:30 09:05 14:30

Coffee Welcome & Introduction Roadshow closes


£30 ALL D AY

More information available overleaf

www.bwsltd.co.uk https://bwsltd.co.uk/tickets/


NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS The end of one 10-year stretch and the start of a new one creates the opportunity for many to think about long-term goals. Generally most career-driven people have experience focusing on short-term wins, thinking more holistically about our vision and aspirations can feel somewhat foreign. But it can be especially useful. Here, female leaders share their effective strategies for the New Year

No matter how good last year was, be like Jed Bartlett and always be asking “What’s next?”. Keep your core values at the centre of everything you do, and make sure everyone in your team also lives those values. Always be looking ahead and innovating. Make your business remarkable, in a crowded market place this is more and more important. Don’t be afraid to go out there and build a profile for yourself, you will be amazed what can happen. Embrace change and inspire and support your staff. Enhance your leadership skills through professional development courses to ensure that you remain at the top of your field. Prioritise your health to ensure you can lead your team with a clear mind and healthy body. Finally, be true to yourself, you know deep down how to make great decisions and be a great leader.

Share the Dream. Last year we helped several business re-structure the way they work and communicate both internally and externally. Business owners all know their clear targets and objectives, but often they don’t ensure each and every member of their team knows the bigger picture and where they fit in. At Adeo, we always ensure there is a strong and transparent internal communications programme so we work coherently. This in turn means every team member takes responsibility for their part in the overall success of the business. Effective communications leads to more effective teamwork and a positive working culture. I can assure you this positive culture will always be noted and loved by clients, customers and suppliers.

Heather Matthews - Managing Director - Little’s Award winner at BWS Awards 2019

Susie Fraser - MD Adeo – The Outcome Agency. Plan. Create. Generate. How are you setting yourself up for further success in 2020? At the end of the year, I do, like many people, take time to reflect on what has gone, celebrate how far we have come, and what I hope to achieve in the year ahead. Success can be measured in many ways and in 2020 I hope to develop and bring on the talent within PG Paper; to share my experience and knowledge, and for us to deliver the goals and vision we have for the company, as a team. What is your advice to women looking to set up a business or growing their business? Believe in yourself. Move forward with every win, no matter how small or insignificant it can sometimes seem. Stay positive when things don’t go to your plan; learn from the mistakes and move on quickly. And get involved with business networks, like BWS. I have found meeting with other entrepreneurs, at various stages in their business journey, to be encouraging, supportive and inspiring. Poonam Gupta OBE - PG Paper Company



I am starting 2020 by putting into action my plans and ideas from 2019, my top goal is the development of a Women in Business programme for the Black and Ethnic Minority Women in Edinburgh, collaborating with BAME women I recently met through networking who have a shared goal to work with more women in their community to start and grow their business. With the start of the New Year my advice would be to go for it, make your business ideas and plans a reality, there is never going to be a right time to start-up or grow your business, you can always find obstacles, it’s only you that can make it happen so make 2020 the year to drive forward ideas and create new opportunities. Susan Harkins Principal Officer (Business Gateway) Economic Development

In 2020 we need to start a big debate on how we care for our growing elderly population. This is key not only to HRM Homecare’s future success but also for Scotland as a whole. Companies like HRM Homecare can offer real value in helping shape a nationwide care system that meets the needs of all of us, and create something we can be proud of. With more than 50% of Scotland’s elderly currently receiving care at home support from firms like mine, the independent sector must be at the centre of this debate. My advice to women looking to set up a business is never be afraid to go back and learn new things about your field, and be willing to open up to learning new skills. This will give you the innovative thinking needed to establish your business and bring a fresh, dynamic approach to your sector. Lynn Laughland - Managing Director HRM Homecare Services Ltd

How are you setting yourself up for further success in 2020? I guess like many fast-growth start-ups it’s difficult to find space to work on future-proofing your enterprise to ensure its fit for growth. Setting the time to reflect and form an action plan was my main task over the festive break. So refreshing job descriptions and setting goals helped me get a clear view of current capacity and where we need a little more support to fulfill Hey Girls potential. 2020 - bring it on! What is your advice to women to looking to set up a business or growing their business? Start somewhere and move up! I meet so many budding entrepreneurs who tell me that they have been working on their business plan for twelve months and still not moved into action. I always suggest that folks start, just do a small pilot, reflect, refine and then go again – and if it’s not working then fail fast. Know where you can flex. When I set up Hey Girls I hadn’t considered supplying public and private sector space with pads and tampons as I thought the market was online and in supermarkets but 18 months into our journey those contracts are 75% of our turnover. So keep an open mind to new market opportunities. Including that new segment of customers into our wider customer base as enabled us to donate 6.2 million period products across the UK. Finally, and most importantly, be honest with yourself. If you have that nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right, then it probably isn’t going to work, so listen to your gut. Celia Hodson - Founder and CEO. Hey Girls BuyOneGiveOne Period Products www.heygirls.co.uk



Ask the expert Taylor Ferguson Hairdressing | Tel: 0141 332 0397 | 106 Bath St, Glasgow G2 2EN



Anne Ferguson is a director of celebrity stylist Taylor Ferguson Hairdressing. Here Anne tackles the BIG questions we can all face with our crowning glory as maturity looms ahead! We can’t beat age. It comes to us all. How we tackle the onset and the challenges that may often arise determines how we’ll cope. We all prefer good hair days. With your hair there will be issues we can’t avoid facing but the good hair days don’t need to fade. I’ve focused on a few of the key issues and offer some solutions…

TO EXTEND OR NOT TO EXTEND? That’s a big question. The benefits from extending your existing hair can be significant especially if as you age your hair becomes thinner. With carefully applied extensions you can add either length or volume or both. You shouldn’t equate hair extensions with WAG looks. The results can be dramatically different or subtle enough to give you new confidence about your hair’s appearance. We see more and more older clients opting perhaps for an additional 50-75 strands at the side to ‘bulk out’ their hair. We always say to clients that the best extensions are those that don’t actually look like extensions. We believe that a good product - we opt for Great Lengths - with expertise and experience in application can deliver a fabulous natural looking result. My own hair became much thinner as I matured and a half-set of extensions has delivered much-needed volume, boosting my confidence. Married to a well-known hair stylist meant that it’s important my hair looks good and the addition of extensions delivers the right result for me and maintain my hair confidence. As I head towards my next big decade I know I couldn’t live without them.

GO GREY OR MAKE COLOUR WORK? As we mature the question that needs to be addressed is hair colouring and whether or not to continue with the regime of adding colour and tones to our hair. Without question, the wrong colour can add years to your hair image. Any one of 50 shades of grey – no matter how silvery strong the hair looks – can be rather more aging. What we know as grey hair is simply colourless – the pigment’s vanished over the years - and the result isn’t always great as the grey can be very draining and leave hair looking lack-lustre. You need to take into account your skin tone – which again changes as you get older. Work with a colour palette that’s more flattering with your skin tone. Results can be dramatically better. Colour doesn’t need to be one dimensional either – adding complementing tones with highlights, lo-lights, tri-colours, colour veils or ombres can lift the hair’s appearance and let those years vanish!

TO FRINGE OR NOT TO FRINGE? Some will joke that a fringe is like painfree botox – it hides any wrinkles without any injections! I prefer to see a fringe as a style statement. What’s not to like about the best hair accessory any woman can desire – the fringe. It can take the years off instantly. There are so many types of fringe and any can be adapted to suit your face and head shapes. If in doubt? Fringe it out!

Customised condition boost with Schwarzkopf Fibre Clinix delivering great results.



USUAL STYLE OR OPT FOR CHANGE? Who doesn’t like being in their comfort zone when it comes to hair? We get it – but being in a rut about how our hair looks can leave us looking lack-lustre and ‘samey’. Change IS good! Our advice is to step elegantly out of the rut and embrace the change. Varying that style can knock of 10-20 years in your appearance. I regularly see clients who’ve opted for a new, fresh look almost skip out of the salon. That new style perks them up beautifully.

LONG OR SHORT? It’s simply a myth that after a certain age – often said the 40s – you should discard the long hair and trim up to short. Who said that? Where is it written that an older lady can’t have long hair? Our styling team don’t agree! In fact I believe longer hair that’s well styled and maintained in tip top condition can look sensational at any age. As we age hair can thin and become finer looking so a regular trim and in-salon conditioning treatment on long locks can keep the aging look at bay.

DRAB OR FAB? It’s a good old-fashioned Scots word – drab. Sadly, however, it can sum up how hair can look if it’s overheated, over-washed and under-nourished. Your hair condition should be prioritised as much as any commitment to a manageable style. I often see hair that looks lack-lustre and literally washed out. There are solutions. Your hair’s condition will change as your body’s hormones change with time. We can’t help that but we can enhance and improve on your hair’s condition with the help of specially formulated conditioning products – many available only in a salon environment – such as the first-class Schwarzkopf Fibre Clinix. These can be customised to meet your own hair’s needs – akin to a prescription for your hair based on its repair needs. Those resultant effects can be both spectacular and long-lasting.

A great cut can transform and help boost confidence. (Photo courtesy of @foreveramberblog)










29.01.20 BORDERS

04.03.20 EDINBURGH

21.05.20 NORTH EAST

29.01.20 BORDERS

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connecting women in business




ROADSHOW connecting women in business

01.05.20 EDINBURGH




10-12.03.20 EDINBURGH

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28.02.20 EDINBURGH


06.03.20 GLASGOW

29.05.20 EDINBURGH



FINANCIAL WELLNESS F o r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n - w w w. b w s l t d . c o . u k

02.04.20 EDINBURGH







01.10.20 GLASGOW

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30.10.20 GLASGOW

10-12.11.20 GLASGOW

05.06 .20 GLASGOW



24.09.20 GLASGOW

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The App Entrepreneur Heading for the home of tech in Silicon Valley. Tech founder Stephanie Robinson chosen to meet the finest minds in the sector FIRST-TIME tech entrepreneur Stephanie Robinson has been handpicked to take her fledgling HR advice app on a prestigious trip to Silicon Valley. The mum-of-one will showcase her self-funded app at the global epicentre of innovation and technology – which is home to thousands of startups, venture capitalists and tech giants including Facebook, Apple and Google.

Silicon Valley Scale will take place in April 2020 and is produced by Edinburgh-based FutureX, which empowers business leaders to build a more socially-conscious and sustainable global economy. The company will select just eight tech innovators from a field of over 80 applicants. Bruce Walker, CEO and co-founder of FutureX, said: “HR Solver is an ambitious company that is ready to scale, with revenue already coming in, strong customer engagement, and sights set beyond Scotland.

Her free HR Solver app is a pocket-friendly and simple-to-use tool which promises a costeffective way for ordinary workers to get HR and legal advice. It includes a live chat function which connects distressed employees with qualified HR experts in minutes.Now Stephanie, from West Lothian near Edinburgh, has been handpicked as one of just eight tech entrepreneurs from across the UK to be whisked to California as part of a prestigious immersive growth programme for tech and startup leaders.She said: “Silicon Valley is still the centre of the universe as far as tech startups are concerned, so showcasing the HR Solver app there is an incredible opportunity.

“HR Solver applies new technology to solve old problems, and Stephanie’s motivation to embed positive company culture in both HR Solver and its customers is admirable.” Since 2014 FutureX has taken 32 business innovators to Silicon Valley, helping them raise more than £45m in investment and spawning a number of success stories, including Scottish-based Care Sourcer, as well as others like Current Health, StoriiCare, Kafoodle, TickX and Shot Scope. Stephanie has a Masters’ in HR and Employment Law and more than 16 years’ experience in the industry, including working for global corporations in New York, Japan and London. Her app is an alternative to current HR routes for distressed workers, who have to seek advice from costly lawyers, union officials or from Citizens Advice. HR Solver offers quick, clear and impartial advice tailored to their situation. As well as offering free resources and articles, it connects users with Stephanie’s team of qualified HR experts in an instant via a live chat, available six days per week.

“This is one of the first apps on the market for tailor-made advice for struggling employees and this is my chance to demonstrate the real value of HR Solver to some of the biggest names in tech, which is almost as scary as it is exciting.” Stephanie, a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and expert in employment law, developed HR Solver to empower employees and equip them with everything they might need to know about employment rights. As part of the “Tech for Good” movement, which promotes tech for social benefit, the Aberdeen University graduate spotted a gap in the market for an accessible HR advice platform that puts employee welfare and dignity at the forefront.

The chat feature costs a small fee of £9 for the first week of unlimited support, or a £4.99 per month subscription for six months of ongoing support. The chat is available between 7am-10pm Monday to Friday, and 2-9pm on Sundays.

The former Balerno High School pupil bootstrapped the launch by investing £120,000 of her own money and since its beta launch a year ago, it has already made HR advice accessible to more than 2000 users. Stephanie now hopes to secure further financial backing. She added: “While I am launching this in the UK it almost certainly has potential for markets all over the world and that is what I hope to showcase to potential investors in Silicon Valley. “Others who have been on Silicon Valley Scale before me have gone onto amazing things, so I’m more than happy to think big about what might be possible for HR Solver. I couldn’t be more excited.”

The app is free to download and is available on both iPhone and Android. For more information about HR Solver, please visit https://hrsolver.co.uk/ For more information about FutureX and Silicon Valley Scale, please visit https://futurexinnovation. com/what-we-do/silicon-valley/



GIVING WOMEN A BIG CONFIDENCE BOOST Business Women Scotland BWS catches up with Niki Hutchison, a Marketing Strategist helping female coaches and creative small business owners use marketing to achieve bigger results. Niki, working for yourself you have to be very self motivated, what do you do to start your working day? I’m an early riser as I find that starting strong is the best way to have a productive day. I get up around 6am and leave for the office by 7am three days a week. On the other two weekday mornings, I drop my daughter off at school, which is a nice contrast. Those mornings are more relaxed as we don’t leave the house until much later but I always have my day planned out well in advance to make the most of whatever time I have available. I find that having a well-structured and prioritised to-do list before my day starts is the only way to work efficiently and avoid overwhelm. Once that creeps in, it’s hard to avoid wasting time wondering what to focus on first. Your journey to becoming an entrepreneur in 2010 is very inspirational, what made you decide you were leaving your job to start your own business? I never imagined I would be an entrepreneur, but after having my second child, I realised that working in the advertising industry (which is widely recognised as one of the most challenging for women), was too restricting and that I wanted to go it alone. Prior to leaving my job, I had worked on a two-year research project, on behalf of the Scottish Government, looking into how to reduce anti-social behaviour amongst children and young people. The findings were that children need a strong role model or an activity that they love, preferably both. My own children were very young at the time and I began thinking about how I could create something that would provide both strong role models and a much-loved activity for other children their age. Step It Up Dance was launched in January 2012. Over time, I realised that it was my marketing skills that were enabling me to grow the business effectively and this realisation, combined with the business experience I had acquired along the way, meant that I had the confidence to share my marketing and business knowledge with others. In 2017, I launched my second business, Niki Hutchison Ltd. where I help female coaches and creative small business owners use marketing to achieve bigger and more profitable results in their businesses.

What have been your challenges in business? Some of the biggest challenges have come when I haven’t listened to my gut. In 2015 I joined the business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark, which was a hugely positive experience and really boosted my confidence. However, not long after that I began working with consultants to expand the business and prepare to franchise. This stretched the existing team too thinly and I was listening to external influences rather than living my own values. As soon as I realised this and took steps to change things within the business, everything got back on the right track. So technically, Step It Up Dance is ready to franchise, but I’ve decided that I won’t be the one to do it. Who knows, perhaps in the future someone will approach me looking to expand the brand, but my focus now is on maintaining that business, with the support of my exceptional team, while growing my marketing business and supporting other female small business owners to follow their own entrepreneurial dreams. I firmly believe that no experience in business is wasted. Thanks to all of the experience gained running my first business, I have extensive first-hand knowledge in a lot of different areas. I can’t imagine offering business advice if I hadn’t successfully grown my own business first, I simply wouldn’t have the insights that I have now.



Do you work with new businesses and established businesses? I love working with businesses at all stages, as long as the founders are ambitious and prepared to do what it takes to succeed. I find that founders need quite different things depending on how long they’ve been in business. When I’m working with start-ups they’re keen to learn and absorb so much and it’s very rewarding to watch them start implementing what we cover. We both love that they then see instant results. More established business owners often prefer to use me as a sounding board and the person in their corner. I provide not only marketing advice but also guidance on the situations that crop up as they grow their team and business. There’s always more marketing you could be doing, but it’s important to spend your time and budget strategically based on the results you want, and can realistically expect, to achieve. Alison Rose was recently appointed the CEO of Royal Bank of Scotland Group since the first woman to lead a major UK lender. The Alison Rose review of Female Entrepreneurship was published in March 2019 highlighting the disparity that exists between female and male entrepreneurs and holding the UK back. What are your thoughts about female entrepreneurship and what do you think is holding women back? Alison Rose was instrumental in setting up what is now the RBS/ NatWest Accelerator and was very involved when I was part of the programme. I have huge respect for what she has done and continues to do for female entrepreneurs in particular. Personally I waited until my daughter had started school before applying to be part of the Entrepreneur Accelerator, although I had been aware of the programme for years beforehand. Obviously childcare, or lack of it, and family responsibilities often hold women back. Another big issue is the fact that the population is ageing and statistically, women are far more likely to be involved in caring for elderly relatives than men. So in my view, overall it’s family responsibilities and feeling that there are always other things we ‘should’ be doing outside of growing our businesses that can hold us back. Of course we often want to look after our loved ones but the impact is that we have to become expert guardians of our time. We often feel under incredible pressure to be as productive as possible during the time we do have, which can be stressful. Women tend to be excellent time managers and developing that skill further is part of the answer.


niki@nikihutchison.com www.nikihutchison.com nikihutchisonltd @nikihutchison

A lack of confidence with women is a topic that is discussed on a regular basis, what advice would you give to future female entrepreneurs? I think that the next generation of female entrepreneurs is made up of bright, ambitious young women who are already naturally more confident. That may be down to growing up under the spotlight of social media, or being taught how to adopt a growth mindset from a younger age, whatever the reason I think it’s fantastic. Growing a business inevitably involves growing as a person too, and part of that growth is in confidence. I’ve learnt more since starting in business than I did throughout all of my years of studying and working as an employee put together. My confidence has increased with age and experience. What can you do to speed up that process and develop your confidence earlier? Grab every opportunity and always see failure as a good learning opportunity. Without the failures you don’t get the lessons and it’s those lessons that shape your future success.

Who has been your inspiration and go to person? I’m inspired on a daily basis by my clients. I work with hard-working, ambitious, capable women who are putting in the hard graft. I love nothing more than seeing them get the big results they deserve.Someone in Scotland who really inspires me is Jo Simpson. Jo has multiple businesses including: JK Business Services (a bookkeeping practice); an empowering, organic fashion brand; and several rental properties. Jo is a huge support to me and was the first person to introduce me to the online business world, which is ultimately what led me to set up my second business. And finally, who is your business idol and why? Leading Scottish entrepreneurs Jim Duffy, Anne Gloag OBE and Sir Tom Hunter have contributed so much to entrepreneurship, through Entrepreneurial Spark, that I and others are indebted to them. I continue to learn from everyone I come across! Those that are most successful have done their homework before they plunge in. They know that hard work, continuously reviewing and learning, investing in and looking after themselves and having a strong support network are all essential. I’m inspired when I see women succeeding against all odds, juggling family commitments, often working late into the evening, initially combining employment alongside fledgling businesses, that is just brilliant. I particularly love to see women succeed and thrive.

What would be your top tips for someone considering setting up a business? Do your research before you start, are you providing something for which there is demand? Is your idea really solving a big enough problem and are there enough potential customers in your market? If it’s a yes, then look into how much you can expect to make, what the average margins in your planned industry are and whether this is enough to sustain the growth and lifestyle you want to achieve. After that, it’s all about working out what makes you different and continuously innovating, developing and maintaining that difference. I know that staying true to your values is vital to your success. Also, you should expect to spend a lot more time and energy marketing your business than you ever thought possible!

Niki runs a free facebook community filled with female founders where she offers business advice, trainings and support. Join here: www.facebook.com/groups/ nikihutchisonmarketingcommunity


B U S I N EmbeSrsShip WO M E N S C OT L A N D



BWS is the fastest growing business membership in Scotland and a place where women can Learn, Discover and Network #TeamBWS Benefits for BWS membership • • • • • • •

Business Directory listing Spotlight/blog feature with a BWS member Event listing for your events Special rates for all BWS events Bi monthly magazine reduced rates to promote your business Social media promotion - BWS have members only groups to help connect you to other members Programme for growth open to BWS members


NEW BUSIN E (0-3ye SS RATE ars )



Further information about becoming a BWS member is available on our website, or email Tracy@bwsltd.co.uk. A great opportunity to join the growing community of business women in Scotland. https://bwsltd.co.uk/benefits/ 17


BWS Q&A’s with... Zoe Ogilvie What’s your role and can you tell us a bit more about your business? I’m Director of BIG Partnership. BIG Partnership is Scotland’s largest marketing agency and ranked number two, outwith London, of independent agencies. With a turnover around £9m and 115 employees, BIG delivers integrated marketing services for around 300 clients across offices in Aberdeen, Dundee, Dunfermline, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester. Are You Happy in this role? And What Would You Change? I love my job and wouldn’t change a thing – apart from having a few more hours in each day! How Do You Plan On Growing Your Business? In the fast-changing marketing communications arena, the biggest opportunities for agencies will come from their ability to offer integrated campaigns. At BIG, we’ve been evolving for several years and are now reaping the rewards from our integrated approach that covers the whole spectrum of the marketing mix. In today’s digitally-driven world, this puts us in pole position to lead on marcomms strategies because we can react quickly to come up with creative strategies that combine compelling content with our inherent story-telling ability and are focused on delivering measurable results.

This means putting in long shifts, working at weekends and not always being able to totally switch off on holiday to the detriment of family life. The more good people you employ and then trust and empower them to deliver, the more you are able to share the load and let go of the reins.

Consumers and audiences continue to be bombarded by ever more content with brands and organisations competing for their attention across a myriad of channels. We want BIG to be recognised as the agency that will consistently deliver inspiring, relevant and entertaining content which gives clients a powerful voice to cut through all the noise, truly engages audiences and delivers results. Essentially, we want to build on the strong foundations at BIG, which have seen us become a market leader in PR, so that we become the most soughtafter marketing agency for clients and staff in Scotland and the North of England.

Do women in your profession have a hard time getting promoted? Going by the number of women at senior and director level in PR and marketing I would say no. At BIG we are firm believers in retaining and rewarding top talent, whatever their gender, investing in their personal and professional development and in their progression with us. The majority of our Associate Directors are female. As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career? I’ve been very fortunate in that I have not encountered any barriers as a result of my gender. This is largely due to having had the opportunity to work with some enlightened bosses.

Being a business owner do you manage to balance work and life responsibilities? Not always and certainly not as well as I’d like. In agency, you have to juggle competing priorities, meet tight deadlines and be available to clients. 18


What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders? My primary 6 teacher always told us to BNTK (Be nice to know!). Likeability goes a long way and my advice is to always treat people the way you would like to be treated. So, in a nutshell, be nice, work hard, employ people better than you and then look after them and you can’t go wrong.

Who inspired you and why? So many people from former bosses and colleagues to my mum and a few celebs - JK Rowling for her glorious turn of phrase particularly on Twitter, Coco Chanel for her style, Sheryl Sandberg - everyone (male and female) should read Lean In. However, it was my boss in Paris who influenced me the most. Slightly bohemian with a zest for life, he made the office fun from Englishspeaking days to acting out Moliere, he ensured that we worked hard, played hard and opened our eyes and our minds to the important things outwith the office.

When you began your career, did you ever imagine that you would be in the profession you are in today? Yes. When I was growing up, friends and family were always telling me I would be perfect in public relations. Of course, at that time, I had no idea what they were talking about. But I always knew I wanted a job which involved communicating, being creative and writing.



1ST MAY 2020

WALDORF ASTORIA PRINCES ST, EDINBURGH EH1 2AB Following the success of our third year awards 16th May 2019 we are delighted to announce the date for our 4th year of awards, 1st May 2020 at the Waldorf Astoria Edinburgh, 12 categories in total with 4 new categories supporting women working in the food and drink sector in Scotland. This year we have a new format with an awards lunch.


Accessible Business of the Year Food & Drink Experience Business Partner of the Year (HR/Finance/IT) Event/Festival of the Year Food & Drink Supplier of the Year Visitor Experience Lecturer of the Year Marketing/Social Media Star of the Year Rising Star Tour or Tourism Business of the Year Travel Blogger of the Year Chef of the Year


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The impact of the award was truly phenomenal for all the team at Eusebis & myself. Much more than any award we have won, it was a great honour as it was voted by my peers in the industry. Refreshingly for the first time the BWS recognised women in the hospitality industry - the finest tribute to the generations of great women who built our business & all who work so hard in our business to strive for excellence. This is the ultimate woman for woman award, I couldn’t be prouder to be a winner. Giovanna Eusebi, winner of Restaurateur of the Year


Supporting, advising & protecting businesses & individuals for the long term 1st Floor 24 Blythswood Square Glasgow G2 4BG Tel: 0141 233 0700

51 Rae Street Dumfries Dumfries & Galloway DG1 1JD

Tel: 01387 955900

Accounting | Audit | Financial Planning & Wealth Management | Payroll Corporate Finance | Forensic Accountancy | Dispute & Debt Resolution Strategic Business Planning | Restructuring, Recovery & Insolvency


Now open



A 3 day programm ready to scale up


Edinburgh: 10th – Glasgow: 10th – 12


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Supported by

Day 1

Understanding My Market • Aim of Day – Understand Strategic Vision for Business and start to formulate a 2 year plan • 2 minute Introduction to your business Position your business for growth • Aim of day – Understand your position in the market and how to capitalise on this for optimum business growth

Day 2

Getting your business financially ready • Aim of the day – Understand the various financial options available to successfully and sustainably grow your business Building your team • Aim of the day – Roadmap for building your team for optimum growth


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Day 3

Meet the panel Who will provide written eedback and pledges of help where appropriate.

his is followed with a lunch and ertificates of completion of the rogramme.

BWS PROGRAMME FOR GROWTH - EDINBURGH REVIEWS I have thoroughly enjoyed the Programme. Even though I have an MBA and have been involved in formal business education for most of my professional life, I have found the course really refreshing. I have met female entrepreneurs who are very inspiring, and we have received expert & practical guidance that I am very confident we will all be able to put to good use. So, I would encourage anyone, whatever your background and whatever stage you are in business, to apply – it is a worthwhile thing to do. Bronagh Power (Trustee with Smart Works) BWS PROGRAMME FOR GROWTH - GLASGOW REVIEWS I found the Growth Programme very beneficial. The focus on confidence and mind-set couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I tend to get bogged down with the negatives and forget what we’ve achieved in our short time in business. I was delighted with my pitch! I usually spend the days/ hours before having to stand up and talk to people telling myself “I can’t do this, I’m terrible at this etc”. The workshops earlier in the week made me realise it was as simple as flipping that mind-set on its head and telling myself the opposite.It worked! Susie Anderson (Owner East Coast Cured) BWS PROGRAMME FOR GROWTH - EDINBURGH REVIEWS I have thoroughly enjoyed the whole programme and it has given me the necessary insight, self-awareness and motivation to progress Dovecot’s business plan to the next stage – and a great new network of inspiring women too. Your programme has provided something that doesn’t exist for cultural not-for-profit enterprise, setting it sideby-side with other entrepreneurial business. Yet cultural enterprise is an area that can provide innovation, growth and create jobs in Scotland in future. It was a privilege to be part of your first cohort so thank you again for offering me this opportunity Celia Joicey (Director of Dovecot Studios) BWS PROGRAMME FOR GROWTH - GLASGOW REVIEWS I’m yet to come down off cloud 9 from the BWS Programme for Growth course – thank you for your hard work to organise it and for accepting my application. I found the programme incredibly beneficial, from the point of view of business help, confidence increase and network growth. It was a totally priceless experience I’ll never forget; the first event I’ve been to and not came away feeling worse about myself– the opposite. Alice Mitchell (Owner of Papeterie Bespoke)


GREAT CHEMISTRY! It was in 2011 when Tanya Castell was at a conference called Inspiring Women Leaders … Dare We? that she had the first inkling of an idea to form Changing the Chemistry (CtC), a charity aimed at improving board effectiveness and quality through diversity of thought. At the time the time she was in the process of using her risk and regulatory expertise in financial services in London to build up her non-executive director portfolio after leaving HBOS. ‘I’d met lots of interesting people at the conference and had taken part in a discussion group about how to get more women into the boardroom. We came up with a lot of good ideas so afterwards I contacted the organisers and said I was keen to follow it up. So I got in touch with people and twelve of us met for lunch. Even though we were a group of white women we all said this shouldn’t just be about women. What we wanted to achieve was boards that made better decisions, so it had to be about diversity of thought.’

quartile for gender diversity were 21% more likely to have above average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. And for ethnic/cultural diversity, top quartile companies were 33% more likely to outperform on profitability. In 2015, CtC became a charity with Tanya as CEO. Two years later, in recognition of her success in shifting diversity on boards, she was awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours List. CtC membership is open to everyone with Neil Stevenson, the current chair, one of the first men to join. This was around the time of the 2015 launch of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s goal of achieving a 50:50 gender balance in the boardroom by 2020. At the moment men make up 15% of the membership and CtC is keen to increase this to 20% as well as encouraging people from more diverse ethnic backgrounds to join. The core baseline for Tanya is making sure CtC’s operating model is sustainable. Although it charges a fee for its advisory services, the charity doesn’t charge for membership and has no employees. Instead, it relies on the peer support network of its members to run the organisation so it can continue to do help members to secure board roles and enhance their performance in the boardroom. One of Tanya’s challenges is around engaging the CtC membership and getting them to volunteer more. ‘Initially I knew everyone so I could be the glue that put people in touch with each other but as we’ve got bigger the glue isn’t quite sticky enough and we need to find a new way of doing things. When everything is done by volunteers things get done very slowly.’

By the beginning of 2012 the group had grown by word of mouth to twenty women, eight of whom wanted board roles. So they set out to fill eight positions from the women in the group by the middle of 2013. ‘That was the start,’ explains Tanya. ‘Changing the Chemistry wasn’t a charity at that point and those of us seeking board roles met as the Target Group every two months. Everyone learnt from each other and shared information about the people they’d met, what non-exec roles were going, what they’d applied for and so on. We also had events where people already on boards came to speak to us about their experience.’ By 2013 the group had exceeded their target by 50% filling twelve board roles instead of eight. News of the group’s success spread and Tanya was approached by various public bodies to help them attract more women onto their boards. ‘We worked closely with them during their public recruitment process by putting on board information events. At these we would ask the chair to give some background about the organisation, then we would have a female role model speak about the benefits of being on a board followed by someone involved in the public appointments process. Then I’d talk about Changing the Chemistry and the support we can offer.’

Influencing others is also important. Tanya points out that there are two sides to a board, the supply side and the demand side. ‘We have to make sure that recruiters and boards are open to diversity. People often say they want the best person for the job but the process is not meritocratic. Everyone has their biases and we all tend to recruit people that look and sound like us and we can be uncomfortable with people who don’t. Changing the Chemistry can help companies that are keen to understand diversity and unconscious bias to improve the diversity of their boards.’With around 500 members now, CtC is growing with one of the founding members starting a chapter in London and another group has set up in Inverness. Tanya says the challenge for the charity now is getting the model to work on a regional chapter basis that makes everyone feel connected and engaged.

It’s proved to be a winning formula for both CtC and the bodies they work with. For instance, when VisitScotland were looking for new board members, the charity ran various events including workshops to help people with the public sector application form. As a result VisitScotland had 100 applicants with 63% of them women, up from 28% on the last round of applications, with four of the five vacancies going to women. Research has shown that having a diverse board brings many benefits to a company, not least a healthier bottom line. McKinsey & Company’s report, Delivering Through Diversity, found that companies in the top



Tanya’s 5 Top Tips for boardroom success 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Focus on buiding your social capital/network for your job and your board and build it from an early stage in your career. There are three different types of networks: personal, operational and strategic. Ideally your strategic network should be in the wider business world so you’re always challenging your thinking. Go on a board at a younger age than you might think. There’s over 24,000 charities in Scotland so that’s a lot of of opporutnities to find a board that suits you and your interests. Do your due diligence on the organisation, the people who are running it and check all the legalities. You need to know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re interested in joining a board, talk about it and seek out people who are on boards already. Ask them what quailties they think makes a good board member. Understand what governance is. There is a CtC Catalyst support group for people who are not familiar with the boardroom environment.




East Lothian ‘Death Tech’ Entrepreneur Aims To Alleviate End Of Life Trauma It was the trauma and stress of having to deal with her parents’ affairs, particularly after the death of her father, which made serial entrepreneur Sheila Hogan determined to make the process easier for other people. A successful business architecture consultant and former President of the Association of Scottish Businesswomen, she turned her attentions towards investigating whether there was a way, in this new digital age, in which all of the threads of our lives could be captured and managed to ease the burden on those loved ones left behind.

The East Lothian based entrepreneur has successfully secured Scottish Enterprise Innovation Grant funding and is currently on Business Gateway’s Growth Pipeline. She commented: ““My own painful experience of having to deal with my parents’ affairs whilst going through immense grief made me determined to make the whole process easier for other people. I felt completely unprepared for the amount of work involved in closing down their lives.

Having previously run her own award-winning maintenance business for ten years, Sheila launched Biscuit Tin in November 2019, the UK’s first ever Digital Legacy Vault. Mirroring the rise of the ‘death tech’ trend, the innovative new product is aimed at helping people prepare for their death providing family members peace of mind and minimising stress following their bereavement.

“Our mission at Biscuit Tin is to make death less of a taboo subject, and for it to be more socially acceptable to plan how our lives are closed down for ourselves, in advance, saving those left behind unnecessary hassle and stress by being able to access all the crucial information, wishes, memories and instructions we have stored. Our service aims to make the closing down of a loved one’s life much easier than the very manual and protracted process it is today.

Named after the old biscuit tin every family used to have for storing important documentation, Biscuit Tin can hold all the valuable information required by a loved one once someone has passed away, ranging from practical things like accounts, documents and contacts to addressing more taboo issues which are often not talked about in life and can be difficult to discuss face to face. For example, post life wishes such as funeral arrangements, organ donation, guardianship of children and beloved pets, and personal memories can be recorded and held securely and privately until such time as they are needed.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, ever since I was a young girl when I would make furry pencil cases and pencil skirts and try and sell them at school! With many years of running my own business under my belt, I am on an exciting journey with Biscuit Tin and look forward to it reaching it’s potential. As an entrepreneur it’s so important to have faith in yourself, courage and tenacity in following a dream. We only live once, and we need to do as much as possible while we are here. I always think, if you don’t do it, someone else will! It is better to reflect on the things you have done rather than those you haven’t. I don’t do regrets.

Sheila also recognised that with the population of the UK getting increasingly older, coupled with all of us becoming more digital savvy, there is a growing need for a secure way in which nominated individuals can follow personal instructions to close the ever increasing digital estate of those who have died. Recent statistics from a YouGov survey* back this up, with data showing that in the event of their death 25% of Brits wanted their social media information deleted entirely, and a further 26% wanted the data downloaded, taken offline and given to family and friends. Over 58% of Brits show an intention to pass on their passwords for their computer to family before they die.

“My ultimate vision is for Biscuit Tin to become the UK’s most trusted digital legacy leader, with the goal of 5% of UK digital savvy over 35-year olds using a Biscuit Tin account within the next 5 years.” During the set-up of a Biscuit Tin account, customers can choose ‘nominees’ to be the executors of their digital vault, allowing access to all their data when it is needed. A Biscuit Tin annual subscription costs £59.99, with the option of a 14-day free trial. For more information please log onto: www.biscuittin.co


Sheila’s five top tips for success as an entrepreneur 1. If you have an idea nurture it, don’t dismiss it thinking of all the barriers … feel the fear and think of how you could overcome those barriers and make it happen. When there is a problem to be solved if you don’t solve it someone else will. It is natural evolution so be the catalyst for change. 2. The more energy you give your idea the more chance it has to come to life, so keep taking baby steps every day and before you know it you will have launched. 3. Be willing to research, test the market and flex and change to meet the customer needs. Fail fast is a great mantra to have. 4. Get an amazing team of supporters around you – advisors, mentors, believers. Seek out those who have been there and done it, got the t-shirt and scars. These people are invaluable to keep you on the right track and keep you going when the going gets tough. Just ask – most entrepreneurs want to support other entrepreneurs. 5. Being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle, it’s not like having a job you can start and finish for the day. A new business is like giving birth, the new baby consumes your life and you will love it and despair at it at times, but you have no choice but to keep going. You need to be prepared for this.



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Profile for Lynne Kennedy

BWS Magazine issue 55 - January/February 2020