BWS Magazine - June 2022

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A DOSE OF DAILY COLLAGEN Audrey Lee launches her new luxe product

ISSUE 12 JUNE 2022




Emma Alkirwi on standing out from the crowd


Higher rate taxpayers: no longer a select club


FUTURE PROJECT LEADERS Keeping up with tech advancements

Welcome to BWS Leadership Conference’s new sponsors

BELIEVE TO ACHIEVE Lisa Rolland discusses Business Gateway support




STARTING A BUSINESS OPENS: 20TH- 24TH JUN (week only) PROGRAMME FOR GROWTH OPENS FOR APPLICATIONS 6TH JUNE THE 8:45 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS - 29TH JUNE This month’s video tutorial: Time Management will help you make more effective use of your time, through efficient time management. Starting a business are videos to watch if you are a member MENTORING MATCH - OPENS 4TH – CLOSES 15TH JULY This month’s video tutorial: Achieve great results from your website aims to give you the expertise necessary to make your website successful. THE 8:45 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS - 27TH JULY

STARTING A BUSINESS OPENS: 22ND – 26TH AUG (week only) This month’s video tutorial: Making your business media friendly about getting your business noticed without spending money. THE 8:45 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS - 31ST AUGUST

PROGRAMME FOR GROWTH – 6TH – 8TH SEPT BWS AWARDS: CLOSING DATE FOR COMPLETED ENTRY FORMS - 5TH SEPT (5PM): FIRST ROUND OF JUDGING - 8TH SEPT FINAL JUDGING - 14TH SEPT SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED - 21ST SEPT LEADERSHIP LUNCH FOR CORPORATES LUNCH WITH INVITED GUEST SPEAKER. 29TH SEPTEMBER THE 8:45 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS - 28TH SEPT This month’s video tutorial: Skills for presenting your business gives you tips on how to present your business in the best light, whether in front of an audience, online or at an event.


AWARDS PRESENTED AT BWS BUSINESS AWARDS LUNCH CEREMONY FRIDAY 18 NOVEMBER STARTING A BUSINESS OPENS: 7TH – 11TH NOV (week only) THE 8:45 BUSINESS CONNECTIONS - 30TH NOV This month’s video tutorial: Online sales improve, develop and make more money. This session will help you improve how you currently sell your products and services online.

Here comes Summer! Welcome to the summer edition of Business Women Scotland magazine. In this month’s magazine, we’ve got some fantastic features on businesswomen who have managed to launch exciting new businesses as well as some who have overcome all the trials and tribulations of the pandemic to come out even stronger. We’re also giving you the lowdown on our inaugural Leadership Conference which will take place on October 4 at Glasgow’s House for an Art Lover. Sponsored by Selaura, whose creators Morven and Debbie feature on our cover, this exciting event will give you the chance to hear from some of the business world’s leading ladies who will share their experiences and insights into how they made it to the top and what you can do to become a future leader. If you haven’t yet booked your place, make sure you do so soon as tickets are limited and you won’t want to miss out! The magazine will be back in September, but our 8:45am Business Connections will take place at Glasgow’s Blythswood Hotel on June 29, July 27 and August 31, so you can still network over the summer. Open to members and non-members, it’s the ideal way to meet other women in business and the BWS team, enjoy a coffee and a chat. You can book your FREE ticket to the June event at: We’ve got some great promotions from Collagen Daily and Our World Yoga in this issue, so why not treat your body and mind this summer? I’m always happy to hear from readers, as well as potential partners and sponsors, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me at Have a terrific summer and I hope to meet some of you at our Connections events! Best wishes.

Maggi Meehan Editor – Business Women Scotland magazine Managing Editor – Business Women Connections magazines

BWS TEAM Editor, Marketing Social media Editorial Membership information


Business Profile

This month Audrey Lee launches her new luxe collagen product – Collagen Daily. It’s the first product of its kind to offer daily doses of collagen to boost collagen production both inside and out. We caught up with her to find out more about why collagen is the big buzz word in anti-ageing. “I’ve researched collagen for years and let me tell you it is imperative for anti-ageing. It’s the most common protein found in your body – it’s in your skin, bones and joints, but as we age, the collagen in our skin breaks down and we begin to produce less. Hence, I came up with a collagen product to take daily that works from the inside out. “I simply couldn’t believe it when I discovered that one third of your dry body weight is collagen. There are three main types of collagen all with various functions within certain parts of your body. Around age 25, our collagen starts to deplete and even more so after the age of 30, and after 50, well, it plummets. If you’re looking to revive tired skin, restore skin structure, then Type I and Type II is perfect for you. For muscle recovery and aches and tendon pains, your choice should be Type III. “Collagen comes from the ancient Greek word for ‘glue’, and we can find collagen all throughout our bodies, mainly in our connective tissue cells. By using Collagen Daily, you can support strong bones and joints, healthy digestive system and some studies have even shown collagen to reverse the effects of sun exposure. During pregnancy, collagen especially promotes skin elasticity, digestive benefits, stronger joints and lush, healthy hair. “My collagen comes from Gelita, the highest quality you can buy. I do have to say that it is bovine collagen, so it’s not suitable for vegans or vegetarians, but there are marine collagen products, derived from fish, available for pescatarians however these often have a bad taste. We recommend you take your Collagen

Daily sachets in the morning with a glass of water or smoothie, or even sprinkled over your breakfast. For our serum, a pea-sized amount across your face in the evenings is all you need, so you get two doses per day of the collagen you need.

“Not only did I work globally for high-end beauty brands such as Dermalogica, but I have also owned four beauty salons in Scotland. Over the last 25 years in the industry, there are few anti-ageing products on the market I haven’t tried. Devising and creating Collagen Daily has been my focus for the last three years and really has been a labour of love. I believe it’s simply the best you can buy and a luxury item at an affordable price – a daily dose is around £3. Personally, I’ve felt the benefit inside and out and I know the people who have tried it cannot believe the difference. Not only that, but they also enjoy the benefits of strong, healthy nails, plumper skin and the changes in their hair, well…wow! “When you use the Collagen Daily sachets and serum together, you can feel the refreshed skin texture, improved elasticity, and even skin tone from 4-12 weeks, depending on your skin’s condition. This new launch really is the culmination of years of experience and very hard work. I am so passionate about it and always happy to offer advice via our social channels or email me at

“Two is better than one, that’s our motto and we are sticking to it.” If you want to try the product for yourself, go to and you will save £20 when you buy a full priced product at £90. Follow Collagen Daily on Facebook @CollagenDailySkincare or Instagram: @collagendaily

Business Profile KELVIN SMITH APPOINTS NEW DIRECTORS A Glasgow-based insurance brokerage preparing to celebrate 40 years in business has appointed two new directors. Longstanding employees Rena Ross and Scott Gardner will now sit on Kelvin Smith’s board alongside Managing Director Stephen Travers. The pair have been instrumental in the growth of the £15m-turnover business which has added £1m per year in turnover every year since 2012. Business development expert Scott Gardner celebrated his ten-year anniversary with the company last year. His appointment is partly recognition for the key role he has played in establishing Kelvin Smith’s foothold in the haulage, construction and hospitality sectors. Meanwhile, Rena, who has worked in every department during her more than 20 years at Kelvin Smith, is now responsible for the firm’s 500-plus fleet insurance clients. Managing Director Stephen Travers said: “Rena and Scott have been integral to our growth. Scott has played a key role in winning new clients, while Rena is instrumental in providing the quality service that keeps them with us. Their attitude and skills are an example to everyone in the team. “Both Rena and Scott were fairly early in their careers when they joined us. Their progression to the position of director shows what’s possible when aptitude and attitude combine.

“We’re now at a size where additional support on the board is absolutely necessary. Rena and Scott are the perfect additions. Together, we will lead the team and build on our success.” Rena commented: “It’s incredible to have been part of Kelvin Smith’s impressive growth in the 21 years since I joined. I believe the business has the team in place to continue its growth trajectory and I’m very proud to be part of it. I’m extremely grateful to Stephen for his belief in me and I’m excited for what we can do together to set Kelvin Smith up for the next 40 years of success!” As well as ambitious targets for the business, Scott and Rena are also set to play a key role in Kelvin Smith’s ambitious charity target. As part of its 40th birthday celebrations, the company is hoping to raise £80,000 in 2022 for local Glasgow charities as well as a variety of refugee charities across the UK.

To find out more, visit


Business Success Story

We caught up with Helen Clark of Clackmannanshire’s Scot Serve Ltd to find out how the company benefitted from a business growth scheme delivered by the University of Stirling Management School. What prompted you and your husband to start Scot Serve Ltd? We actually didn’t start the business, it was formed in 1975 by another couple and Graeme was their first employee. It was a sound company that had been well run but it needed to change in line with the market. When the couple announced they wanted to retire, Graeme and I saw the opportunity to make the purchase and knew we could add value to both the brands we represent and the customers we serviced by making some fundamental changes.

the other business people he had met. However, I saw a renewed focus in him and a determination to drive change and improvements into the company, it’s hard not to be taken along with that energy. The changes we are embarking on will allow us to improve the services we already offer but also expand into digital. This way we can support smaller brands in an affordable way. When you are a long in the tooth business with tons of experience, being able to share that with the emerging brands to give something back is a great ambition.

Tell us about the biggest challenges you faced. It has to be the last two years, we’ve grown and developed the business every year but when lockdown struck, as a field based business, what do you when your team are not allowed to visit your customers? Technology saved us but it was tough, not so much the situation, more the length of time it lasted. It’s partly why Graeme decided to go on the H2G scheme, to help him learn and expand his thought process.

What are your goals for the future? Based on the plans created of course we are pushing for growth but also to futureproof our business by improving the services we have, moving into offering digital services to support emerging brands, ensuring our business becomes more benefit led than features led and, finally, by involving our team more we cannot only think of us being a family business, but a business for families.

How has support from the University of Stirling Management School helped grow your business? I have to say, initially Graeme drove us all mad, after each module he’d wax lyrical about the things he’s picked up and

Find out more about Help to Grow: Management

Hair Advice

ANNE FERGUSON FIND YOUR BEST HAIR PRACTICE Anne Ferguson is a director of Glasgow-based celebrity stylist Taylor Ferguson Hairdressing. Here, Anne examines facts and some definite myths about your hair cleansing regime. PICK THE RIGHT PRODUCT Without question, choosing the right shampoo for your hair’s condition is the key to great tresses. Get the selection wrong and you’ll probably end up with lack-lustre locks that spell regular bad hair days. None of us want that! Get it right and your hair’s condition will look and feel fantastic and be more manageable. Your stylist should be able to offer the best advice and recommendations based on your hair’s condition. I always maintain that buying shampoo is like buying a car – you only get what you pay for so investing in a quality product that meets your needs will generate quality results. When washing use your fingertips only in small circular movements. That gently, gently method is good for scalp and hair.

WASH DAILY OR NOT? This is an easy question – the answer is 100% no! Please aim to avoid washing your hair every single day. I have shoulder length hair and get by with once or twice a week (the second one usually happens if I’m going out somewhere at night). We see so many new clients who have opted for a daily cleansing regime and their hair can be too soft and potentially more damaged. If they’ve over-washed, then the chances are they’ve overdried it and exposed it to excessive heat. Ironically that’s probably contrary to the results they were hoping to achieve. The big risk with daily washes is that you’ll end up washing out some of the much-needed natural oils and nutrients. Less is more when it comes to hair washing – and that also extends to the amount of shampoo you need to use. A pea-sized portion is more than sufficient to generate the required lather.

LATHER UP, RINSE AND REPEAT? Dump that repeat. It isn’t needed! We’ve always joked in the salon that the message displayed on shampoo packs – shampoo, rinse and repeat – was the

Well washed and conditioned hair can produce great results.

key to the manufacturers ensuring quicker and bigger profits as buyers would use the product twice as fast! Any benefit of doing the second lathering is a myth. In our view once is always enough. Too much shampoo can leave your hair feeling coated as there’s an excess of product residue. If it’s a good shampoo and ticking the box for your hair’s condition, then keep to the once only rule. You’ll also save yourself time with your hair cleansing regime. So, it’s a win-win decision!

GIVE YOUR HAIR A DAILY WASH IN WATER? One of the secrets of a healthy head of hair is a happy scalp. Keep the scalp healthy and your hair will benefit. Your scalp sweats and secretes bacteria which if they are simply being rinsed with water, won’t vanish. You do need to use the correct shampoo – but you don’t need to be washing it every single day as we’ve already stated. Some of the bacteria isn’t all bad…it’s only bad if it becomes stale, blocking the follicles and stifling your scalp, robbing it of its healthy status and functionality.


refresh your style in between shampoos. Adds incredible volume and your hair stays fresher longer after just one use. Shake well before use and apply to dry hair to see your hair transform in seconds. I’m a keen user of the product and it keeps my locks under control.

AN ICE-COLD WATER RINSE MAKES HAIR SHINIER? So, this is 100% not the case – a never, ever. It might waken you up a tad but dousing your hair with icy cold water will have zero impact on the shininess of your hair. Indeed, it can cause a mega shock to your scalp.

It’s so important that as well as selecting a good hair shampoo product, a good conditioner is just as key. But you don’t need to be using the conditioner every time you shampoo. If it’s the right product, relevant to your hair’s condition then occasional use should suffice to keep your locks in pristine condition. In-salon intensive conditioning treatments can make a big difference to your hair, too. These are especially beneficial if it’s a remedial need. We use a range that is akin to a prescription, specially mixed to meet your needs.




Most definitely and we often recommend to clients that they introduce a dry shampoo to their cleansing regime, especially if they’ve been more used to daily shampooing sessions. There are many out there but again it can be about product quality. Some can mask the scalp which isn’t good especially if using it regularly.

Cleansing and caring for your hair in the right way does pay dividends. Add in a good conditioning regime and together you’ll experience the benefit. Part of our salon’s haircare strategy for clients is not only to educate but also to facilitate by using our recommended products - both for shampooing and conditioning. It’s what we’ve been doing for almost 50 years now, so we come at the topic with experience as well as expertise.

We’re big fans of the Schwarzkopf Professional OSIS+ Refresh Dust. It’s a sprayable powder that’s full of body to

Losing hair when you wash it is common. It’s just a fact - and all part of the process of effectively detoxing your scalp of hair that’s parted company from the follicles often for natural reasons about which we need not worry. Wash your hair less regularly and you’ll end up seeing potentially more hair going simply because you’re slowing down the clear-out and building up the number of hairs that need to be removed.

Basins at the ready…but are you giving your hair the right TLC?


Finance Expert

Rising prices hurt just about everyone, but small business owners face a double whammy: the impact on their own spending power, but also less revenue coming in from cash-strapped customers. The volume of retail sales fell 1.4% in March, with spending on food dropping by 1.1%. These are the first signs of the effect of high inflation, which for March was measured at 6.2%. With a headline rate of inflation at 10% being forecast to arrive over the summer these falls in expenditure are likely to get worse before they get better. Some small business owners have actually seen improved sales, with the amount spent on e.g. DIY and furniture increasing. However, most retailers are having to ensure their prices remain competitive to retain customers who are trimming household spending and cutting products seen as superfluous. For small businesses providing services on credit, managing cashflow is essential, especially as customers might be tempted to delay payment for weeks or even months. The human touch is always important, and any potential non-payers need to be dealt with swiftly and decisively. Keep on top of your debtors and my initial advice is to lengthen the payment periods in your cashflow forecast to see what impacts the longer payment periods are likely to have on your incomings and outgoings. If you foresee a potential shortfall in cash in the coming quarter it is best to look now at how you can resolve it before it happens. Get ahead of the game and look at your plans and what could be changed or done differently to ensure that your cash position remains positive.

If you see a wider gap appearing in your cash position a temporary overdraft facility may be worth considering, or you may wish to look at another form of finance such as invoice financing which will provide you with more concrete invoice payment schedules. There is, of course, a cost for bringing external finance into the business, but this must be weighed up and balanced against your need for cash to run and manage the business, pay staff, the speed of customer payment, terms offered/ breached and frequency, payment discounts for prompt payment, percentage recovery rates from difficult customers – we all have them. Have a look at the past couple of quarters and compare to a pre Covid year to see what the impacts are on your business and what can be turned around. As mentioned, the human touch and managing your good client relationships is essential. We plan to be in business for the long term and we are all having to look again at what we can afford to do and when based on what is coming in and going out. I see it in my own business and from looking at the monthly and quarterly figures our clients are reporting. One of the leading construction materials suppliers has made available to their customers an application that allows them to price and estimate jobs, with an inbuilt inflationary price change for key materials. This is not only helpful when pricing jobs that could have a 3-6 month lead time, it also allows the end customer to see what the current price is and what the price could be when inflationary increases are built into the price at the time the work is carried out.

Curtailing or delaying planned expenditure, looking at your own supplier payment terms and due dates and check to see if there is any room for manoeuvre.

Inbuilt inflationary pricing provides more cost certainty for the business and it provides the customer with a realistic estimate for the final bill for the work carried out - with no additional surprises.

Run a few different financial scenarios when you look ahead as the future is difficult to predict accurately so try up by 10-20% and down by 10-20% as this will give you a good tolerance level to work within.

Irrespective of the industry you are in, no customer likes to receive additional cost surprises after they have agreed the price. If people are made aware at the outset they are more likely to be agreeable if the increases do come to pass.

So build in inflationary increases into your customer quotes, especially if you have long lead times. If you have not already done so, do look at the potential for increasing your prices of your products and services to cover the direct and indirect cost increases you will be experiencing.

Higher rate taxpayers: no longer a select club There was once a time when paying tax at more than the basic rate made you a member of a somewhat select club. In 2010/11, the first year in which additional rate tax was introduced, the proportion of taxpayers who were taxed at more than the basic rate was 10.4%. Five years later, a dose of austerity pushed the figure close to 16%. Then it began to drop as higher rate thresholds were raised, so that by 2019/20 it was down to 13.6%. From that low, the upward path was resumed. Alongside the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) issued estimates that the freeze in the personal allowance, outside Scotland, and basic rate bands through to 2025/26 will mean by that year almost 19% of taxpayers will be liable for higher rate tax. The number of taxpayers will also be increasing, too, because of the personal allowance staying at £12,570. If your head is spinning from all the numbers, there is a simple message: you are likely to pass more of your income to HMRC in the coming years. To limit just how much extra the Exchequer gains and you lose, there are plenty of actions to consider wherever you are in the UK. • If you are married or in a civil partnership, make sure you are maximising the benefits of independent tax and, if you are eligible, claiming the transferable marriage allowance. • Check your PAYE code – it could be wrong. • Ensure you are claiming full tax relief on the pension contributions you make. Do not assume this will be given automatically, especially if you pay higher rate tax. • Consider an ISA first for any investment as it is free from UK income tax and capital gains tax. • Choose any employee perks with care. Some are highly tax efficient, while others carry a heavy tax burden. Remember that if you are or likely to become a member of the ever-expanding higher rate taxpayer club, the value of tax and financial advice rises with your tax rate. Each year we produce an annual guide to the tax allowances, reliefs and incentives that are available to UK personal taxpayers, business, sole traders and partnerships. We also provide more than a few planning tips and recommendations on what you can do to legitimately minimise the taxes you pay from your working, personal and post-working life.

You can download a copy from our website or if you would like to add it to your coffee table, it’s not a bad read but best done in a few sittings (!) for the non-finance minded out there, I can send you a copy in the post. Just drop me a line on and I will send one on.

FILLING THE GAPS: WHAT SKILLS DO FUTURE PROJECT LEADERS NEED? In a world that is evolving at a supersonic rate, we are all expected to keep up. From the advancement of technology to the increasing need for an eclectic and wide skillset, you’re required to stay on the ball if you don’t want to be left behind. In this respect, the project management world is no exception. Of course, achieving good grades at school and graduating from university are still important prerogatives. However, your academic competencies are not always sufficient. Nowadays, employers are constantly looking for an extra something from their workers. What do you truly need in order to establish yourself in your field? What abilities should would-be engineers and managers possess? With a mixture of hard and soft skills, we list several qualities that future project leaders need in order to shine.

DIGITAL SKILLS In an increasingly digital world, it is fundamental for future project leaders to know how to benefit from innovative tools. This doesn’t mean you need to be an expert in computer coding or programming. Nevertheless, it is crucial to understand the significant benefits of modern tech. Project leaders should surround themselves with processes and tools and try to make the most of their endless features. The best way to acquire this skill is to dive in and give new

Members Advice

technology a real go. In the long term, this will help you utilise innovative, useful equipment such as pre-commissioning software and other associated complex completions, operations readiness and project management digital tools.

MANAGEMENT There is no hiding that showcasing sound management skills is vital. If you are willing to climb the work ladder and take on the role of project leader, you will have to prove that you are capable of managing a team, a budget, potential risks and time. Firstly, a project leader must be able to bring several colleagues together, guiding them towards the same objective while also satisfying their personal ambitions. From coaching team members to evaluating their improvement, team management requires great dedication. Moreover, you should always be able to keep an eye on budgets and finances. What should money be spent on? What changes should be made to control costs? Risks must be considered as well. Therefore, project leaders should have the ability and experience to spot what could go wrong and plan alternative strategies. Finally, time management is crucial, too. The clock ticks on, deadlines approach, and several tasks have to be accomplished in a short amount of time. A skilled project leader must be able to devise a solid timeline and ensure that deadlines are hit consistently.

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Practical abilities are essential. But the value and need for soft, emotional skills is gradually rising, too – and rightly so. From keeping teams engaged to building relationships and showing an interest in colleagues’ well-being, employers are seeking soft skills more than ever before. Indeed, understanding your team members’ needs and offering them emotional support are key components to the success of a project. Knowing your team on a personal level will help you create an inspiring, trusting, and collaborative environment. Ultimately, it is an outstanding quality for a future project leader to have.

COMMUNICATION Communication is a fundamental aspect in every business. Project leaders and managers must be able to build bridges between their fellow workers, ensuring that all operations proceed smoothly. Future leaders will need to learn and understand how to communicate clear, concise messages via innovative channels. With modern technology at your disposal, communicating in a way that grabs your team’s attention will become an artful skill. Not only that, but you will also have to develop effective strategies to listen and pay attention to what is going on around you. With solid communication skills, all projects will get off to a flying start – and end even better!

ADAPTABILITY It is fair to say that future project leaders will have to be ready to constantly adapt to change. As technology evolves, artificial intelligence progresses and our working schedules shift (i.e. remote working), it is crucial for project leaders to be both flexible and open-minded. One way to strengthen your adaptability skills is to learn new things and push yourself out of your comfort zone. This will allow you to understand how to deal with unfamiliar situations. As a result, when a problem or an unexpected scenario arises in the workplace, you will be both quick to adapt and fast to respond. As the world of work develops and changes in step with the times, candidates and employees are required to widen their skillsets. From digital predisposition to managing abilities, there are several skills that will make you stand out. For further information, visit


Business Success Story

McKellar Accountancy is a Paisley based company and founder, Suzy McKellar, intends to grow and establish the brand in her hometown.

Suzy firmly believes that happy staff equals better performance. All of her staff are valued and encouraged to develop their own skills and build personal confidence and self-esteem. Suzy is of the firm opinion that they are stronger as one dynamic unit producing excellent products for their customers. The ethos of the company is to create a service to its clientele that exceeds all expectations - while having fun doing it! Suzy told us: “I started the company with good experience having worked in accountancy practice from the age of 17 (I’m 33 this year). I knew where I wanted to be in the market place but just needed the funding in order to make those dreams a reality. With help from DSL, we were able to move premises for expansion, put all our staff through their relevant qualifications, buy vehicles and work stations, etc.

“As of next month, we will be employing our eighth staff member and we continue to grow each week...” “...None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for DSL believing in my vision and supplying the funding which allowed me to grow the practice at a much faster pace.” Stuart Yuill of DSL Business Finance commented: “When we were introduced to Suzy in 2017 it was clear to us that this was someone with real ambition for her business. She had identified a number of opportunities within a market she knew well and needed relatively nominal support to assist with starting her own practice which was primarily focused on taxation. We were very happy to provide a startup loan to help get the business going. “In 2019, due to market demand and a growing client base as a result of the high quality service being provided, we assisted with further lending to enable the

business to expand. This saw the practice employ more staff and also initially embed a mobile service - essentially catering for many of the sub-contractors engaged in the construction sector. “To achieve what she has in normal times would in itself be commendable, but to do so as a very busy Mum during a pandemic is all the more so given the additional challenges faced during that time. DSL believes that there are many more entrepreneurial women like Suzy keen to start or grow a business in Scotland and we are always keen to engage and explore how we can help turn dreams into reality.” To find out how DSL Business Finance can help you, call 0141 425 2930, email or visit


Case Study

It will come as no surprise, but the majority of women who own their own business in Scotland believe in their skills, knowledge and experience. A survey from Business Gateway, Scotland’s national business support agency, has revealed that 70% of women who run a business in Scotland believed they had what it takes and this was the primary factor behind their decision to set up on their own. Respondents highlighted confidence in existing skills, knowledge and experience as key motivators when it came to launching their businesses. The survey, which reviewed challenges facing women starting and growing their businesses, was completed by 356 business owners in Scotland. One business owner who worked with Business Gateway to start up and overcome a fear of failure was Lisa Rolland, owner of Edinburgh-based KTSU. KTSU provides practical and stylish bags for women’s shoes and was launched in 2021 when she spotted a gap in the market. Lisa, owner of KTSU, said: “I have faced many challenges throughout my life and starting my own business was no different. It was four years before I got my first prototype in 2019 and my initial profile of customers, which was women walking to work, had suddenly gone because of the pandemic. I also intended to sell my bags at fairs and pop-ups, but the pandemic severely limited that market. “At times I wondered if I should even launch but I knew I had to keep going and, through Business Gateway, I was able to meet a community of women-led businesses. These connections, and my adviser have encouraged me and bolstered my confidence as I went about starting up KTSU. “My business is now growing and is stocked in shops and online. I also feel it’s vital to support other women who want to pursue a great idea, so 10% of my profits go towards funding and mentoring women who have lived through difficult times and need support launching their own business.” For more information on support available, visit

8:45am Business Connections


Morning networking before work

Wednesday 29th June 8:45am-11:00am Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel, Glasgow Salon Lounge on the first floor Our 8:45am Business Connections events are proving very popular and we are delighted to invite our readers to attend our next networking get together on June 29th. Free to attend and open to members and non-members alike, it’s your chance to meet like-minded women in business and join BWS for a coffee and chat. Don’t miss your chance to grow your business network and make new connections.

Sign up today!

THE KEY TO A GOOD CV We caught up with Emma Alkirwi, aka The CV Guru, to find out what it takes to make your application stand out from the crowd. Emma had spent over 15 years working in the recruitment and welfare to work industry and understands how competitive the job marketplace can be and how a poorly written CV can make people fall at the first hurdle. Emma had recognised that the issue wasn’t candidates’ experience but that they had been selling themselves short and had not included key information that an employer wants to see. In July 2016 Emma established The CV Guru - when her youngest daughter was six months old - so she could provide herself with flexibility for her family while supporting jobseekers in achieving interviews for the positions they had been applying for. The CV Guru also completes Cover Letters, LinkedIn Profiles and Supporting Statements so candidates can make the best first impression when applying for their next opportunity. Emma has now grown the business into a six-figure turnover with support from a Customer Service Manager and six writers. Emma’s other business, the hummingbird, was established in 2019 as a natural lead from The CV Guru. Emma was working with business owners and noticed how uncomfortable they felt in writing about themselves or their business as they found it challenging to be objective. This hurdle was holding them back from making the best first impression online. Coming from an industry that was stereotypically spent on the phone cold calling, Emma is keen to change the mindset towards sales. Using the power of LinkedIn, she is driven to

show business owners and their teams that sharing knowledge and networking online is a simple way to gain inbound leads. Emma assists businesses across the UK with LinkedIn Writing and Optimisation, One to One Coaching and training for larger companies to assist them in their business development efforts.

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Case Study

Our World Yoga is a beautiful boutique studio in Glasgow’s West End, organically built on word of mouth, since it first opened nine years ago. Founder Val Johnston told us: “The intention was never to open a studio, there wasn’t a plan, there hasn’t been time for a plan! However, after teaching yoga around the city and teaching yoga and mindfulness workshops in schools, the teachers and parents encouraged and set up the first ‘studio Monday class’, purely for themselves. By week two, they wanted a Thursday class, then a Friday class and, by the end of the year, after tripping up on many pairs of trainers, we moved upstairs and quickly went on to teach between 9-11 scheduled classes a week, eventually bringing on more teachers allowing us to add a further 6 classes. “We teach Vinyasa, Yin Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Pregnancy and Parent & Baby. We invited incredible guest teachers to run a variety of workshops as well as adding to our own offerings and are now a registered Yoga Teacher Training School, running yearly studio based teacher trainings. “Community was where we started, it’s our strength. We believe in the power of yoga, the union of mind, body and spirit, the growth and nurturing of the yoga community. To us, yoga is a way of life, Ahimsa is at the core of our teachings. Yoga, allows us to live life in the present moment; although we believe the real yoga happens ‘off the mat’, the journey of threading the teachings, the dedication and commitment required to find freedom and peace within ourselves, all begins on the mat.

Photo: Kris Kesiak

“With this in mind we fundraise as much as we can, sponsoring primary schools in Malawi via Mary’s Meals and we support Virunga National Park and people running from war and conflict. We collect for our local food banks and donate clothes to Refuweegee and Smalls for All. You can find out more at “Whether it’s your first day or you’ve been with us since day one, whether you’re completely new to yoga or have been practising for years, you will always be made to feel a part of this very special community. Everyone without exception has something to bring to the table.”

Readers can enjoy a FREE taster session, either at the studio or via zoom. Simply email

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J O I N T H E BWS C O M M U N I T Y ! After conquering the pressures of the pandemic, why not give your business a boost by taking out a membership to Business Women Scotland? By joining Scotland’s leading female business organisation, you will receive support and numerous networking opportunities to help grow and strengthen your business. We at BWS appreciate the challenges women face in business and aim to help you achieve your goals. As a member, you will enjoy extensive benefits including support and advice, monthly magazines and special offers, webinars and access to the BWS Video Lounge, exclusive advertising, sponsorship and promotional opportunities for your business, discounted access to BWS events, access to our very popular Mentoring Match programme and Programme for Growth course, plus a variety of templates and planners to use as guides to planning the next stages of your business. Whether you’re just starting out in business or are looking to take your company to the next stage of success, joining Business Women Scotland is key to your success.

With membership prices starting at just there are packages and price points to appeal to all budgets.

£60 + vat

We are delighted to announce our corporate package which is unbelievable value at for a full year’s membership, two tickets for the BWS Awards on November 18 with + vat your company logo on the Awards website and a full page ad in the Awards programme, plus a full page in two issues of BWS magazine during your 12 month membership period.


Visit for more details and start enjoying the benefits of membership to Business Women Scotland today!

EXCLUSIVE MEMBERSHIP OFFER: Sign up for a 12 month Business Woman Scotland membership to receive a fantastic Sandwick Bay pink pepper and jasmine candle worth £11.95! The fabulous freebie has a warm spicy fragrance with top notes of pink pepper, orange blossom and pear leading to a heart of jasmine and coffee, nestled on a sumptuous base of patchouli, vanilla and cedar. Sandwick Bay Candles create high quality fragrance products including candles, diffusers and wax melts. Founded by Megan Macdonald, the candles are hand poured in her workshop in the Isle of Lewis. Megan and her team are passionate about quality and her products are the result of countless hours of testing and refining. More recently the range has expanded to include quality sustainable handwashes and liquid household cleaning products. Visit Terms and conditions apply.



Have you signed up for our Leadership conference on October 4 yet? Join us for this very special day of empowering women at the beautiful House for an Art Lover in Glasgow. We have invited women from different sectors to participate. The event will be hosted by Rachel McTavish, who will interview and explore topics with each CEO and leader about their careers, leadership styles and business experiences. We will examine what makes a modern leader and how they manage today’s challenges. After more than two years without real networking, we would like to connect with businesswomen who have made an impact on the business community and who are also leading the next generation of women in business. Leadership success is focused on ensuring we help women shape the world of work in a positive and impactful way. The aim of the day is to help women who want to move into a leadership role or those who are already in senior positions seeking advancement in their careers. The event provides leaders with a great opportunity to exchange views and ideas, allowing them to discuss tomorrow’s challenges as well as how to leverage current business opportunities.

Registration & Prices:

1 PLACE: £70 + VAT (£84) | BWS MEMBERS’ RATE - £60 + VAT (£72) Our conference is sponsored by Selaura, the premium supplement for perimenopause, menopause and beyond. The ethos behind the company founded by Morven Shaw and Debbie Wheeler is that this phase of your life should be celebrated and enjoyed. That’s why they developed the Selaura proprietary formula which contains 12 premium, clinically-proven ingredients, all at optimal daily doses. Selaura was developed by women, working with some of the world’s leading nutraceutical companies, to be the best in class, single solution supplement to support the 48 symptoms of perimenopause/menopause. Selaura’s ingredients support sleep, boost energy and stamina, reduce stress and anxiety, balance hormones, boost immunity, alleviate brain fog, promote joint and muscle health, support hair, skin and nail growth and reduce digestive issues. Free from wheat, dairy, soy, fish, artificial sweeteners and preservatives. No gluten containing ingredients. No fillers or bulking agents. Suitable for vegans. Manufactured in the UK.

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MEET OUR SPEAKERS: Dr Jillian, Founder, The Social Intelligence Lab Dr Jillian is the founder of The Social Intelligence Lab. For over a decade she has been working in social listening as a researcher, consultant, spokesperson, and author. Jillian’s mission is to bring the social listening industry together and give social intelligence the place it deserves as a recognised discipline. The Social Intelligence Lab helps to make this a reality through professional membership, events, training & development and setting best practice. Jillian will talk about digital behavioural science, purchasing decisions and why Scotland is the best place on earth.

Dr Lalith Wijedoru, Founder, Behind Your Mask

We’ll also have a breakout workshop entitled Storytelling in Your Workplace, led by Dr Lalith Wijedoru, a wellbeing consultant with specialist - and award-winning - expertise in workplace-based storytelling. A former NHS Consultant in Paediatric Emergency Medicine, Lalith has worked internationally and is now passionate about supporting staff – and their leaders - from any organisation, across both public and private sectors. His company, Behind Your Mask, strives to create authentic leaders and compassionate workplaces through the healing power of staff stories.

Kay Ryan, Chief Commercial Officer, Loganair

As CCO at Loganair, Kay has led the airline’s commercial offering and brand positioning since it ended its franchise agreement with FlyBe and started flying solo back in 2017. This was the first time in 25 years that Loganair had flown under its own brand and Kay led a full brand relaunch including new website, app and reservations systems, creating a new identity for Loganair as well as ensuring there was a consistent brand tone and the customer service journey was prioritised. Prior to joining Loganair, Kay has held senior commercial roles in Thomas Cook, Thistle Hotels and Radisson Edwardian Hotels. Responsible for building, coaching and mentoring a high performing leadership team of five, Kay monitors all route financials (pricing and revenue management), identifies areas of improvement and implements these to optimise financial performance. Kay has established successful brand partnerships and works with travel and tourism bodies including the government to promote tourism and events as well as broader commercial opportunities with corporate customers. In the last year, Kay has maintained customer trust by introducing FlexProtect which provided reassurance and flexibility should travel plans change during the pandemic.


4th October 2022 | 9:15am - 3:00pm

House for an art lover Glasgow SPONSORED BY

Join us at this very special event for women in leadership! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to network with like-minded businesswomen, take part in a very special workshop and learn from some amazing ladies who have reached the top of their professions. Learn how to be a great leader, overcome barriers facing female leaders and future leaders and become more aware of the skills, qualities and attributes needed to be a successful leader. You will also have the chance to talk to our special guests and network with other brilliant businesswomen!

Registration & Prices: 1 PLACE: £70 + VAT (£84) | BWS MEMBERS’ RATE - £60 + VAT (£72) Tickets are limited, so book your place today at:


Member Profile

Toto is the brain child of sleep deprived mama of one and BWS member, Toria Fullarton.

After endless coffee-filled days of research, Toria finally combined a ton of different methods and found a winner. After several silent cheers (to ensure she didn’t wake the now soundly sleeping babe) Toria wanted to share this magical knowledge with every other heavy eyed parent around her. She worked alongside the University of West of Scotland to test her theory and they confirmed she’d created something that could heavily affect the profits of Costa and Starbucks. All of her magic was loaded into a wonderful wee bracelet, to be worn by all the beautiful wide awake children…and Toto was born. Toto Sleep is an innovative new wearable technology for infants aged 6-24 months that educates and empowers parents. It assists with sleep coaching and uses your child’s own unique biometrics to identify their natural bedtime. Routine provides stabilty and an understanding of what is expected daily of your child. This will greatly increase your chance of baby sleeping through the night, providing your child with the ability to reach their developmental milestones and giving everyone a well deserved rest. It couldn’t be easier to use. Simply place the Toto on your child’s wrist and pair to the app via bluetooth to your chosen device. Then let Toto take the guess work out of bedtime for you! Toto will tell you when your child is starting to get tired, thereby letting you understand your child’s sleep cues and ensuring the correct timing for a successful bedtime. Toria was lucky enough to be offered an investment of £120k from Dragon Sara Davies, however decided it was best not to give away a large portion of her company, so continued to raise investment privately. Toria told us: “When the opportunity arose to pitch on Dragons’ Den, I absolutely had to do it. As nerve racking as the thought was, I knew it was a chance I may never get again. Completely out of my comfort zone, I threw myself into the application process. So glad I went for it. It was the most surreal experience ever.”

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LET Y OUR IMAGINATION RU N WILD Create the wedding day of your dreams at Kimpton Blythswood Square| +44 (0) 141 248 8888 | 11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4AD