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BusinessScotland Scottish Chambers of Commerce Magazine

Scotland’s new mentoring programme launched for women-led businesses Virgin Trains wins prestigious Public Transport Operator of the Year Renfrewshire Chamber backs Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021

Scottish Chambers of Commerce


Chambers visit marks new phase in Scotland’s China trade links





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Scottish Chambers of Commerce Business Partners

Front Cover image: Shandong Province, China

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The new Premium Economy Class: for those who want more


“May you live in interesting times” The traditional Chinese “blessing” has always been taken as an ironic curse, the Chinese valuing stable and peaceful harmony rather than more interesting challenges. But in reality, this oft used saying is in fact apocryphal and has no basis in Chinese thought or culture. It is, perhaps, a Victorian British misinterpretation of some other Chinese saying, highlighting an inherent lack of understanding of the world around them. Whatever its origin, it can surely never been more true. Scottish business and business folk find themselves in an age of seemingly endless political uncertainty that, despite all claims politicians make, impacts on the confidence and success of the market and wider economy. Whether it’s the Conservative government which lost its majority in an unwanted General Election, or complex EU negotiations with no clear or obvious firm sense of purpose, or the Scottish Government’s avowed intent of pursuing an exit from the United Kingdom, these combinations of headwinds are certainly not creating a smooth passage for Scottish businesses and investment, either organic or inward.

Tim Allan

President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

As the new President of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, it is clear to me that the need for a robust and confident Chamber Network has never been greater. With 26 local Chambers of Commerce in Scotland, we are close to business, and SCC will vigorously pursue the interest of our members and the Scottish business community. Both in Holyrood, Westminster and Brussels, SCC

will make sure our needs, our concerns and, equally as important, our knowledge and business insights are heard. Lacklustre performance in exporting is a key issue for the Scottish economy and “Scotland plc” can do so much better. SCC has placed a priority on this area of work, in partnership with the Scottish Government and this edition places a spotlight on the Chamber Network’s China trade visit to Beijing and the Shandong province, which included Chamber Presidents and Chief Executives. This extraordinary trip made clear to us all the vast opportunity presented by China to any country willing to work with the Chinese in opening up the Silk Road once again to the East. As a result of this visit, SCC now has an office in Yantai and is open for business. While no one can doubt the challenges faced by companies seeking to trade with China, we must hold in our minds that this country of 1.4billion will become the biggest world economy within 5 years and that the number of potential tourists, customers and consumers cannot be ignored by a country like ours seeking to increase our exports and building on our international alliances. So, while I started with a misapprehension of a Chinese proverb, I can end with the thought that, given “the interesting times” we face at home and in Europe, we surely cannot afford to miss the opportunity that international trade and exporting gives our economy. I hope in my time as SCC president we can provide a strong lead in achieving this and helping our members reach out of the borders of Scotland to do more business globally.

Contributors Tim Allan

Poonam Gupta OBE

William Paterson

Liz Cameron OBE

Paul Lewis

Louise Ramsay

Carolyn Currie

Marie Macklin CBE

Charandeep Singh

Jeanette Forbes

Dr Adam Marshall

Petra Wetzel

President, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Chief Operating Officer, Women’s Enterprise Scotland

Founder & Chief Executive, PCL Group

Founder & Chief Executive, PG Paper

Managing Director, Scottish Development International

Executive Chair, Macklin Enterprise Partnerships

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

Communications & Social Media Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Business Menotiring, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Head of External Relations, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Founder & Managing Director, West Brewery

Business Scotland



Book your table for the 2017 Annual Business Address, taking place on Thursday 7th December 2017 at the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow. Email: to book your table or call us on 0141-204-8316

Join us at the Annual Scottish Business Address to celebrate the success of Scotland’s entrepreneurial spirit. Business Scotland



Scott McEwan (front) with Tom Johnston and Bob Grant of Renfrewshire Chamber (centre) and (from left) Audrey Schaefer, Andrew Hamilton, Brian McGinaly and Denise Ewart of Boston Networks

Renfrewshire Chamber backs Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021 Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce believes Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 could be an economic bonanza for the area and will financially support the town’s potential year in the spotlight. The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have confirmed the 11 places bidding for the title has been whittled down to just five – Paisley, Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea. Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has generated huge support from local businesses over the past year. The Chamber are following in the footsteps of other bigname firms who have agreed to support the 2021 year – Glasgow International Airport, intu Braehead, Diageo, Gordon Leslie Group and Malcolm Group, as well Coats Group PLC, the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer, which started life in the town. Around 200 chamber members have pledged their support by the time the bid was submitted. You can see the full list at Chamber chief executive Bob Grant, who is a member of the Paisley 2021 executive bid team, said: “The chamber board are financially supporting Paisley 2021 because they recognise winning the title would bring

a massive economic boost to Renfrewshire, and our members would share in that.” “Winning will bring huge benefits to business – it is estimated it would create 4,700 jobs and a £172m economic boost to Renfrewshire over the next decade. We would also expect to welcome 800,000 visitors in 2021, creating huge footfall for local traders, while a winning bid would also attract major infrastructure investment.” Management from the chamber showed their support on a visit to one of their members – Braehead-based internet firm Boston Networks, which recently won a £1m council contract to supply free public wifi to Paisley town centre. Scott McEwan, Chief Executive of Boston Networks, added: “We are delighted to add our backing to the Paisley 2021 bid – the activity around the bid is already creating opportunities for local businesses like Boston Networks and there will be significantly more benefit to our business if Paisley wins. “I would urge all our fellow chamber members and other local businesses to consider how

they can get involved – by working together to make the town a more attractive place to invest and visit, we all stand to benefit.” Boston Networks – named employer of the year at the chamber’s annual ROCCO awards last November – will soon roll out a free public-access wifi system in Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone town centres as part of Renfrewshire’s digital strategy.

Winning will bring huge benefits to business – it is estimated it would create 4,700 jobs and a £172m economic boost to Renfrewshire over the next decade. Business Scotland



Demands of Modern Business Travel Despite living in the digital era, face-to-face and on-site meetings are still a crucial element in facilitating businesses and maintaining relationships. The demands of doing business in the modern world adds increasing pressure to companies when seeking solutions for their business travel needs, especially international air travel. Take a look at the top 5 necessities for any corporate traveller… Price


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Business Scotland


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Turkish Airlines flies to more countries than any other airline and has departures from Edinburgh. Asia, the Middle East and Africa will all be at your fingertips.

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Chambers visit marks new phase in Scotland’s China trade links Scotland’s long march towards significant SME exports to China has seen a burst of acceleration following a successful trade visit to Beijing and Shandong Province. In the most concerted Scottish private sector-led initiative to date in the world’s second largest economy, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce has agreed a breakthrough Memorandum of Understanding for trade partnership with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). The document, covering “trade engagement and partnership” is one of several formal expressions of the good will engendered by the week-long visit. It opens an exciting new channel to China for Scottish traders, whether existing Chambers’ members or not. Likewise, the opening of the SCC’s first international trade office within the Commercial Bureau of Yantai Municipal Government gives concrete expression to the shared wish to do deals between Scotland and Shandong. The success of the May 2017 visit has been praised by China’s Consul General in Scotland, Mr Pan Xinchun, a strong supporter of stronger business-to-business ties. He described the SCC’s initiative as “very productive” and “a clear signal that the Scottish business sector is very committed to strengthening commercial links to China”. Mr Pan continued: “As a very wellestablished organisation representing

Business Scotland


SCC delegation visits global HQ of Inspur Technologies Co Ltd, Jinan

11,000 different size businesses, the SCC is well placed [to lead]. The opening of the Shandong office gives a strong message to the Chinese market that the SCC is very serious about developing links further. Also, this presence will provide a good platform for Scottish companies to gain a better knowledge of the Chinese market and will undoubtedly lead to closer economic, trade and investment between the two sides.” The 7-day SCC-led trade visit by the China Scotland Business Alliance, backed by the Scottish Government and headed by the newly-appointed SCC President Tim Allan, is part of the Chambers’ new

“Global Scotland” drive to boost Scotland’s exporting capacity. Including heads of Chambers from Aberdeen and Grampian, Ayrshire, Dundee and Angus, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and West Lothian, the visit is likely to be followed up with an SCC business-led trade mission towards the end of 2017. Long a key Scottish trade target, China’s vast complexities and shifting dynamics demand a concerted and sustained investment of time and relationshipbuilding. Scotland’s Trade & Investment Strategy 2016-2021, published by the Scottish Government last year, regretted that growth in China had so far been


Nurturing Links As well as Beijing and Yantai the SCC delegation also visited the city of Jinan (Shandong’s capital) home to one of the first national high-tech business incubators. Since its foundation in 2002, it has incubated more than 1,000 small and medium sized science and technology enterprises. It focuses on cultivating fast-growing sectors such as biomedicine, ecommerce, energy, environmental protection and new materials. The ScotlandShandong connections date back to 2006 when the late Tom McCabe MSP, then finance minister in the Scottish Executive, signed a co-operation agreement covering “trade and investment, science and technology, tourism, education and environment.”

Shandong: Scotland’s Base Camps Shandong Province is the third largest provincial economy in China with a population of over 97 million and GDP in excess of 6.3 trillion yuan (£700 billion). It also ranks as number one for the diversity, producing wheat, maize and cotton, wine, beer and other drinks. It is strong in oil & gas exploration and production, as well as precious metals including gold and diamonds. The port of Yantai (population 7m) is a major North China maritime hub [have since discovered Qingdao is much bigger!] in North China and in 2016, it imported over $19 billion (£14.7 billion) of goods and services.

Business Scotland



View of Qingdao at night

“relatively slow” and advocated “enabl[ing] businesses to realise opportunities” there.

leverage this hard-won status for the greater good of “Scotland plc”.

Spurred by this sense of urgency and a £400,000 Scottish Government funding package, this new private sector initiative, aligned with in-market public agencies such as Scottish Development International (SDI), and the China Britain Business Council (CBBC), is designed to shorten the distance between Scottish companies and their Chinese counterparts, allowing B2B traffic to flow more freely. Its timing coincides with a new rreceptiveness to trade links from the Chinese Communist regime due to its “Belt and Road Initiative”, the attempt by the Peoples’ Republic to create a trans-global network of suppliers and partners.

Pledges of co-operation, friendship and mutual understanding are common between Chinese provinces, cities and state-owned (“parastatal”) organisations and overseas entities. Many are not followed through, and exist only on paper. What is significant about the Scottish Chambers new venture, according to Tim Allan, is mutual commitment to ensuring that SCC’s Chinese-character brass plaque in Yantai’s International Commercial Bureau amounts to more than just a symbol of vague diplomatic friendship.

According to Tim Allan, SCC President: “The background to the visit was a perception shared between the Scottish Government and the Scottish Chambers, that, just as Scottish SMEs need to be scaling up in the way that we have seen with only a handful of “unicorn” businesses, we need to be exporting more routinely and openly with markets which are frankly colossal. China is a case in point.” “We were lucky in that David Valentine, a former Vice President of Dundee and Angus Chambers of Commerce, has a longstanding relationship with China and particularly with Shandong Province, a region with a third more people than the entire population of France. If it were a country it would be the 14th most populous in the world.”

Business Scotland


Zhang Jinlong, Chair of Business Horizons Intl Group, Tim Allan, SCC and Ms Sammi Tang, CEO of Business Horizons Intl Group

“Flying across China you quickly appreciate that this is a continent, not a country. You cannot ‘do business with China’ it’s too big. You have to be more focused and the Shandong connection offers us the best opportunity for the sectors that we are strong in, including food and drink, tourism, oil and gas services, biosciences, pharmaceuticals , artificial intelligence and sports management.” Scotland’s link with Shandong, cradle of Han Chinese culture and birthplace of Confucius, dates back to 1999. David Valentine, described by Tim Allan as a “visionary”, forged a twinning arrangement between Angus and Yantai, a city of which he was made an honorary citizen in 2008. These days Valentine is hailed as an “old friend of China”. The Lancastrian-born former local public servant is happy to

The likelihood of that happening is greatly increased by the maturity of existing relationships, largely thanks to David Valentine, who has visited China about fifty times in his career in Scottish local government, as a chambers executive and now as a private businessman. The network of connections both at a local level, including Shandong Vice Governor Wang Shujian and the Vice Mayor of Yantai city, Madame Zhang Bo, and at a national level with powerful minister-level figures in the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (SAFEA) and the Scots businessman Alistair Michie, Vice President of the Hampton Group based in Beijing and one of President Xi Jinping’s five chief advisers to the Chinese government’s Foreign Experts Advisory Committee (FEAC) ensuring that any strong Scottish proposition will receive a good hearing.


Dave Valentine receives gift from Zhang Jinlong

Tim Allan unveils new SCC Trade Office, Yantai with Madame Zhang Bo, Vice Mayor

Dave Valentine and Ms Sammi Tang, CEO, Business Horizons International

“The whole premise for this initiative is that we use our private sector connections to provide real additionality for companies on both sides.” David Valentine says.

business in China, where the opportunities exist for Scottish organisations and how we can best pursue these.”

attitude” amounting to a new interest in what Scottish firms have to offer.

“Basically the MoU is all about helping each other to match opportunities. If a Chinese or Scottish business is looking to collaborate with a particular type of company or to source a specific product, we now have an additional opportunity to connect them. When a Chinese company invests in Scotland and needs support then we can plug them into their local business network or help them by joining their local Chamber!” “There is no point in duplicating what the public agencies are doing anyway, but by working together I believe that Scotland plc could be doing even better. Personally, I would like to see a legacy come from the strong government and business connections I’ve nurtured over the last 20 years. I am not ‘using’ these contacts, I am helping them. The Chinese organisations and individuals involved want to connect with counterpart Scottish companies and they want to see tangible outcomes. Chief Executive of the SCC, Liz Cameron said: “We now have a deeper understanding of how we can achieve the best exchange for

“We’ve also identified a number of potential opportunities for inward investment into Scotland and will be working with Scottish Government and SDI as well as other trade organisations to explore these and leverage the momentum of change within China.” Liz Cameron claims to be struck with the overwhelming importance of ecommerce in the realm of Chinese trade (the business of China’s two largest companies Alibaba and TenCent). The supremacy of this marketplace is causing her to step up efforts to boost the Chambers capacity in this stratospherically high-growth medium through the emerging Ecommerce Action Scotland partnership with the Scottish Government and SDI. Nora Senior, former Scottish Chambers President whose own company Weber Shandwick PR has been active in China for 25 years, believes that the maturing of Scotland’s networks of influence is coinciding with a pivotal point in China’s development. Her impressions from the recent trip, she says, were of a “change in

“Even with the new spirit of co-operation engendered by this visit, it will take time to foster relationships and develop trust between Chinese and Scottish companies. “But the big thing I noticed was a new willingness to move towards partnership working and to look to Scottish companies for goods and services that they don’t have. Partly this is a social and cultural thing. People who traditionally come from the countryside are moving into these big conurbations. The authorities need to provide housing, they need to provide energy, they need to provide recreation and leisure for those groups of people.” They are building schools and universities at an unheard of rate. The Chinese population are becoming, better educated better housed and that brings with it a demand for goods and services. That’s why I think the change in attitude is happening. As they become more educated with more disposable income they are looking for things that they currently don’t have.” Ms Senior backs the Shandong-first strategy largely on the grounds that “cracking” the already well-served Beijing

In China you need to be introduced to the right people and you need to properly understand each other and have a serious, sustainable relationship based on mutual trust and confidence. You then have to focus and keep working at it, which means going out there year in year out, otherwise the business relationship won’t work.

Business Scotland



Quancheng Square, Jinan

and Shanghai markets is for SMEs, “the equivalent of cracking London and just as difficult”. A less well-served market where the connections are already strong is an obvious target, especially as the contacts are now well-established. “Show me a network of contacts and trust that doesn’t work” She says. “It’s people you trust recommending that you get in touch with people whom might be able to do something for them while doing their own business some good. It is a successful recipe and I can’t see it changing.” “My message would be if you are not a member of your local Chamber, this is a good reason to become a member”. Current circumstances in China, says Tim Allan, are looking promising for Scottish business. In the last Peoples’ Congress

in March, President Xi Jinping effectively directed state-owned enterprises to stick more to their core competence which means selling off extraneous commercial operations. This in turn means knocking them into shape in advance. He also sees exciting possibilities for repackaging and value-adding within Shandong’s special economic zones, offering cost-cutting duty free options based on competitive Chinese labour for producers of high quality Scots primary products, especially food and drink.

or services to meet a market need there. And they need to invest in their relationships, which means visiting and visiting again. “Don’t be a butterfly” warns David Valentine.

Meanwhile the Chinese consumer increasingly craves foreign brands, especially in the food sector. In provincial China they don’t have to be elite global brands either, so the playing field for Scots SMEs is unusually level.

With so much to play for in China, the Global Scotland initiative has given only glimpses of the potential now within the reach of Scotland’s most enterprising SMEs. They now have every reason and plenty of opportunity to convert twenty years of polite exchanges and bridge-building into quantifiable gains in growth, jobs and exports.

The onus is on Scottish companies to do their China research and show they have products

“In China you need to be introduced to the right people and you need to properly understand each other and have a serious, sustainable relationship based on mutual trust and confidence. You then have to focus and keep working at it, which means going out there year in year out, otherwise the business relationship won’t work.”

We now have a deeper understanding of how we can achieve the best exchange for business in China, where the opportunities exist for Scottish organisations and how we can best pursue these.

Business Scotland


A PROMISE BY THE NATION. The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation, ensuring that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly.

So why not publicly declare your commitment to our Armed Forces by signing up? In doing so you would

join the 1500+ UK companies who have already shown their support. Signing up to the Armed Forces Covenant (AFC) is straightforward and sets companies on the path to have their pledge recognised through the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS). This scheme incorporates prestigious Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards, granted in recognition of pledges to support defence and the Armed Forces Community. The ERS awards culminate annually with ceremonies to recognise the efforts of the Silver and Gold Award winners. For Scottish employers the Silver Awards are held at Edinburgh Castle.

AFC signatories and members of the ERS may be invited to visit exercises at home and overseas. They are also invited to participate in bespoke events. Collectively, these highlight the wide range of skills – including leadership, team-building and assertiveness – taken back by Reservists to their civilian employers for free. To get involved with the AFC contact the Regional Employer Engagement Directors at Highland and Lowland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Associations. Highland: Call Ron Macgregor on 01382 631026 or email Lowland: Call Colin Vooght on 0141 945 6751 or email

Exercise Hairspring participants with Royal Marines Reservists in Norway.

Proudly supporting those who serve.


Virgin Trains wins prestigious Public Transport Operator of the Year at Scottish Transport Awards Virgin Trains were named as Public Transport Operator of the Year at the Scottish Transport Awards, establishing its reputation as the UK’s leading long-distance rail service and recognising its role in transforming rail journeys between Scotland and England. Virgin Trains' commitment to its strategy of investment, innovation and improving customer service has resulted in record passenger numbers on the East and West Coast routes, and has also contributed to a steady rise in customer satisfaction numbers. On the East Coast route, between Edinburgh and London, passenger numbers grew by 8% in 2016, boosted by updated train interiors on its entire fleet and the additional 45 services between the capitals. On the West Coast route, Virgin Trains dramatically improved its punctuality leading to record passenger volumes between Glasgow. In fact, in the 24-week period to the end of March, numbers were up by 28% compared to two years ago. Patrick McGrath, Virgin Trains’ Executive

Business Scotland


Director for Human Resources on the west coast route, said: “This award is a wonderful recognition of the hard work Virgin Trains has put in over the last 20 years to transform customer services and improve rail connections between England and Scotland. We have seen investment, innovation and a relentless focus on customer experience which has helped make rail more popular than ever and we want to play a leading role in continuing that great success story.” With Virgin Trains having a key focus on their customers, Virgin Trains have set their sights on being the industry leaders in customer experience with the investment into BEAM a new streaming service that allows passengers to stream more than 200 hours of Hollywood blockbusters and

popular box sets straight to their devices. David Horne, Managing Director of Virgin Trains’ east coast route, added: “We started our Virgin Trains investment commitment just over two years ago and have already seen a root-and-branch overhaul over the service we provide to customers. Brand new train interiors, more frequent journeys, introduction of an industry-leading entertainment streaming app, BEAM. These have helped drive the amazing 8% growth in passenger numbers between Edinburgh and London last year and we couldn’t be more pleased to be recognised by Transport Times for putting those improvements in place.” The prestigious Scottish Transport Awards ceremony was held in Glasgow on 15th June 2017 and was hosted by Sanjeev Kohli.


With great change comes great opportunity Whilst an absolute break from the EU, aka a hard Brexit, would not have been the preferred option for UK Plc the clear directive by the Prime Minister has, at least, provided certainty on the direction of travel. But if one chapter of uncertainty has closed, another is about to begin. As Scotland awaits the full impact of the triggering of Article 50 it must grapple with a fast changing political and economic environment as the UK effectively reinvents itself over the next few years. The prospects of a second independence referendum aside, Scotland is faced with a period of uncertainty. But with uncertainty comes opportunity and that is surely in our own hands? The UK economy needs to adapt during this period, and Scotland needs to redefine its relationship with the rest of the UK and develop our place in the world as an international trader. The Scottish economy must perform to the best of its ability and if anything must aim to outperform the rest of the UK. Should the Scottish economy stumble we will face further pressure on public spending given the transfer of taxation powers to Holyrood and changes to the block grant allocation. But, as we know Governments don’t create jobs – businesses do. It is also true to say that economies don’t adapt – once again businesses do. But Government does play a huge role in creating the environment to encourage innovation and change. ACCA (The Association of Certified Chartered

It’s vital that every opportunity is taken to up-skill the Scottish workforce in order to ensure Scotland is able to embrace the opportunities presented by increased digitalisation and AI.

Business Scotland


Accountants) believe that skills will play a more important role than ever in underpinning the future success for the Scottish economy in 2017 and beyond: Skills are, of course, critical to achieving this change – particularly the development of a skilled but flexible workforce. As an employer of over 600 staff in our Glasgow Global Service Centre, ACCA itself utilises the skills of IT, marketing, customer services, business development and educational specialists to create the finance professionals the world needs. The need to address the skills gap within the Scottish workforce is more pertinent than ever. Whilst we fully welcome the focus on addressing the skills gaps in STEM industries it is also critical that other sectors are not forgotten. It’s vital that every opportunity is taken to up-skill the Scottish workforce in order to ensure Scotland is able to embrace the opportunities presented by increased digitalisation and AI. The priority for the coming year must be opening up pathways into professional careers, such as accountancy, for the next generation. Apprenticeships will play a key role here. Offering more apprenticeships and improving the visibility of alternative routes into professional careers for those who are unsure about graduate routes, will lay the foundations for a diverse, highly-skilled talent pool when we need it most. It is also important that today’s professionals hold a blend of hard and soft skills. ACCA’s flagship report of 2016 “Professional Accountants – The Future” highlighted seven of the key quotients of success that will be required in the profession in the future which are relevant to businesses of all shapes and sizes and in all sectors in the UK. The report found that shifting business expectations alongside globalisation and digital connectivity agendas would require accountants to ‘step out of the back room’ and develop the creative, emotional and digital skills to have a hand in shaping

Craig Vickery Head of ACCA Scotland at ACCA

business strategy, particularly as companies prepare for instability during Britain’s exit from the EU. Accountancy professionals must gear up for years of uncertainty and build upon existing competencies to offer trusted, technically advanced advice as businesses prepare to navigate changing trade relationships, new regulatory environments and put together reliable financial forecasts. With big changes comes opportunity. Professional accountants have a critical role to play in ensuring businesses are able to navigate the uncertainty ahead and seize the opportunities that will arise along the way.


North Ayrshire, where businesses flourish Located on one of Scotland’s most scenic stretches of coastline, with a fantastic sport and leisure offer and an abundance of history and heritage, North Ayrshire is a great place to live. It’s also a great place to do business, with assistance and support already in place that will help businesses flourish. Leading the way is North Ayrshire Council with its number one priority to grow its economy, increase employment and regenerate towns. Creating an environment where world-class businesses such as UPM Caledonian (one of the world’s leading paper manufacturers), pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline and global leader in packaging solutions Ardagh Group, can thrive is key to the local authority’s plans. So too is providing the perfect setting for entrepreneurs to explore their potential and spaces where small and medium sized business can grow. Karen Yeomans, Executive Director of Economy and Communities at North Ayrshire Council, said: “Boosting the local economy is one of our main priorities and since 2010, we have been systematically changing how we work in order to achieve this. Our first Economic Development and Regeneration (EDR) Strategy created a private sector-led EDR Board which includes local business people, University of Glasgow, Scottish Enterprise, Job Centre Plus, the local voluntary sector interface, Skills Development Scotland, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Ayrshire College and the Scottish Government.” The Board is one of the authority’s clear success stories in recent years, along with their pioneering approach to providing business support – known as Team North Ayrshire.

Team North Ayrshire consists of public, private and third sector partners working together to ensure local businesses have access to their wealth of expertise and financial support. Whether you have just started your company or you’re an established business seeking to expand, Team North Ayrshire will work with you to develop a bespoke growth plan, tailored to meet your needs. Since its launch in 2013, Team North Ayrshire has gone from strength to strength, working directly with the top 250 companies which have been identified as having the greatest potential for growth. In the last 12 months alone, the Team has supported more than 800 businesses and assisted in the creation of over 650 jobs. Key to the Team’s success is developing in-depth relationships with businesses in order for them to grow, prosper and become more competitive. They want businesses to succeed and create a vibrant North Ayrshire economy for its communities to operate in. Team North Ayrshire has helped a number of local companies release their growth potential. Kids golfing specialists, Golphin For Kids, began their business journey three years ago as an entrepreneurial start up. After joining forces with Team North Ayrshire, the innovative business has soared thanks to the tailored support and small private and public grant funding interventions offered by North Ayrshire’s unique approach to business support.

Business Scotland


In recognition of their success, the business received HSBC’s Golf Innovation Award in Shanghai in 2015, and more recently seen growth and expansion in both UK and international markets - with committed plans to grow in Australia, Asia and the USA. Calum McPherson, Golphin For Kids Managing Director, said: “Attracting kids into the game of golf can be challenging, but with the right products and learning environment it can be done. The first-class support offered to us through Team North Ayrshire is helping our business accelerate growth with particular support on innovation, exports and our schools golf development project.” North Ayrshire offers businesses a great platform for growth and a competitive advantage in an increasingly challenging marketplace. Team North Ayrshire can help companies access their innovative, tailored, one-toone approach which is aimed at meeting your business needs and achieving the best results for your company. With the support of Team North Ayrshire, businesses locating to the area are sure to flourish. Find out how the business support can help you realise your business ambitions by calling 01294 449944 or visit


Central. Competitive. Commercial. Choose Lanarkshire. Lanarkshire is at the heart of Scotland with unparalleled motorway, rail and freight links and just 40 minutes from the country’s two biggest and busiest airports. Lanarkshire is home to over 15,000 businesses generating tenth of Scotland’s annual turnover. Businesses such as Morgan Sindall, Burns Stewart, Multi Packaging Solutions and First Direct have already chosen Lanarkshire along with BioCity Scotland, the premier location for life sciences companies with state-of-theart laboratories, access to shared services, business support and investment. The area is richly served with available and affordable office, business and factory space across a number of major specialist sites in Lanarkshire: Eurocentral, Maxim Park, Scottish Enterprise Technology Park, Hamilton International and Strathclyde Business Park are among the best known locations … nationally and internationally.

Commercial properties at Rutherglen Links and the National Business District at Shawfield are key locations of Scotland’s largest urban regeneration project, Clyde Gateway. Lanarkshire is also benefitting from the £1.13 billion ‘City Deal’ programme, with £342.5m investment across North and South Lanarkshire Council programmes over the next few years. Supporting these new and exciting developments in Lanarkshire is Choose Lanarkshire, the portal to your new business home, underscoring the ambition drive and energy of an area reborn. For more details visit:

For inward investors it means an opportunity to negotiate with site owners and agents keen to maximise occupancy rates and work with enterprises to market their businesses, products and services in Lanarkshire and far beyond.

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Business can gain by switching to the land register

Registers of Scotland is leading the drive to complete the digital, map-based Land Register of Scotland, continuing our proud tradition of leading innovation in recording land and property ownership. This tradition began when we established the world’s first national land register, the General Register of Sasines, in 1617, relying on verbal descriptions of property boundaries. The modern land register records exact boundaries on a digital map, making it easier to interrogate than the 400-year-old sasine register. A complete land register will reduce the cost of buying and selling property and facilitate access to information about ownership for businesses and individuals across the country. It will be a national asset for Scotland and we are excited about the possibilities. At present, 62 percent of property titles, relating to 30 per cent of Scotland’s land mass, are on the land register. Until recently, property titles mostly moved from the sasine register to the land register in response to a sale, which triggers an application for registration. From 1 April 2016, a new standard security also triggers a move to the land register. For commercial property owners, voluntary registration provides the opportunity to use their expert knowledge of their property to register exactly what they own, streamlining

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business costs and securing titles for the future.

support to businesses wishing to voluntary register.

For many commercial owners who have proceeded with voluntary registration, a major factor in the decision is the prospect of lower cost property transactions. Businesses looking to refinance their property will also find the process much simpler with a land register title.

n Our fees for voluntary registration have been reduced by 25 per cent until at least 2019.

The clarity of a title on the land register is another advantage for commercial owners. For organisations wishing to dispose of properties they no longer use, the ability to see exactly what you own can be absolutely vital. This clarity, along with the statebacked warranty included in a land register title, helps facilitate business planning and asset management, meaning titles on the land register are easier, faster and cheaper to transact with than those on the sasine register. I am looking forward to visiting Chambers across Scotland in the near future to talk with you about our commitment to the target set by Scottish ministers to complete the land register by 2024. In the meantime I thought I would let you know about the ways in which we are proving

n Our team of experienced advisors are available to guide owners through the process n Each organisation can access a dedicated advisor who will work with them from the outset. n Our plan assistance service, which translates the information in property deeds into a plan suitable for registration, has been particularly popular. To find out more about voluntary registration contact Registers of Scotland’s advisors on or visit Russell Wilson, Registers of Scotland Lead voluntary registration advisor

TIME TO PLAN THE FUTURE FOR YOUR BUSINESS? Whatever your long term plans for your company, it pays to start thinking about your business sale options sooner rather than later. Who’s buying Scottish businesses? What make a business attractive? What is life like after a sale? Find out at a special one-off event for Scottish business owners. This is an expert panel evening, where you can put your questions directly to professionals from BCMS, Brodies LLP, and St. James’s Place Wealth Management, alongside a Scottish entrepreneur who has successfully sold up.



St. James’s Place Wealth Management


Shape the next generation of young talent Foundation Apprenticeships offer the chance to shape the next generation of talent your business needs. Developed by Skills Development Scotland in partnership with industry, for industry, Foundation Apprenticeships offer pupils work-based learning while they’re still at school. Foundation Apprenticeships are based on the successful Modern Apprenticeship programme, and are designed to enable young people to complete elements of the related Modern Apprenticeship while still at school. Young people choose a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of their senior phase subject choices, alongside their other National and Higher qualifications. They are designed in key sectors of the Scottish economy to enable young people to gain the skills and experience needed by industry and to equip them to succeed in these key sectors when they leave school. “Young people spend time out of school with a training provider such as a college, and with a local employer gaining skills and work experience, to complete the Foundation Apprenticeship during S5 and S6. They undertake real industry projects, and with earlier exposure to the world of work, young people can develop the skills, experience and competence they will need to succeed when they leave school,” said Diane Greenlees, SDS Head of Foundation and Graduate Level Apprenticeships. “This will be coordinated by a local learning provider, who’ll also provide training to support the work experience as the young person works towards achieving this work based learning qualification.”

Foundation Apprenticeships are for any business looking to improve their skills pipeline, they enable you to build a skills pipeline in your community for your industry.

There are currently 10 different types, or frameworks, for Foundation Apprenticeships being delivered, covering subject areas and sectors including engineering, civil engineering, financial services, IT hardware and software development, creative and digital media, social services and healthcare, business skills and laboratory skills. Further frameworks are also in development, covering Food & Drink (Manufacturing) and Accountancy. “Foundation Apprenticeships are for any business looking to improve their skills pipeline, they enable you to build a skills pipeline in your community for your industry. “They are a great option for any business considering succession planning, how to fill skills gaps or how to better recruit and retain specialist skills,” said Diane. “They’re also ideal for those looking at how to better engage in new technologies such as social media, or how to cut recruitment costs. “Whatever your reasons for getting involved, you can tailor the Foundation Apprenticeship to your business allowing the young people to work on real projects with your staff, and the learning provider will be on hand to facilitate your programme every step of the way.” As well as broadening their skill set, boosting their confidence and getting an idea of what the world of work is really like, pupils will come away at the end of the Foundation Apprenticeship with a an industry recognised qualification that’s at the same level of learning as a Higher - SCQF Level 6. The qualification is certified by the Scottish Qualifications Authority, which awards all exam certification like Highers and Nationals. “As well as work-readiness skills and solid experience of a sector, young people end up with multiple progression routes on from a Foundation Apprenticeship.” Diane explains. “Young people completing a Foundation Apprenticeship have a range of routes into a future career open to them. “It is an industry-recognised qualification they can take straight into work along with the experience and connections they’ve gained. “They can complete a Modern Apprenticeship more quickly in the same

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subject, because they’ve already completed some elements at school, or can use it as a boost to a Modern Apprenticeship in another sector. “There’s also the option of moving on with work-based learning in a Graduate Level Apprenticeship, or continuing their learning through the college or university route. “Fifteen Scottish universities recognise Foundation Apprenticeships as having equal value to a Higher for direct entry, including Glasgow, Abertay, Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Robert Gordon, Highlands and Islands, Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Stirling.” Every local authority area in Scotland now has Foundation Apprenticeship programmes up and running with more than 1,500 young people taking one up in August. That number is set to rise significantly in the next two years, with the Scottish Government announcing in March that by the end of 2019, up to 5,000 young people will start a Foundation Apprenticeship. SDS is actively seeking businesses to get involved in the Foundation Apprenticeship programme. It’s a chance to access and supply the talent pipeline for the future of your business and industry. You’ll get to spot talent, nurture and develop it, all the while reducing costs and increasing motivation with your current staff by working with young people who can offer fresh ideas and thinking. All the while you’ll be offering a young person the first step in their career that school and academic learning simply can’t provide.

Find out more Register your interest at One of SDS’s Foundation Apprenticeship team will then get in touch to discuss your involvement before referring you to your local learning provider to get started.


What the apprentices say

What employers say “The Foundation Apprenticeship helped me broaden my horizons and improved my knowledge of working in a big financial services organisation. When I finish college I’m thinking about going to university, but I’m really keen to return to Barclays – that’s my career goal, no matter how long it takes.” Marta Zalewska, Financial Services Foundation Apprentice

Of the current group of pupils taking Foundation Apprenticeships:

Foundation Apprenticeships available in academic year 2017/18:

n 54% had achieved between 1 and 4 National 5 qualifications before they started

n Business Skills

n 48% were planning to take 2 or 3 Highers in addition to their Foundation Apprenticeship. n And 21% were taking it alongside 4 or 5 Highers

“At Scottish Water we didn’t have any doubt about going into the Foundation Apprenticeship programme. The Foundation Apprenticeships really gives young people the chance come in and try something that could be a career for life. It helps people in the team develop additional skills like mentoring and coaching. And it allows people to start passing on their skills and knowledge of the business. It’s an extended trial period both for you to try the young person but more importantly giving the young person the opportunity to try your sector and see if it’s what they want for a career. The Foundation Apprenticeship is giving us a strong suite of pathways for young people into the business.” Craig Jackson, People & Organisational Development Consultant at Scottish Water

n Civil Engineering n Creative and Digital Media n Engineering n Financial Services n ICT Hardware and System Support n ICT Software Development n Scientific Technologies n Social Services and Healthcare n Social Services Children & Young People

“I know I am just starting out but the Foundation Apprenticeship route seems perfect for me. I am looking forward to combining learning and experience at college and school. I am confident that I will be able to build links with employers which will help me plan the next steps in my career.” Jasmine Greer, Business & Administration Foundation Apprentice

“Foundation Apprenticeships are innovative career pathways that are hugely beneficial to young people. Students gain first-class work experience, whilst at the same time gaining a recognised qualification. This opens up options for them after school, such as accelerated entry into a Modern Apprenticeship or further education and helps them become work-ready. For Prudential, Foundation Apprenticeships act as a natural feed into our own successful apprenticeship programme, providing better trained recruits. It also provides us with a route via which we can support more young people to gain the employability skills to get on in life.” Maria Wilcockson, Apprenticeship Scheme Manager, Prudential

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Events like the Mountain Bike World Cup at Fort William are encouraging young people to study event management, an increasingly popular route into tourism

Picture © Charne Hawkes

Choosing tourism as a career for life Tourism employs 217,000 people –an increase of 11% over a year - and serves to illustrate just how important our industry is to the economy and the lives of working people across the country. There have never been so many opportunities to work in the sector, in so many varied and fulfilling roles. Within the hospitality sector the rate of advancement can be rapid for people looking to advance a career, whilst many people are working in tourism in marketing, HR, digital development, business development, adventure activities, event delivery and transport, to name but a few. Tourism offers a range of dynamic employment opportunities and it is essential that as employers and as a country we continue to invest in a talented workforce, both now and in the future. More and more people are finding their way to careers in tourism, or moving across jobs in the industry. And it’s about encouraging more young people to consider careers in the industry to bring the skills our industry needs in order to continue its phenomenal rate of growth.

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VisitScotland was awarded the prestigious Investors in Young People Gold Accreditation, the highest award possible for the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people.

interested them, but the advert had to be in their own words, in French and in any electronic format of their choice. The winning team was the one that created the most successful advert for Scotland for French-speaking visitors.

But our work extends beyond our own teams and VisitScotland is keen to work with schools and education providers to extoll the merits of a career in tourism, encouraging students to bring their skills.

2018 is Scotland’s Year of Young People and it was fantastic to see these young people engaging with us. It is important for us to work in partnership with schools and to inspire students to look at tourism as a great career option.

Recently VisitScotland and Moray Speyside Tourism worked in partnership with a group of S3 pupils studying French at Milne’s High School in Fochabers, inviting them to take part in a competition to create an advert for VisitScotland. As part of the project, pupils could advertise any event, city, region or itinerary that


Lufthansa – leading the way for Scottish travellers With a total of 45 flights a week from two airports the full service airlines in the Lufthansa Group (Lufthansa and Brussels Airlines) continue to lead the way for Scottish travellers.

A combined total of over 436,000 passengers travelling in and out of the country last year proved once again that discerning travellers appreciate the way Lufthansa has responded to the challenges of the travel market in the face of ever-increasing competition from low-cost airlines. To maintain the leading position in the market Lufthansa must be better than anyone else in terms of product, service and reliability. Lufthansa services recently recorded the best figures for punctuality in its history with over 85% of all flights leaving Frankfurt and Munich within 15 minutes of scheduled departure time. As well as providing direct links from Aberdeen and Edinburgh to Frankfurt and Brussels the services also offer the country’s quickest and easiest onward connections. Lufthansa’s network of over 280 destinations in 80 countries worldwide includes around 60 of the world’s key oil and energy markets in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas.

Lufthansa also continues to enhance the onboard experience for customers. In addition the traditional economy, business and some first class cabins the large number of Scottish passengers who take onward connections now have the added option of a high quality premium economy product on Lufthansa long-haul services. The new seat is wider and can be tilted further back so has increased personal space by about half compared to Economy. A separate wide armrest for each seat and a centre console between the seats also ensure extra privacy. The adjustable headrest can be folded at the sides and gives comfortable support. Height adjustable footrests from the second row and - for design reasons - leg supports with integrated footrest in the front row provide additional comfort. Premium economy passengers also benefit from twice as much free baggage allowance as in Economy Class with two pieces of luggage up to 23 kg each. An upgraded on board experience also allows them to

control the extensive in-flight entertainment programme with their own touch-screen (screen size from 11 to 12 inches - 28 to 30 centimetres). Each seat also offers a USB port and an electrical outlet so passengers can use their own devices. PartnerPlusBenefit provides business travellers with membership of the world’s biggest business travel reward programme allowing them to earn reward points on all booking classes. Members can earn and spend points on all ten airlines in the programme in one easy to manage account. No other similar programme in this country includes so many carriers working together in that way. Members are then able to choose from a wide ranging 13 options when redeeming loyalty points. These include award flights, upgrades, cash-back, hotel eGiftcards valid in over 100,000 hotels worldwide and airport parking.

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Retail is changing and adapting and profits are declining. Retail is of course the part of our economy that is most exposed to one of the key challenges businesses are facing right now: declining real incomes in the face of rising inflation.

Liz Cameron OBE

Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce One of the most interesting areas in this month’s Scottish Chambers of Commerce Quarterly Economic Indicator was the evidence of falling optimism in the retail sector, together with nearly half of respondents telling us that their revenues

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Since the beginning of this year, inflation has risen from 1.8% in January to 2.6% in June. At the same time, average earnings are growing at just 2.0%, meaning that real incomes and purchasing power are falling. In the short term, it is not all bad news for retailers – the good weather in April did spark a rise in sales and there are hopes that better summer weather may drive up sales in the July to September period – but if people have effectively less money in their pockets, then that will affect the amount they can spend. This is a crucial consideration when three quarters of our economic growth is driven by consumer demand. However, retail is changing and adapting to circumstances. January sales are now all but a thing of the past, with the sales period now starting around Black Friday and running through to Christmas. As a summer counterpoint to this, July’s Amazon Prime Day saw the online retailer’s sales reach the highest daily level in its history, growing by 60% compared to last year’s event and eclipsing even Black Friday.

The consumer trend towards chasing value and quality is further evidenced by Aldi’s ambitious plans to almost double its number of UK stores to 1,300 by 2022, with rival Lidl planning its own £1.5 billion expansion. At the same time, successful fast food franchise Subway is planning to open a further 500 UK stores by 2020, taking its number to 3,000 across the UK and Ireland. So whilst many retail businesses may be chasing a diminishing level of spending power, it is clear that there are, and will continue to be, some stand out successes in the sector. Value is clearly attractive but so too is quality and the customer experience, so while online sales are growing, much of it is being spent at retailers with a High Street presence, such as John Lewis, Apple, or Nespresso. Perhaps this is why even Amazon is now looking at a model that includes physical stores. The good news is that there are still many opportunities in retail for the right business – large or small – which is focused on delivering a quality and value experience to its customers. With that in mind, perhaps we will soon see a return of optimism to the sector. First published, The Courier, July 2017


People: Our Strongest Asset Charandeep Singh

Head of External Relations, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

In 2016, I had the honour of being recognised in the PR Week 30 Under 30 List and it was an even greater privilege to join the Judging Panel for the 2017 cohort. The PR Week List is a prestigious and globally recognised list which showcases up and coming talent in the industry and for me, it was motivating to experience the range and breadth of talent across the industry. At this year’s event in London, hosted by Charles Lewington, Managing Director of Hanover Communications and previously Press Secretary for Prime Minister John Major, the evening celebrated the young talent in the industry. There was a real buzz at the event and there was an overwhelming sense of positivity about PR and Communications as a career choice from this year’s 30 Under 30 cohort and I could sense the high levels of passion, enthusiasm and energy they had about their jobs and their own future within the industry. One element that was absolutely clear is the

industry thrives on new ideas, collaboration and creativity, enabling new talent to contribute from day one and progress their career. But with the fast-paced contributions and high-energy of the industry, how does a business harness and retain their talent? How does a new entrant to the industry build their experience and learn more? How does the industry break down barriers and attract and retain a more diverse workforce? It was these long-term opportunities and challenges that myself and the other panellists provided insight on. More businesses are relying on communications and PR to support their growth, and whilst that offers more opportunities to those in the industry, it also means we have to make sure that business growth and commercial acumen is part of the industry’s DNA and of industry practitioners. From a career journey perspective, mentoring is often overlooked by many, but has the potential to unlock new opportunities and develop important industry skills. For the PR industry in particular, two-way mentoring is crucial. Industry leaders mentoring new entrants is an excellent way of passing on knowledge, but acquiring the latest insight and behaviours from new entrants is just as important for experienced professionals.

Linked to that is the topic of diversity in the PR and communications industry which needs to get better across the board but we are seeing positive signs of change. In fact, the Panel at the event is a good sign of how far we have come and PR Week’s Women’s Mentoring initiative will add immense value to the industry. My key takeaway is that the industry is in a position of strength because of its varied career opportunities, highly talented and driven workforce, and its ability to reach beyond borders. Regardless of advances in technology and automation, what’s next for the industry will ultimately rely on its talent. At the end of the day, people buy from people and that is the industry’s strongest asset.

PR Week 30 Under 30 2017 Judging Panel: n Louise Evans, director of corporate affairs, Sainsbury’s;

n Rebecca Grant, UK managing director and head of consumer marketing EMEA, Cohn & Wolfe; n Gerry Hopkinson, co-founder, Unity; n Francis Ingham, director general, PRCA; n Charandeep Singh, 30 Under 30 alumnus and head of external relations, Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

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Focus on Independent Schools

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Choosing an independent education for your child As a parent, it’s natural to want to give your child every opportunity to discover what they’re good at and what they love doing in a safe and supportive environment. Which is why, in Scotland we are very fortunate. We have a wide range of first-rate independent schools to choose from. So whether you have a tech-loving future internet entrepreneur on your hands, or a child who craves hours of fresh air and exercise every day, Scotland’s independent schools can offer you the freedom to find the right educational environment for your son or daughter. You have a choice of: n Single sex or co-educational schools n Large and small schools in both urban and countryside settings n Day schools, boarding schools and those who offer both n Schools equipped to deal with Complex Additional Support Needs

A healthy and diverse mix of backgrounds Scotland has always placed great value on education, and today around 30,000 children and young people attend an independent school. Over 25% of pupils received financial assistance with fees in 2015-16, while nearly a third of boarders came from overseas. The healthy mix of abilities and backgrounds that abound are as varied as the personalities of the children themselves. Altogether making for a vibrant and modern community that mirrors the real world and will serve your child well for the future.

The independent school advantage When children are young we often wonder what the future will hold. Will they be musical? Will they be academic? Who will they choose as their friends? Scotland’s independent schools are set up to give your child every opportunity both inside and outside the classroom.


Fee assistance

Scotland’s boarding schools offer something unique; a breadth and depth of education that is as rich as the landscape and culture it’s set in. Scotland is also one of the safest and friendliest places in the world to study. The schools have an enviable record for success. Combine this with an adventurepacked landscape to both explore and study, and it’s easy to see why Scotland remains such a popular choice. For more information about boarding in Scotland visit www.

All schools offer some level of fee assistance too which is usually awarded on the basis of financial need. In 2015-16, over 600 children received a free place, and one in four children received financial help with their fees (usually 20% and upwards). Financial assistance is generally awarded from P7 through Senior School.

Early years nursery education

All schools welcome visits from prospective families throughout the year. Look out for details of Open Days on the school’s website, or alternatively ask for an appointment where staff will be delighted to show you round, give you a feel for life at the school and answer any questions you may have.

Nursery places are widely available for three and four year olds. Just like private nurseries, many schools accept Childcare Vouchers and offer partnership funding arrangements with local authorities. Attending nursery before Junior School is a great way to smooth the transition to ‘big school’ and enables younger siblings to feel part of the same fun environment.

The schools’ reputation for academic excellence is an obvious attraction for many parents. Smaller pupil/teacher ratios and significant investment in modern, stimulating teaching facilities attracts the highest calibre of teaching staff capable of igniting a passion for the subjects they teach.

How much does an independent education cost?

Born digital natives, most children and young people today want to feel stretched, challenged and inspired by new technology. While the imposing architecture of some school buildings might give off an air of Hogwarts, once inside it’s definitely more ipad Air and the magic of cloud computing.

afford school fees. The year before you plan to enrol, please ask the school of your choice about the financial options they have available. You’ll find some families use direct debit to spread the cost throughout the year; others have grandparents or other family members contributing directly.

Fees vary widely between independent schools and most publish fees and expected expenses on their website.

To receive assistance with fees your child simply has to meet the normal entry scholarship.

See for yourself

For more information, advice and guidance on choosing an independent school in Scotland visit the Scottish Council of Independent Schools (SCIS) website at: 0131 556 2316

However, schools are sensitive to the sacrifices many parents make in order to

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Find the life you might have

The New School Butterstone TNS is an independent residential school with a specialism, aimed at those young people, aged 11-19, who find mainstream education difficult to access. We specialise in education for young people with Aspergers/ Autistic Spectrum Conditions, ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome and Foetal Alcohol Syndrome. In our beautiful and peaceful rural location, Skilled staff provide a supportive and nurturing community for young people who have had interrupted learning or may have learning difficulties or disabilities.

“Lifelong inclusion, achievement and self-belief”

01350 724216 Registered as a Scottish Charity SC001587 Registered in Scotland No. 128867

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Charity no. SC000123

Opportunity and Choice Robert Gordon’s College is an independent co-educational day school in the heart of Aberdeen for Ante Pre-School Nursery to Sixth Year. Awarding Robert Gordon’s College ‘Scottish Independent Secondary School of the Year’ Alastair McCall, The Sunday Times Schools Guide said: “Robert Gordon’s College achieves remarkable results. Its pupils go on to achieve in diverse walks of life, backed up by a rounded education that extends way beyond the purely academic.” Take the opportunity to learn more at our Open Morning on Saturday 7 October 2017.


Robert Gordon’s College offers opportunity and choice True to the values and tradition on which it was founded over 250 years ago, Robert Gordon’s College offers choice and opportunity where specialist teaching from Primary 1 and interdisciplinary approaches to education prepare pupils for life, not just university. Robert Gordon’s College is a school where the whole child is considered and education is not just an academic journey, but a journey of challenge and self-discovery. What distinguishes Robert Gordon’s College is the belief of the whole community that each pupil’s potential is limitless and the school helps them to discover themselves via choice from an unparalleled range of subjects and activities. Gordon’s pupils are part of a global, digital literate community and benefit from international opportunities with partners to provide knowledge sharing and pupil exchanges. ScientistsPlus, our Corporate Partner Programme, enables companies to support science education where pupils work with visiting scientists, technology advisors and industrial mentors on investigative work and research projects. Pupils have access to Junior School 360-degree classrooms, The Craig Centre for Performing Arts, The Wood Foundation Centre for Science and Technology (The UK’s largest school teaching facility for Science and Technology and regional centre of excellence), onsite swimming pool, and 39-acre Countesswells Sports Fields. Robert Gordon’s College offers the diversity of a big school, with the community and support of a small one. Pastoral care is ingrained in the Junior School. In Senior School the House system is linked to the strong pastoral structure involving Form and Guidance Teachers.

The school is a community with parent, teacher and pupil relationships at its core. Mrs Bellamy, a current parent at Robert Gordon’s College said: “It’s a real collaborative relationship between the school and parents. That’s the way education should be embraced.” The impact of a Gordon’s education has been realised through the successes of many of Scotland’s entrepreneurs who have gone on to have successful careers, establish leading businesses and are now helping to inspire the next generation. Take the opportunity to learn more at:

We are Wellington The only independent school in Ayrshire. Welcoming boys and girls from age 3 to 18

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Confidence for life at Durham School For more than 600 years, Durham School has been at the heart of education in the North East, giving its pupils the knowledge, skills and confidence to succeed in the future.

encouraging them to try new activities and take part in new ventures. It is this approach which helps them flourish and gain confidence for life.

One of the top schools in the country, Durham School’s mission is to provide a complete education, instilling in its pupils an aspiration for achievement and a respect for others. This leading independent co-educational school educates girls and boys from ages 3 to 18 in a caring and supportive atmosphere, where inspirational teaching and outstanding pastoral care, combine to help each child achieve their full potential. The school offers boarding for pupils aged 11-18 from the UK and abroad. With flexible options available, children can choose to be a full boarder or just stay through the week. The Houses are at the heart of pupils' lives, and we aim for all boarders to experience a warm and supportive atmosphere, each run by an experienced and dedicated team. Boarders support each other’s achievements on the sports' field, in concerts, on stage and in the examination hall. Durham offers a wide range of extracurricular opportunities at the school including the Combined Cadet Force, the Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes, rowing at the third oldest boat club in the world Durham School Boat Club, and for musicians, the chance to practice and perform on the finest pianos in the world, at the only All-Steinway Accredited School in the North of England. Headmaster Kieran McLaughlin said: “We welcome children from all around the globe

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“Of course, we want our pupils to meet the rigorous academic requirements they will need to attend the best universities. But we also want them to be interesting and interested, and that’s why we give them as many opportunities as possible.” Kieran McLaughlin

and because we are a relatively small school, we can give each pupil the opportunity to shine in whichever activity they choose. “Boarding enriches the lives of children. It improves skills in communication, leadership, sharing, tolerance and respect for others. It also offers routine and structure, allowing each child to flourish academically and emotionally, helping prepare them for life after school. It also brings practical benefits, giving pupils access to staff and facilities after the normal teaching day has ended. “Boarding also teaches students how to get along with people of different ages and from different backgrounds and cultures. Pupils learn to value and respect the opinions of others, resulting in strong bonds which last through the years. “Our dedicated and highly-trained staff spend time with each child, understanding their individual characters and gently

For six centuries Durham School’s motto has been Floreat Dunelmia – may Durham School flourish. However, as it enters its seventh century, it is equally proud of its unofficial motto: Confidence for Life. “To compete in the modern world, to excel within global companies in a vast variety of sectors and, on a personal level, to cope with strains and stresses of 21st century life, pupils need to be confident,” said Mr McLaughlin. To see for yourself why Durham School has been leading the way for more than 600 years, why not come to our Open Morning on 14 October 2017 or book a personal visit by contacting our Admissions Team on 0191 731 9270


Open Morning 30 September 2017

The Principal, Johanna Urquhart, would like to invite you and your family to join us at our Open Morning on Saturday, 30 September from 10am - 1pm. Financial assistance and academic scholarships available. Please confirm your attendance by emailing: or alternatively call us on 01436 672 476.

Date for your diary...


Our next Open Morning is Saturday 28th October 2017


At Belmont House School, we value every child for the individual that they are. Discover how your son or daughter could benefit from small class sizes, personal attention and a seamless transition from Nursery to Junior School and Junior through to Senior School. Prospective pupils and parents are welcome to visit the school all year round. Call us to book your tour of the school. Belmont House School, Sandringham Avenue, Newton Mearns G77 5DU.

Visit our new website:


For more information call 0141 639 2922 or visit

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The power of Analytics I have experienced first-hand the success of using analytics in social communication campaigns. With so many platforms out there for businesses to use, regular monitoring can add real-value in understanding which ones to use, where to invest your money and most importantly, how to reach your customers.

William Paterson

Communications & Social Media Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce At SCC, I use analytics as a feedback mechanism to update the Senior Team on what’s working on social media and what’s not. For me, evaluation is a vital part of any social media campaign. After spending hours creating a social media plan and then implementing it, understanding the results of the campaign are just as important. So how do you know if the social media plan has worked? With any campaign, identifying and setting goals is a good way to design the plan

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and it also acts as a way to measure if the campaign was successful.

Mentoring across different business communities.

This is exactly how the SCC team designed the campaign to launch the new Women’s Business Mentoring programme. Our goal was clear: to achieve new customer registrations and sign-ups to the events programme. These goals were then embedded into every social media post, making sure all the links were directed to the registration page and to the events page, making it simple to track responses and also making it easy for the customer to interact with us. The campaign was a success and in the first week alone, we received 100+ business registrations and two of our events were sold-out! The overall campaign reach on Twitter and Facebook was 100,000+ , helping to raise the awareness of Women’s Business

There are a lot of Analytics apps out there but I like to use the in-built tools to gain valuable data of how a campaign is performing. For the Women’s Business Mentoring campaign, I used Twitter Analytics and Facebook Insights. These tools are free to use and give insights on several areas including how many times a link was clicked or the post was shared. All of this information then drives the next campaign and if something didn’t work, I come up with new ideas and adapt it and if another idea worked really well, I’ll put more investment into it. You can get in touch with William for more information on how to use Analytics by dropping an email to wpaterson@


The value of internships Marie is a student at the University of Glasgow, undertaking a Business & Management course. In addition to her internship at SCC, Marie is also a Robertson Trust Scholar.

Marie Nicholas

Marketing & Communications Intern, Scottish Chambers of Commerce Securing an internship this summer at Scottish Chambers of Commerce has been a great opportunity and since taking on the role at SCC, it has been a real learning process as I transitioned from “textbook knowledge” to application in the workplace. For me, this internship is an excellent starting point in my career. I have been

given responsibility for several areas including management and monitoring of SCC’s social media accounts and organising business events. In addition to this, I am part of a wider team, supporting SCC’s larger scale activities such as Business Mentoring and the Annual Business Address event. I have always believed that it is vital to gain experience in the working world especially if you have a degree which can be applied immediately to a business. This internship has already increased my passion for the industry and returning to University for my 3rd year of studies will be even more meaningful as I will have my industry experience in mind. For any young person, a valuable

internship or work experience will help you stand out from the crowd. It gives an opportunity to work within a business environment but also helps you to develop your skills. My own experience at SCC has helped me to build my confidence, communicate better and widen my ambitions. Most of all, I have really enjoyed working with a diverse group of individuals from the Chief Executive to the Events Team and SCC’s external stakeholders. My internship experience has been thoroughly rewarding and my advice for anyone starting or looking for an internship is to make the most of it and of course, enjoy it and have fun!

First-ever Chamber apprentice Siobhan Auld joined Scottish Chambers of Commerce as our first-ever apprentice taking on the role of Business Administration. We had a chat with Siobhan to find out more…. Why did you choose an apprenticeship over traditional education? After I left school, I had wanted to study Social Sciences at college. As I was straight out of school, I was unsure of what career path to choose for the long-term. When I found out about apprenticeships and what they can offer, I decided that an apprenticeship was the most valuable option for me which would give me practical experience as well as learning at the same time.

What do you believe is the most rewarding part of being an apprentice? The most rewarding aspect of being an apprentice is the learning process. I can learn at my own pace with the help of an Assessor and as my daily tasks are varied I am gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience. It is very motivating knowing that I will be qualified in business administration which is something I enjoy.

What were your expectations of your apprenticeship at SCC? I was really looking forward to starting at SCC and as it was my first professional work experience, I was excited but also a little bit nervous too. But in a short space of time, I was made to feel an important part

of the team and this helped me a lot with my confidence. Already, I have improved my communication and administration skills and I’ve dealt with challenges that I used to think were outside of my comfort zone. So far, my expectations have been exceeded by SCC and I’m looking forward to more opportunities in the job.

What advice would you give to those wishing to seek an apprenticeship? My advice to those seeking or even considering an apprenticeship is to go for it! By doing an apprenticeship you adapt to the world of work while gaining qualifications at the same time. You are working alongside experienced professionals, who will support you throughout your journey by helping you develop your strengths by gaining an insight into how professionals think and adapt their own skills accordingly. For those who are looking for an apprenticeship you should know that there are many options rather than the traditional apprenticeships that you would think of and there are many more avenues other than traditional education for school leavers. I would recommend finding out all the options and choose the best route for you.

Siobhan Auld

You are working alongside experienced professionals, who will support you throughout your journey by helping you develop your strengths by gaining an insight into how professionals think and adapt their own skills.

Business Scotland



Changing perception at ScotRail In the light of International Women in Engineering Day 2017, ScotRail took the opportunity to enhance female interest and interaction in their firm by inviting 20 female secondary pupils from Bellahouston Academy for a tour around their ScotRail’s Alliance’s Shield Train Depot. Angus Thom, ScotRail Alliance’s engineering director, showed them around the busy depot where they saw electric trains in for maintenance, cleaning and refurbishment. Despite the fact many girls don’t always consider engineering as a career choice, the tour around ScotRail's Train Depot clearly showed the pupils that it was a world away from just oily overalls and heavy machinery and that technology plays a key role in train engineering. Scotrail plan on changing the perception that young women have on engineering roles. Two of Scotrails’s female senior engineering managers Sydea Ghufran and Lynsey McCave joined the pupils on their tour of the depot to answer any questions they had regarding their role and promoting why they should pursue a role in engineering. Syeda, Head of Engineering Projects, enjoyed sharing her experience on the railway and discussed the key issue that young women don't consider engineering as a career option: “Girls in particular don’t seem to think that engineering is a suitable career for them, despite their achievements in maths and science at school.

The visit was part of a widening reach programme that the ScotRail Alliance is currently undertaking to attract a greater number of female candidates to join not only engineering, but also the wider railway business. John Gillies, the ScotRail Alliance’s Director of HR, spoke about ScotRail’s investment in securing more women in the workplace throughout the organisation: “Without doubt a train depot is a busy and hectic workplace that offers career opportunities and a rewarding career. We welcome all candidates bringing the correct skills and knowledge to our workforce. We also want to increase the number of female candidates applying to work in all parts of the ScotRail Alliance and the depot visit hopefully demonstrated to the girls that this is a challenging and vibrant environment that they would want to work in.” Scotland is currently facing a shortage of engineering skills and there are very few female engineers in the STEM industry to fill this gap. I am very passionate about

engineering as a profession as it gives you a chance to create new things and develop new ideas to make this world a better place to live and we need more girls to help us do that!”

We also want to increase the number of female candidates applying to work in all parts of the ScotRail Alliance and the depot visit hopefully demonstrated to the girls that this is a challenging and vibrant environment that they would want to work in.

Business Scotland



Connections at the heart of Scotland’s Inward Investment success

Paul Lewis

Managing Director, Scottish Development International

The market for inward investment is increasingly competitive, with more nations and regions seeing foreign direct investment (FDI) as a key way to grow their economies. The latest EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey provides a useful insight on Scottish performance. It has been a record year for Scotland in terms of foreign direct investment, and for the fifth consecutive year Scotland has been named the UK’s top performing location for FDI in 2016. The total FDI projects have increased by 2.5%, the largest increase since 1997, which is certainly great news for the Scottish economy. There are also many indications that Scotland is firmly established as a prime choice for global investors. Support for Foreign Direct Investment in Scotland means that for every £1 we spend on attracting inward investment to Scotland, a further £11 is generated for the Scottish economy.

Inward investment brings a range of direct and wider benefits to our economy, from jobs to ensuring Scotland has a strong global position. Inward investors also tend to pay higher wages, be active exporters and invest more in innovation, which ultimately keeps productivity flowing. Investment is built around the skills of Scotland’s workforce alongside the quality of our research and innovation. 2016 seen Scotland attract 21 individual investment projects, the second highest number to date, this number of new investors and how they help strengthen growth sectors and improve international competitiveness is a clear indicator of longterm growth and sustainability for Scotland. R&D inward investment plays an important role in supporting greater innovation and higher productivity in Scotland’s economy and builds on the strengths of Scotland’s universities. Overall, it also means that Scotland is now first in the UK for R&D investment, a particularly significant outcome given these high value investments. Much of this success is built from Scotland’s position in sectors that can support sustainable economic growth, such as technology, energy, and business services; sectors where Scotland is internationally competitive and where there is global

demand. It also reflects the significant collaboration across our public, private and academic sectors to project a truly connected Scotland to the world at large, something that is an important source of competitive advantage. Scottish Development International plays a key part in selling Scotland. With a network of 29 offices in 18 countries, it’s particularly rewarding to see that our hard work in building networks and connections across China is paying off; with five investment projects in 2016, China has now entered the top five countries investing in Scotland for the first time. Scotland has an opportunity to build on international reach and connections and if universities, governments and businesses collaborate to achieve this we will strengthen Scotland’s investment proposition. By uniting our voices and our networks, we can reinforce the key message from the EY Scotland Attractiveness Survey; “Scotland’s attractions are still shining out brightly in an uncertain world” and this bodes well with the future flow of Foreign Direct Investment into Scotland.

Support for Foreign Direct Investment in Scotland means that for every £1 we spend on attracting inward investment to Scotland, a further £11 is generated for the Scottish economy. Business Scotland





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Expanding Heathrow is strengthening Scotland’s opportunity

Heathrow expansion is part of the plan for Scotland’s future. As the UK’s largest port, Heathrow is intrinsically linked to Scotland’s ability to trade with the world. With expansion, communities and businesses across Scotland will be connected to new trading opportunities, boosting Scottish exports and creating thousands of skilled jobs. That’s why we are getting on with delivering the new runway – to build the infrastructure to keep Scotland and the rest of the UK at the heart of the global economy.

Boosting Scotland’s exports Heathrow is Britain’s biggest port by value for global markets outside the EU and Switzerland, handling over 30% of the UK’s exports and connecting Scottish exporters to markets across the globe. One of the biggest exports through Heathrow by volume is high quality salmon, worth £280m to the Scottish economy. An expanded Heathrow will double our cargo capacity, creating new export opportunities for businesses across Scotland, both large and small, and helping to boost Scotland’s trading potential. As we expand we will create up to 40 new long-haul trading routes, giving Scottish businesses the opportunity to reach out to new markets and trade with the world. Business Scotland


Connecting Scotland to the global marketplace Today, Heathrow supports domestic routes to four cities across Scotland: Inverness, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. As part of expansion we are working with the Scottish Government and the UK Government to protect these routes and add new domestic flights to potentially connect other cities across Scotland, such as Dundee, with a £10m route development fund. This will allow businesses, from the smallest SME to the largest exporter, to capitalise on Heathrow’s increased cargo capacity and new long-haul connections. The direct route between Heathrow and Inverness was reintroduced in May last year, connecting the city and the Highlands to the global marketplace. Businesses in the region now benefit from more flights and better connections, boosting the local economy and driving investment in regional industries such as life sciences, food and drink and tourism. Helping more cities like Inverness get connected to Heathrow will enable communities across Scotland to share the benefits of an expanded Heathrow.

Creating lasting skills and supply opportunities Delivering Heathrow expansion is a major infrastructure project that will rely on talent from across Scotland, creating thousands of jobs and new supply chain opportunities for businesses across the nation.

We are working with the Scottish Government to locate a new Supply Chain Hub in Scotland, where materials that will become part of Europe’s largest private infrastructure project will be pre-assembled. This will create hundreds of manufacturing jobs and give more SMEs across Scotland access to Heathrow’s supply chain and the opportunity to be involved in the construction and operation of an expanded Heathrow. As a result of the additional growth and trade delivered by an expanded Heathrow, up to 16,100 new jobs will be created across Scotland – with up to 1,400 new jobs in Inverness, 1,900 in Aberdeen, 6,100 in Dundee and 6,700 in Glasgow.

Building for Scotland’s future Heathrow expansion is more than just a runway – it means strengthening Scotland’s opportunity. Strengthened connectivity and doubled cargo capacity means more Scottish exports in the global marketplace, and thousands of new skilled jobs to secure Scotland’s future as a confident, outward looking, trading nation. Our next Scotland Business Summit is taking place on the 18th October in Edinburgh. To find out more about the opportunities Heathrow is creating for Scotland’s businesses book your place at:











With connections to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, Heathrow is the gateway to global markets for Scottish exports – like whisky from the Tomatin Distillery. Expansion will double our cargo capacity and create new domestic and international trading routes, helping businesses in Scotland boost exports. Heathrow expansion is part of the plan to strengthen Scotland’s future. That’s why we are getting on with delivering the new runway. Find out more about the opportunities Heathrow is creating for Scotland’s businesses at our Business Summit in Edinburgh on 18th October:



Corporate Banking

Trade based money laundering Trade-based money laundering is a crime worth up to £1.5 trillion a year. Find out the warning signs in this article, written by Romila Chowdhury, Barclays Financial Intelligence Unit. You’ve entered into a trade transaction with an agreed buyer – the deal is agreed, all that’s left is for the money to arrive in your corporate account. Once checked against the relevant documentation, you’re ready to dispatch the goods or provide the services. However, once the payment arrives, you notice it’s not from the buyer with whom you made the agreement; instead, it comes from a third party – perhaps even what appears to be a shell company: one that exists in name only and has no real physical presence, employees or genuine activities – and stranger still, the funds have been sent from a bank account in a completely different jurisdiction. This is just one of many possible scenarios that may indicate that you’ve been unwittingly drawn into a scheme where criminals are using otherwise legitimate trade activity to launder their illicit money in what is known as trade-based money laundering (TBML). Unknown to you, the funds used for the payment may be tainted by the proceeds of crime.

Red flags to look out for •

The origin of payments made is outside of the UK – in recent cases typically from a bank account in the Baltic region, particularly Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Hungary or the Czech Republic.

The payment will normally be made on “behalf ” of the buyer company, which is registered in another jurisdiction.

Commonly, these shell companies are UK Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) or Scottish Limited Partnerships (SLPs), incorporated by onshore or offshore company service providers with nominee corporate members. These nominees are located in overseas jurisdictions (such as the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, Belize, Marshall Islands, Dominica, Panama, Mauritius or Cyprus) – essentially, jurisdictions with strong secrecy rules.

The registered address will not be a legitimate commercial trading address, instead it could be a residential address, mailbox rental centre, a trust and corporate service provider or an address shared with multiple other shell companies.

The trading address and the ultimate destination of the goods is unusual.

Scale of the problem Transnational crime is worth up to £1.5 trillion a year, with the value of global TBML being estimated at hundreds of billions.

Appeal of corporate accounts TBML can be undertaken via different methods. Where global businesses are involved, however, criminals typically seek to exploit otherwise legitimate trade activity and related payments. The corporate account system allows sellers to extend credit to purchasers and ship goods prior and independently to payment. A widely accepted practice, it is very common to see legitimate payments coming from parties other than the recipient of the goods. Criminals find this system particularly attractive as it creates distance between them and the improper trading activity: it removes the link between the recipient of the goods and the source of funds through using a third party. As trade invoices are sometimes settled by a seemingly different legal entity to the buyer, or its parent or subsidiary company, it may be difficult to distinguish between those payments that are genuine and those that are made for illicit purposes.

Jamie Grant Head of Scotland and Northern Ireland Corporate Banking, Barclays

For more information, visit our business fraud hub at

Barclays is a trading name of Barclays Bank PLC and its subsidiaries. Barclays Bank PLC is registered in England and authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA No. 122702). Registered Number is 1026167 and its registered office 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP.

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Creating conditions for growth

When the UK government launched its Industrial Strategy green paper at the beginning of the year, it presented an opportunity to reset the partnership between business communities and government, and for them to collaborate on creating conditions for economic growth.

Dr Adam Marshall

Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

While clearly a lot has changed in politics since then, the need for a long-term vision that sets the scene for lasting growth in the UK has not. If anything, it’s more important than ever. Experience has shown that piecemeal or onthe-fly planning by Whitehall doesn’t have the meaningful or enduring impact that is needed for real economic success. The Chamber Network have always recognised the importance of a placebased approach to an industrial strategy, appreciating the role of geography and the comparative advantages it can bring. Nobody understands the importance of place, and the diverse needs of businesses better than Chambers of Commerce and their members. That is why the BCC’s response to the Industrial Strategy green paper was much more than a top-line letter from us, but rather a coordinated and collective representation of business communities from every corner of the UK. The Industrial Strategy must recognise that the needs of North East Scotland will

Business Scotland


be different from those of the Central Belt, and those of the Highlands different from the Borders. The best thing we can do for business confidence, growth and investment is to remove the local barriers and pinch points that stop firms taking risks and pushing ahead. It’s gratifying to see this vision gain traction, as ministers and officials begin to acknowledge the benefit of a place-based approach. The Network is playing an important role in shaping this ‘blueprint document’, which will influence the development of businesses for many years in the future. Of late, there have been too many distractions in Westminster, most notably the General Election and the fallout from the result, but ministers must now return their attention to their day jobs and push ahead with the task at hand. The formation of the strategy comes at a particularly crucial time, as the UK considers what kind of country it wants to be post-Brexit, and forges new trading relationships with Europe and beyond. That said, the outcome of trade negotiations will prove irrelevant if the business environment isn’t right here at home. For the UK to remain competitive and continue to encourage investment from businesses both at home and abroad, there

needs to be real and meaningful action on many aspects of our domestic business environment. The Industrial Strategy is an opportunity to deliver much-needed action on skills and infrastructure projects across the country. To maximise the role of place in the Industrial Strategy, connectivity is key. There has been welcome progress by the UK government in making decisions on projects which were long-delayed and passed around such as HS2, Heathrow and Hinkley. Delivering the new runway at Heathrow will facilitate greater access for Scottish airports to hubs and services to global destinations. But talk is cheap and business communities still await the breaking of ground and start of construction on these projects, only then can they begin to reap the benefits. The BCC continues to lobby for action on the upfront costs mounted on companies before they can turnover a pound of profit. The UK government must act on this heavy burden, or risk stymieing investment and creating a barrier to growth. In the coming years, BCC will be reminding the UK government that it can’t allow all its resources and attention to be directed solely at Brussels. This is not the time to take our eye off the ball here at home, but instead an opportunity to make a clear and ambitious statement about what kind of economy the UK wants to be in the years to come.



Scotland’s new mentoring programme launched for women-led businesses Women’s Business Mentoring launched nationwide on 1st June 2017 with some of the most recognisable and successful Join Scottish businesswomen leading the way. This initiative Women’s Business brings together the connectivity and entrepreneurial Mentoring today by spirit of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, calling us on Women’s Enterprise Scotland and some of Scotland’s leading women entrepreneurs: Liz Cameron OBE of 0141-204-8316 or visit our Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Carolyn Currie of website on Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Jeanette Forbes of PCL www.womensbusiness Group, Poonam Gupta OBE of PG Paper, Marie Macklin CBE of Macklin Partnerships and Petra Wetzel of WEST Brewery to encourage more women to have or become mentors and to help support and create more female business owners. Business Scotland




Why do you think Mentoring works and is successful in breaking down barriers in business? Many women face a number of challenges when they seek to enter the business world. Lack of confidence, limited funding, lack of strong networks and balancing business alongside family life often delay career plans. Mentoring, and the showcasing of successful role models are a powerful means of overcoming these barriers.

Why would you encourage other women to become Mentors? Talent and ideas from many women in business are overlooked causing them to be held back. Through a sustained Mentoring relationship and access to a strong community, more women will have the confidence, to tackle challenges and secure opportunities.

What is your favourite part of being a Mentor? Becoming a mentor is a rewarding experience. You learn from those you are helping in many ways beneficial to your own personal development. To be presented with the opportunity to pass on your knowledge and connections to help individuals grow their business and network is a remarkable privilege.


“#WomenWhoLead is all about being visionary and ambitious. It takes our collective success, knowledge and experience and paves the way for the next generation of women business leaders.”

What do you enjoy most about running your own business? My business has given me a sense of purpose and challenges me every day to learn something new. It is so rewarding to create something, lead it and watch it grow with the wonderful team that I have today. I love seeing the members of my team thrive and take pride in what they are doing.

How has Mentoring helped you in business? Mentoring gave me the chance to discuss opportunities and to share many challenges with individuals whom I knew I could trust. This trust is very important. The lesson from my many mentors has been invaluable, and continues to influence many of my decisions and my direction of travel.

What traits do you admire the most in people starting their business? The most admirable traits found in those starting their business is the hunger and determination to forge a way and do something for themselves, the ambition to create jobs and wealth, and the reality of turning an idea into a real efficient business.


What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting their own business? If you believe in what you do, be brave and take that first step! Do your research properly, beyond asking family and friends, and remember there is no shortcut to hard work. Be sensible when spending money during the set-up period, it is important to keep clear accounts.

Why do you think Mentoring works? Mentoring helps as it broadens the horizons of one’s understanding and makes a person think beyond their own capacity and the obvious. A good mentor can help unlock ideas and talent and add value to your business and your life.

What traits do you admire the most in people starting their business? Hard work, dedication, positive energy and self-belief are all traits which I find extremely admirable in people starting their own business. They have obviously spotted something that nobody else has and believe in their ability to make it successful.


“Mentoring is all about collaborating. It unlocks talents and ideas you never thought you had and ultimately, adds value to your business and your life.” Business Scotland




What do you like most about running your own business? My favourite part of running my own business is the independence I have to not only make and implement decisions, but to organise my own schedule. I like being able to take risks and turn my ideas into reality. No two days are the same for me so it keeps business interesting.

Do you have a top tip of how to overcome and deal with challenges in business? When someone says it can’t be done just smile and go do it anyway. Tenacity and resilience always wins the day, and always have a plan B.

Why do you want to empower other women to start their own business? When I was starting out there were no women to give me advice or moral support. I am in a position now where I can empower other women to start and run their own business and I think that’s a great thing for our economy and society.

Did having a mentor encourage you to become one?


“In business, we all need advice and guidance, no matter how experienced we may be. Mentoring provides independent and honest advice and support that as a mentor, I value highly from those who mentor me.” As an entrepreneur, how did you overcome challenges in setting up your own business?

I could write a book about the many challenges (maybe I will one day) but the key is to keep believing that what you are doing is going to be worthwhile in the end. If you keep the faith, suppliers, customers and your team will come along on the journey and make the dream come true. I am extremely stubborn and tried to prove a point that a German-style brewery called WEST based in Glasgow’s East End wasn’t as daft an idea as it sounded.

My first mentor was my Dad and then two former bosses in the banking sector who were both male. I have experienced so many benefits of having a mentor and this encouraged me to become one and Women’s Business Mentoring is a perfect fit for me.

What traits do you admire the most in people starting their own business? I admire their belief, aspiration & determination. Days can be long and days can be hard, but they just get on with the job and bounce back for the next round.


Did you have a Mentor when you started your own business? In what ways did they help?

The wonderful Charan Gill taught me the basic skills for the restaurant trade and the inimitable Hilary Jones was my tutor for all things brewing. I was really lucky. I knew nothing about brewing, hospitality or finance when I took over the reigns of WEST in January 2008 so I have had a steep learning curve. Having experienced people as sounding boards makes the job far less lonely.

What has been the highlight of your entrepreneurial journey so far?

What I am most proud of is having managed to grow WEST into the business it is today whilst raising Noah as a single mum. No beer award, no glorious restaurant review compares with getting a cuddle at the end of the day from your son. I guess being awarded an honorary doctorate from Glasgow University wasn’t too shabby either.

What traits do you admire the most in people starting their business?

My heroine Amelia Earhart said “Never interrupt someone doing what you said couldn’t be done” and I therefore admire resilience and a healthy dose of self belief in young entrepreneurs. When I set up WEST Women in 2016 I looked for women “on a mission” to turn an idea into a reality and I love working with women who want to prove doubters wrong.

Business Scotland



“Everyone works hard at something. To make it meaningful, work hard at the right thing so you can achieve your potential.”



When did you realise you wanted to start your own business?

I realised I wanted to start my own business from a very early age. My grandparents had their own wholesale fish business and at the age of 12 years old I was ordering the fish from Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Aberdeen for next day delivery by road to Halifax in Yorkshire.

Why do you want to empower other women to start and run their own business?

I want to empower women to start and run their own business because there is no greater satisfaction than showing those who doubt your ability, that you can do it. In the past 17 years since starting PCL Group I have seen many changes and I have changed too by learning to grow and becoming more confident. I want other women to experience that transformation from taking that first initial step. Entrepreneurship is a word not a barrier.

What do you enjoy most about the Mentoring experience?


“Mentoring has played a significant part in my career and I can say with confidence that a strong network of women business mentors can pave the way to success in your business and personal life.”

Why do you think it’s important for more women to start businesses in Scotland? No country can afford to waste any of its talent and we need to ensure that the business landscape in Scotland is a place where everyone can achieve their full potential. Supporting more women to start-up and achieve their business aspirations will boost the economy and generate greater innovation.

What I enjoy most about the Mentoring experience is “giving back” or as it is now known “paying it forward”. When you make the commitment to mentor someone in business you will be amazed by not only how much you give but also about how much you receive.

How do you build successful relationships with your mentees?

I build successful relationships with my mentees by being totally honest about anything they wish to discuss. It has always been one of my strongest attributes to say things exactly how they are and not paint the perfect picture. After all, life is not perfect and believe me running a business is not always perfect either so I don’t agree with giving people false hope. Say it how it is, this way you both understand what is involved and there can be no misunderstanding.

What traits do you admire the most in people starting their business?

The traits I admire most are their innovative ideas. Their belief in what they are trying to achieve, their failures and not giving up as well as their success stories. I was told very early on when I started my business that you measure your success by how much you had to give in order to achieve it! True words in every sense.


What are some of the barriers for women starting their own business? Research undertaken by WES and other organisations shows that women face specific challenges including juggling family and caring commitments, achieving credibility for the business, accessing networks and accessing finance. Tackling those issues can help business growth and job creation.

Why is Mentoring a solution to dealing with these barriers? Women value mentoring as it offers an opportunity to learn from others who have been there before them and to apply those insights to achieve greater business sustainability and growth. Two heads are often better than one when faced with a tough issue or a critical business decision.

What traits do you admire the most in people starting their business? I have worked with many businesses over the years and I am always struck by the passion people have for their business idea or area of business. It is infectious and engaging and often creates innovative new approaches and products. Enhancing Scotland’s reputation as an entrepreneurial nation.


“If women started businesses at the same rate as men, it would contribute an additional £7.6bn to Scotland’s economy.” Business Scotland




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“Scotland sends a huge 歡迎 to China!”


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The new guide with a print run of 100,000 is an initiative of Landmark Press who are already heavily involved in Edinburgh tourism. They publish 1.5 million copies annually of an Edinburgh Guide with editions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch. Landmark Press general manager, Andrew Murphie said: ‘A recent survey showed that a translated guide is the 3rd most common request by Chinese hotel guests, behind free WiFi and a kettle!’

‘The Chinese edition of the Edinburgh Guide is a natural extension of the service we offer. We have been working in Edinburgh for over 30 years and have a very good distribution system with 600 attractive display stands in key locations across the City including Edinburgh Castle.’ ‘We are really proud’ he continued ‘that some of the largest and some of the smallest tourism businesses across Scotland are our customers. These include: VisitScotland; the National Trust for Scotland; Historic Environment Scotland; the Scottish

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Edinburgh is Scotland’s first City to be ‘China ready’ with its new fully translated ‘Welcome to Edinburgh’ Guide. Scotland’s capital is the most visited destination outside London for Chinese visitors. Last year 160,000 Chinese travellers visited Edinburgh. This figure is expected to double by 2020.












Parliament; and the Royal Botanic Gardens’. The Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) have been heavily involved in the production of the new guide and have contributed a special four page ‘survival guide’ welcoming Chinese visitors to the City. Rob Lang, Head of Marketing at Edinburgh Airport and Chair of Edinburgh Tourism Action Group’s China Ready Initiative said: “The continued growth of the Chinese visitor market to Edinburgh presents a great opportunity for the city’s tourism sector. The city’s first-ever Mandarin “Welcome to Edinburgh” Guide from Landmark Press is packed with information from businesses offering a warm welcome to Chinese visitors. The guide is another welcome addition to the range of media being provided to our Chinese guests as we strive to become a “must see, must visit” destination for this influential market.” Landmark Press, managing director, Danny Fullerton said ‘It is our ongoing aim to provide an excellent national tourism information service. Our ‘Welcome’ bedroom folders are on display in 95% of the hotels, guest houses, B&Bs, and selfcatering properties across Scotland.’

‘In addition to the Welcome to Edinburgh Guide we also publish and distribute a ‘Welcome to Scotland’ Guide, with 800,000 copies and editions in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish and Dutch, with a Chinese edition planned for 2018.’ ‘On the digital front our ‘Welcome to Scotland’ website www. is the country’s most comprehensive tourism gateway and the UK’s only national tourism site to be fully translated into French and German.’ ‘We also operate the only national app for Scotland’s tourism industry’ he continued. ‘The app is fully translated into French and German. If the numbers of visitors from China continues to grow as expected, we may soon have to translate our website and app into Chinese a prospect we would welcome hugely!To advertise in the Welcome to Edinburgh Guide, contact

*Scotland sends a huge WELCOME to China!



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Scottish-led group wins top international honour for innovative maritime safety work A Scottish-led academic and industry collaboration has won a top international marine award for a revolutionary project to enhance safety at sea procedures. While not all the items on CalMac’s checklist will apply across all types of commercial shipping, it does provide a tried and tested framework which is easily transferrable to other shipping sectors.

The Project SEAHORSE consortium, led by the University of Strathclyde, brought together experts from across the maritime world to research and implement safety considerations pioneered by the aviation industry – the first project of its kind in the world.

The system has since been adopted within CalMac, and is just one of the areas in which SEAHORSE now offers proven and robust innovations which can find a place globally within the marine sector.

It has been recognised with the highly prestigious Maritime Safety Award from the Royal Institution of Naval Architects in association with Lloyd’s Register – full citation at Notes to Editors. Headed up by Professor Osman Turan from the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, the consortium also includes Scottish ferry operator Caledonian MacBrayne, among an internationally diverse group of other global industry leaders from various relevant sectors. Inspired by the rigorous standards in the aviation industry and seeking to influence best practice across commercial shipping, the EU FP7-funded research project has sought to develop and establish straightforward systems to ensure best levels of safety in a range of areas, from checklists and safety reporting to standardised operating procedures. While a checklist sounds like a very basic notion, the project began from the premise, that while many companies were indeed using such tools, these varied wildly in what was being checked and many had developed to become cumbersome rather than an effective method to ensure safe operations. One of the primary pioneers of improved checklists, CalMac Ferries, which in turn

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Safety culture assessment methodologies are already being adopted by other companies within the shipping industry.

collaborated with Airbus as advisers, drew up and trialled a new system across 10 of the company’s roll-on, roll-off ferries, which serve much of Scotland’s west coast – it was developed with input from the masters and refined as the trial progressed to involve minimum time commitment whilst guaranteeing that safety critical items were verified both on approach and when leaving port. Crucially, as with a checklist on board an aircraft, the system requires a check command and a verification reply, which ensures that two persons must ratify each step, thereby removing what had been a critical weakness in previous similar routines – in other words, what is known as a ‘single point of failure’ (eg only one person responsible for checks) was mitigated and removed as a risk.

Project leader, Professor Osman Turan, said: “SEAHORSE has shown that methods used to ensure high levels of safety for one form of transport can be effectively transferred to another. “This breakthrough could lead to stronger co-operation between different modes of transport and the sharing of best practices across sectors in order to enhance safety.” Speaking about CalMac’s key role within the project, the company’s Director of Health, Safety, Quality and the Environment, Louis de Wolff, said: “We were the most active marine industry partner within the project, providing validation of various solutions from application within a real-world environment. “We continue to work closely with the University of Strathclyde on enhancing safety and resilience within our operations – the success of our involvement to date lies not only with my safety team, but with the full co-operation and collaboration we have had across the fleet from our professional mariners.”


Scotland’s young people get their Gold at Holyrood Palace Over 700 young people from across Scotland attended presentations at Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh this week, where they received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards after sharing their experiences with Patron of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), HRH The Duke of Edinburgh or Trustee for The DofE, HRH The Earl of Wessex. During the Gold Award Presentations, Their Royal Highnesses took the opportunity to congratulate the young people on their successes and heard about their DofE journeys, which took each young person 1218 months of hard work and dedication. Those who achieve a Gold DofE Award will volunteer, learn a skill, get fit, take part in a week long residential and plan and undertake an expedition in wild country. Widely acknowledged as the world’s leading achievement award for young people, DofE programmes enable any young person, aged 14-24, to develop key skills for life and work, such as confidence, commitment and team working. Speaking about his DofE experience, former ScotRail Modern Apprentice Jordan Bingham, who was one of the Gold Award holders at the presentation on the 5th July, said, “The DofE was an extremely challenging part of my apprenticeship but very worthwhile. I learnt about the importance of teamwork, and

communication. Being given the opportunity has allowed me to gain confidence and shown me that anything is possible when you try hard enough”. DofE Director for Scotland, Barry Fisher, said: “I am delighted that so many young people from across Scotland were able to celebrate their achievements at this week’s presentations. They have shown remarkable commitment and determination in completing their Gold DofE Awards and these presentations are an excellent opportunity to celebrate their success.” There are currently over 20,000 young people taking part in a DofE programme across Scotland through a variety of centres including both state and independent schools, special schools, businesses, prisons, young offender institutions and youth groups. To find out more about the DofE and how it enables young people to succeed, please visit

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DYW North Highlands on the hunt for hospitality heroes The Developing the Young Workforce North Highlands (DYW) initiative, led by Caithness Chamber of Commerce, has recently launched an exciting new initiative called “Hospitality North Highlands”. Working with local hospitality providers, the initiative aims to promote careers in the sector, and to provide access to a range of jobs allowing young people to kickstart their hospitality career. The initiative came about in part as a result of discussions with Chamber members and Scottish Chambers of Commerce around the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Review. It was felt that too often, hospitality is viewed as a stopgap job – something for young people to do before they get a “proper” career. Working with local hospitality providers, the DYW team put together a videobased marketing campaign focusing on interviews with employees and owners of hospitality businesses explaining the benefits of a career in the sector, and challenging young people to prove that they have what it takes to be a “Hospitality Hero” The team also worked with local businesses to develop and promote a range of positions giving young people a chance to take their first step into the sector, and outlining some of the routes to career advancement and future success. The initiative has already proven popular, with a number of positions already filled, and the team is working hard to promote it further within local schools and colleges, and to get more local hospitality providers on board. The videos and other information can be found at hospitalityhero

Inspiring City Awards 2017 The Herald and Glasgow Chamber of Commerce are delighted to be working with Glasgow’s award-winning city brand – PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW to host this year’s Inspiring City Awards, celebrating and rewarding the people and organisations that make Glasgow great. Glasgow has a long and distinguished history of innovators, pioneers and traders who have made their mark on the world stage. As two of the city’s most trusted and respected institutions we thought it was time to recognise the new generation of citizens who are making a tremendous contribution to the cultural and economic climate of Glasgow. The Chief Executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, Stuart Patrick, discussed the partnership between The Herald and Glasgow Chamber; “Two of the city’s longest-lived institutions are again joining forces with the city’s award-winning PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW brand to

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celebrate the people and organisations which contribute freely to the culture and economy of the city – to the benefit of all citizens. With these awards, the partnership of the Chamber and The Herald is providing a high-profile platform to reinforce this commitment." The Inspiring City Awards are aimed at recognising those truly remarkable individuals, businesses and organisations that consistently go the extra mile to ensure Glasgow continues to flourish. From those inspiring action in their local community to those enhancing the city’s reputation internationally, people make Glasgow, which is why the city is delighted to be continuing its support for these important awards. Alison McRae, Senior Director at Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, gave comment on the DYW association with the awards and how the awards allow for the people and businesses of Glasgow to get the

recognition they deserve: “Developing the Young Workforce Glasgow is delighted to be associated with the Inspiring City awards for our third year. These awards are a really special event as they allow us to recognise examples of real innovation around youth employment: where our businesses have been pioneering and gone the extra mile for the young people in our city. The Inspiring City Awards – PEOPLE MAKE GLASGOW will take place on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Glasgow Central. For more information on the event please visit the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce website at www.


Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber welcome new President Scotland’s largest Chamber of Commerce announced the appointment of its new president in June as the organisation marks its 140th year of incorporation. John Brebner takes over the helm of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber at a challenging but exciting time for the region as its moves forward with a new strategic plan to create an economic renaissance in the North-east. “The aims of the Chamber are many and varied but all point to creating the buoyant, diversified regional economy that will enable our members and the people that work for them to be more successful,” he said. “It has been a tough climate for businesses in the North-east in recent years with the low oil price impacting organisations of all sizes and sectors however we are now seeing positive movement in the region. “We have a strong platform from which to move forward with £5.3bn of infrastructure projects currently underway and in the pipeline for the area with more to come. We have an economic diversification plan that is gathering pace, our strength in innovation is being further developed through city region deal investment and there is real progress with the city centre masterplan. “Most of all, we are beginning to demonstrate confidence and ambition, sending out the message that we are open for business. My focus will be on ensuring

this momentum is maintained and the pace increased.” Previously the Chamber’s vice-president, John is director of his own consultancy, Brebner Consulting Ltd, focused on providing business advisory services targeting a mix of direct board appointments as well as project based advisory work. Prior to this he enjoyed a 34 year career with Clydesdale Bank, undertaking various senior roles, latterly as head of the regional business and private banking centre for east Scotland and regional head of specialist and acquisition finance for the north of Scotland. The wealth of experience he brings will help ensure Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce continues to build on its reputation as the leading business organisation in the North-east. “Our members are at the heart of everything we do and the Chamber must be proactive, visible and engaged in shaping the region’s future,” he added. “We must be a catalyst for deals being done and good things happening; opening doors and sharing information and best practice. “Ultimately, we want to be known for doing and campaigning; not for talking.”

John Brebner

Why networking is vital in staff development Joining your local Chamber can unlock a variety of opportunities – both for the growth of your business, and for the development of your staff. People are without a doubt one of the biggest drivers in business – and it is important to ensure your team are given opportunities to develop themselves professionally and personally. There are many ways to do this; and of course each person and business will require a different approach. The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce offers a wide range of benefits to our members, from the opportunity to attend our 130+ networking events to business marketing support, introductions to key city stakeholders and access to Government – there is something to suit every business need. Membership with a Chamber of Commerce is generally viewed as a means to develop and grow your business – which it does. However; recognising the potential for the professional development of staff could create a far more valuable benefit for your

business. After all, your team should be ambassadors for your business – and better opportunities for them should encourage better opportunities for your business.

event – it allows each member in your team to develop their own networking style and to become a confident ambassador for their business.

With a surge in online networking over recent years, we are finding more and more that people are reverting back to good oldfashioned face-to-face networking.

Encouraging active networking across your wider team not only shapes an ambitious and prosperous company culture; it creates an inclusive environment. It can help every member feel included and valued as an employee – with each individual given the opportunity to represent their business. The benefits of this are mutual as staff can develop their interpersonal skills and confidence, and businesses grow a strong team who’re always on the look out for new business opportunities.

Networking can be a daunting prospect for many – but all partake in it – and probably more often than we think. Networking is all about relationship building – it can be as easy as connecting over a coffee, having a simple conversation or exchanging business cards. The Edinburgh Chamber organise over 130 networking events every year, and we encourage our members to send along varied representatives from their business. This not only ensures new faces at each

For information on the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce or any of the networking events we run, please contact us on 0131 221 2999.

Business Scotland


Energy Focus

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Additional £11 million of energy efficiency funding open to Scottish businesses

First minister Nicola Sturgeon said the new funding would “ensure Scotland leads the way in energy efficiency”. The Scottish government has released a further £11 million of funding for homes and businesses via local authorities in the second pilot phase of Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) pathfinder fund. The new funding will help local authorities test new energy-saving approaches with households, community groups and businesses, which can then be taken forward when SEEP is rolled out fully in 2018. Announcing the latest stage of the SEEP scheme this week, first minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This unprecedented largescale, long-term programme will make our homes warmer and places of work more comfortable. It will also drive down energy

bills and help us meet our ambitious climate change targets. “The second round of SEEP pilot funding will support local authorities to develop projects that build on the successful work we have already carried out and ensure Scotland leads the way in energy efficiency.” The new scheme follows around £9 million awarded across 11 local authority areas in October 2016 under the first pathfinder fund, which saw energy saving measures installed across public sector and private commercial buildings. Following an application phase closing in May, grants will be offered on 12 June to successful applicants with projects to be implemented by February 2019. A minimum

of £250,000 is expected for each application, with no maximum limit within the total budget. Finance will be offered in the form of grants, loans, guarantees or a combination of these, with the Scottish government to meet a maximum of 50% of project costs as grant. SEEP is being developed to deliver the new national infrastructure priority for energy efficiency. The projects are part of the development phase of SEEP, which will run until 2018, after which the full delivery phase will begin, once further devolution of energy efficiency powers takes place under the Scotland Bill.

This unprecedented large-scale, long-term programme will make our homes warmer and places of work more comfortable. It will also drive down energy bills and help us meet our ambitious climate change targets. Business Scotland



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Heriot-Watt and Kazakhstan: a partnership with potential Professor John Underhill, Chief Scientist of Heriot-Watt University, explains why the university joined the Scottish Government’s delegation at the Future Energy Expo 2017, and the vast potential for collaboration in Kazakhstan.

Professor John Underhill

Kazakhstan has risen to become one of the major petroleum centres in the world. It is a relatively youthful country, with a burgeoning energy economy that could secure its future: Heriot-Watt has the expertise and experience to assist its policymakers, public

and operators achieve those aims. The knowledge we have gained in the last 50 years as a university, and as an energy-rich nation, could prove invaluable to Kazakhstan. Heriot-Watt and Scotland’s policymakers can add to Kazakhstan’s growing community of research, teaching and learning, and industrial communities, by translating our expertise into existing oil and gas and new sustainable energy developments there. Scotland’s energy mix has undergone dramatic changes in the past 50 years. Coal was followed by the North Sea oil and gas boom, and now the country has strong commitments to renewable energy. Its experience has not only led to an enviable volume of operational projects in country but also seen the skill sets and expertise being deployed to great effect internationally. Throughout these changes, researchers at Heriot-Watt University have been developing a

body of relevant research and training knowledge and impressive record of innovation across the energy landscape, and continue to do so. We design robots that can work in hostile environments where humans cannot; develop solar-powered filtration plants in Bangladesh; advise on play fairway analysis and reservoir management; safe and environmental working practices; and have invented smart and sustainable energy systems that power villages with on-demand renewable energy. Kazakhstan is standing on the cusp of its highest ever level of oil and gas production: it is vital that it takes the knowledge and expertise that Heriot-Watt and Scotland have gained to ensure its energy supply is secure, safe, sustainable and at the forefront of industrial best-practice. Follow @HWUPetroleum, @HeriotWattUni and @HWU_Robotics to stay up-to-date with news from Heriot-Watt University, or visit / @HWUEnergy

See for yourself how a nuclear power station works. All plant tours require advanced booking.

Exploring Electricity has never been easier!

Torness power station Visitor Centre Come and visit us Monday - Saturday between 9am and 4pm. Entry and tours are free. Telephone: 01368 873 909 Email:

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Exciting developments ahead Business Mentoring has seen some exciting developments this year from the launch of a new website, to the development of an online Mentor Hub and a range of new engaging events across Scotland. We sat down with Louise Ramsay from Scottish Chambers of Commerce to find out more.

Louise Ramsay

Business Mentoring Scottish Chambers of Commerce

SCC has been busy with lots of new additions to Business Mentoring – what are some of the changes? Over the last year, the team at SCC and the Chamber Network have been making new additions to Business Mentoring. The inspiration behind it all came from our business customers and our pool of mentors with a key focus on improving the

customer experience, helping businesses and mentors to connect with each other and using social and digital technologies to showcase the value of Mentoring. With that in mind, we launched a brand-new dedicated website for Business Mentoring, which is mobile-friendly and traffic from the website reached record numbers at the time of launch. Interestingly, the most popular pages on the website was the Sign-Up page which is a great sign that the business community is committed to growing their business. In addition to the online element of Business Mentoring, we have increased the number of “face-to-face” events as well and in the last six months, we have already hosted nine regional events across Scotland from Scottish Borders to Aberdeen, to Renfrewshire and Glasgow.

How have Mentors and Mentees reacted to the new website? The response has been great! Mentors and Mentees have been using the website to keep up to date on the latest mentoring news, sign-up to events and have the opportunity to feature on the website by sharing their mentoring experience. Having a modern website has really helped to bring our customers together and access key information and connect with each other.

The events schedule looks to have kept the team busy. How did the events go? It certainly did keep the team busy but for all the right reasons! No single event was the same and that’s the beauty of Business Mentoring – the experience can be tailored and personalised to suit the needs of the business and the Mentor. For example, in Aberdeen, we hosted a Dragon’s Den style event where potential businesses pitched to Mentors and in Glasgow we hosted a “Spirit of Scotland” whisky tasting session. Although each event may have had a different setting, the theme of collaboration and mentoring was the key pillar for each event.

Is the rise of social media inspiring new developments like the online Mentor Hub? Definitely! Social media and using mobile technology has very much inspired the online Mentor Hub, and collaboration and engagement between Mentors is at the heart of the Hub. Once launched, the Hub will enable Mentors to engage with each other on business news and topics of interest and receive the latest updates on Business Mentoring. As the programme has over 1,000 Business Mentors, the Hub will play an important and positive role in bringing the Network together.

Business Mentoring is a fantastic opportunity for developing professionals to challenge, and be challenged by already successful professionals. I’ve been fortunate to have been matched with a like-minded individual, somebody I really enjoy spending time with. Business Mentoring has been of real benefit to me and I’m certain that, in the coming years, will benefit the business. I’d fully recommend Business Mentoring as a tool to develop your skills and add-value to your business. Aaron Frizzel, Operations Director at Mortgage Advice Bureau

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DIY or Hire an Expert? For any job out there, you always have two options: do it yourself or hire an expert.

So we hire experts to do these complicated and involved jobs. Because you have to pay a price whether you do it or they do…and they’ll be faster and make fewer mistakes.

Sometimes, the task at hand is so easy or takes so little time, that you just don’t think to hire an expert—making a cup of tea on a morning, for example. But other days, you’re running late or forgot to buy milk, so you nip into the nearest coffee shop and ask an expert to do it for you.

Let’s go back to the idea of putting in a new patio.

Other tasks, of course, are complicated or time consuming enough that your first thought is to hire someone else to do it. Maybe you need to replace the glass in your windscreen or want to add a patio to your garden. Either way, you’re probably going to hire (or at least consult) an expert. The reason is two-fold: 1) the time, 2) the learning curve. If something is complicated, you need to factor in the amount of time, energy, and expense it will take you to learn enough to be able to do it yourself. Similarly, if a job is fairly involved, it will like take up a fair amount of your time, which you’re going to have to pay for anyway— either in time off work or in your leisure time. Another reason, of course, is the experience and expertise an expert brings to the task. They will not only have the tools and knowledge to do it, but they’ve done it enough times that the quality of the finished product will be higher and they’re less likely to make costly mistakes.

If you do it yourself, you’ve got to buy all the tools and supplies, watch some YouTube videos, read a few articles, and then spend a whole weekend actually doing it. The finished product looks great, but there are a few bits you had to re-do after finding the best technique. Alternatively, if you hire some experts to do it, the outlay cost is probably higher, but they bring all the tools and supplies, as well as the experience of having installed about 10 patios over the last year. The big day comes and you get to spend the weekend out and about, returning just in time to see a finished patio looking great. There are pros and cons to both. When you DIY, you learn a lot about the process, maybe even enough to do it again down the road or fix any little errors that crop up over the coming years. When you pay for an expert, you may not learn as much, but the finished product is more stable and less likely to have any issues in the future.

When it comes to the customisation of our customers’ OpenCRM system, we tend to have three types of projects. Type 1s want to go it alone, setting up the system, organising the implementation, and getting everyone trained up on it. They will rely on our knowledgebase and asking questions of our support team.

Type 2s will do much of the customisation themselves, but will do so after paying for a few training sessions and a couple hand-holding sessions to get them feeling confident enough to do so. Type 3s on the other hand, choose to pay us to customise their system and train their staff. They may want to know how the customisation was done, but really they just want to get on with their normal day job and leave the configuration to our experts. All three types end up with a finished product that works for their business and have a similar success rate. They’ve all had to pay some cost, whether it is their own time, our project management rates, or a combination of both.

It comes back to that idea of DIY vs expert—there’s a cost either way and it should always be your decision about which you prefer to pay. To talk to a member of the OpenCRM team about how CRM software can benefit your brand, just call 01748 473000 or visit the website:

Graham Anderson, is the CEO and founder of OpenCRM, one of the UK’s leading customer relationship management systems

Business Scotland


exciting opportunities tunities Are you interested in learning Arabic Language, Islamic Studies or Islamic Finance? See our unique courses at:

Not too late to register Contact us today:

Bursaries available

Al-Maktoum College, Dundee 124 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PE T +44 (0)1382 908 070 E

Focus on Training and Development

in association with

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enlightening rewarding motivating stimulating friendly

Al-Maktoum College

seeks to boost student roll Dundee’s Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education hopes to attract even more students to its successful and challenging range of contemporary courses.

Not too late to register Full time and Part time courses available

An independent centre of excellence for teaching and research in the study of Islam and Muslims its six full-time courses – SCQF-credit rated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) – have been structured to appeal to as wide a selection of potential candidates as possible. The courses currently available are: • Professional Diploma in Islamic Economics and Finance • Advanced Diploma in Islamic Studies • Advanced Diploma in Arabic Language • Diploma in Arabic Language • Certificates in Arabic Language • Introductory Certificate in Arabic Language Students who qualify can open up professional career options in the public and private sector at local, national and international levels, plus the voluntary sector, social and charitable organisations, and other multicultural contexts. There has never been a better time to study in Dundee, UNESCO City of Design 2016, where the £80 million V&A Museum of Design is under construction on the city’s dramatic waterfront. The College, a not-for-profit educational charity, is located within the city’s vibrant

university district and is an important part of the local community with its well-established Open Lectures, featuring speakers from all over the world, among popular initiatives.


College Principal and Vice Chancellor, Prof Hossein Godazgar, assures new students that they will find the carefullydevised courses stimulating, dynamic and contemporary. “Dundee is also a very special place to learn in terms of location and the changes that are taking place in the city are commanding worldwide attention, and we are glad to be part of this,” said Prof Godazgar. “A total of 150 students from over 30 countries, including Scotland, have graduated from the College over the past decade and all speak highly of their experience with us.”

Al-Maktoum College, Dundee 124 Blackness Road, Dundee DD1 5PE T +44 (0)1382 908 070 E

Bursaries for students are available and full information on them, plus details of all College courses, can be found here:

Al-Maktoum showed me direction for my future career.

Professional Qualifications Accredited professional qualifications for all levels within your organisation Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Institute of Sales and Marketing Management (ISMM) Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) HNC Contracting Management HNC Sustainable Resource Management accredited by the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management (CIWM) | 0344 248 0117 Andrew Carnegie Business School, Carnegie Conference Centre, Halbeath Road, Dunfermline KY11 8DY


Learning from the very best with the Institute for Management Studies One of the keys to succeeding in business is recognising how to access high quality learning and development interventions that help drive the individual, team and business forward. Which is why joining The Institute for Management Studies (IMS) makes such good sense. For a modest annual fee, organisations and companies can enjoy seminars and outstanding online learning resources held in Scotland and 24 other regions across the US and Europe. These sessions are led by truly world-class international experts in their respective fields at a fraction of the cost open public courses or private in-house events could realise. Graeme Wilkinson, who before becoming the Chairman of IMS in Scotland worked in financial services as a Learning and Development professional, has organised a stellar line-up of speakers for 2017, each one of which is an exceptional educator and published author in their given specialism.

The Institute for Management Studies has been operating successfully since being formed in the United States in 1974. Graeme is therefore building on IMS’ track record of an internationally-recognised and respected organisation which has for more than forty years provided its members with the most innovative, cost-effective and unequalled management development series available. Its growth is such that today there are 450 IMS corporate member organisations across North America and Europe, including many of the world’s largest businesses. About 20,000 leaders and managers attend monthly oneday IMS Leadership Masterclasses each year. In Scotland, the Masterclasses are staged at the elegant Royal Scots Club, Edinburgh for participants from 17 IMS Corporate Members, including Abellio ScotRail, Baillie Gifford, City

Relationship Management: Ten Skills Leaders Need to Get the Best From Others

of Edinburgh Counci, Fife Council, Forth Ports, Glasgow City Council, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Prison Service, Scottish Water, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE), Standard Life, Tesco Bank, The Scottish Government, , Webhelp UK and Wood Mackenzie. One of the biggest benefits for the members is that they are given the opportunity to gain access to speakers whose excellence is such that they can usually command large fees, but who can be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost through IMS membership.

For more information please visit or contact Graeme Wilkinson at on 07796 938102

The Power of Innovative and Strategic Thinking

John Daly | 24th August 2017

Kaihan Krippendorff 14th September 2017

What does it take to get the best performance out of people today? Personal Relationships! No longer can you just tell people what to do. Instead, you must informally seek and build commitment among your team members to do their best. In this session you’ll discover new, research based, techniques, which will help you do that. We’ll learn how successful leaders shape their work environments to achieve optimal performance, get others to feel proud of their work, show they value others’ contributions, offer feedback that really helps and cope with natural frictions that can arise when people work together.

All business leaders worth their low­salt lunch, regardless of their industry, will agree on one thing – that innovation a key driver of their company’s success. What they don’t agree on is how to ensure that innovation actually happens. After 27 years of providing innovation services to some the world’s most forward thinking organizations, Mitch Ditkoff has discovered the holy grail of moving the “innovation needle”. Storytelling. Yes, storytelling – the skillful communication of personal narrative that changes mindset, increases engagement, transfers knowledge and sparks commitment.

Influence to Impact: Leveraging Interpersonal Power for Women Leaders

Increasing Your Personal

Impact: Maximize Your Power to Influence Others

Jeanne Porter King 12th October 2017

Ty Bennett 16th November 2017

Influence is a crucial competency that enables leaders to succeed in the global marketplace. This program is a highly interactive, leadership development workshop for women. In this course women come to understand the three levels of power involved in influencing, they discover their I2I (Influence to Impact) influence profile, they are taught the power of language and the role gender plays in organisational influence, they are taught to use dialogue as an influence tool, and are taught the secrets of leveraging the hidden power of the organisation.

Regardless of the type of organisation you`re in, or the role you play in it, you are in the business of people. Because of that, great leadership is the driving force behind growing your business. Based on his highly­rated book, The Power of Influence, Ty Bennett shares his philosophies and tools for increasing your influence and impact as a leader. How do you become a good leader? Through influence. How do you become a great leader? By using influence and integrity to engage and inspire others.

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SQA Journeys Developing the workforce of tomorrow

Business Development T: 0303 333 0330 E: W:

Developing the Young Workforce In January 2013, the Scottish Government set up The Education Working for All! — Commission for Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce. Through extensive consultations with leading figures in education, business and equalities groups, the Commission outlined the importance of vocational education and its role in the Scottish education system. Developing the Young Workforce — Scotland’s Youth Employment Strategy (DYW) includes the detailed plans, agreed with local government, to implement the Commission’s recommendations. DYW aims to improve the options available to young people, and reduce youth unemployment by preparing young people for the workplace, giving them the skills that employers need.

SQA Journeys SQA is a key partner for DYW. We are uniquely placed to support DYW because we already work closely with training providers, employers, colleges and schools, as well as local authorities and SDS.

We understand the needs of learners and employers. We can help one group to help the other, creating a more qualified, more motivated and more productive workforce. Our wide range of robust, relevant and respected qualifications link directly into DYW. They are designed and continually reviewed in partnership with industry to develop the workplace skills and experience needed in the real working world to make businesses more competitive and Scotland’s economy more dynamic. SQA qualifications sit at various levels, allowing the learner to move from one qualification to the next or to change paths at an equivalent level.

DYW Regional Support SQA Regional Managers are actively involved in all of the DYW Regional Groups across Scotland. Every business working with SQA has a dedicated Account Manager — one point of contact who will take the time to get to know you and how you work. We can provide the best possible advice and guidance for qualifications and skills development relevant at a local level relevant to you.

SQA Working with you Your Account Manager will advise you on the best possible journey for enhancing your industry’s young workforce. Working together, we can give Scotland a happier, more productive, more reliable and more skilled workforce. Find out where SQA Journeys can take your business.


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PRINCE2®, PRINCE2 Agile®, MSP®, P3O® and MoP® are registered trade marks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved. The PRINCE2, PRINCE2 Agile, MSP, P3O and MoP Accredited Training Organization logos are trade marks of AXELOS Limited, used under permission of AXELOS Limited. All rights reserved.


Is I.T time to catch up? The North Highland College UHI offers quick and cost effective Professional Development Awards (PDA) in various accounting and business subjects to help equip you with the most up-to-date training and help further your employment opportunities. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AWARDS IN: Book-Keeping • Financial Accounting Information and Technology in Business Office Management and Information Technology

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SQA Journeys For Scotland’s future

Scotland’s future is our young people — the workforce of tomorrow. SQA qualifications prepare them for work, and give them the skills employers like you are looking for. Find out where SQA Journeys can take your business.

Business Development T: 0303 333 0330 E: W:


Customer focus puts Sterling Creative’s Melanie in the spotlight “As a woman in business, there’s a myth that you have to be ruthlessly self-promoting to get ahead,” confides Melanie Gladstone, “but my mantra has always been to put our customers first – without them, there is no business.” Marketing and Design Director Melanie has recently been appointed to the Board of Directors at Sterling, a £27m UK provider of end-to-end communications solutions. She is currently the only woman serving on the Board.

Building the dream While Melanie is modest about her achievements: “I see my main strength as pulling together a great team of people and letting their individual talents shine,” the story of how she went from redundancy to single-handedly building Sterling Creative – the Edinburgh-based arm of Sterling – from the ground up, speaks of a lot more. “Mel’s integrity, initiative and customer focus are qualities that really stood out,” says Managing Director Steve Pizzey, convincing him that Melanie was the woman for the job: “We gave Melanie a very open brief, with complete control to build us a business north of the border.” A daunting task? “In hindsight, yes!” laughs Melanie, “but luckily, I’ve been too busy to pause for reflection.”

Building the team Building a team was task number one. Creative Director Graham Pringle was first on board: “I knew how strong he was creatively and that he had the tenacity and vision to help me build a successful business from a blank canvas.” Eight years and three office moves later, Sterling Creative is now a well-established, full-service creative communications agency based in Edinburgh’s West End, with a team of 14, all of whom share the same strong customer focus.

Building customer relationships and costeffective solutions However, “doing the right thing for our customers isn’t just about always saying ‘yes’,” explains Melanie. “We pride ourselves on challenging our customers to dig deep for the outcome they hope to achieve, rather than just the output they have in mind.” Caroline Edwards, Financial Capability Lead at RBS, is a long-standing customer:

“Sterling combine great technical skills with passionate commitment. Melanie’s team really understands what we want to achieve, and are always very responsive and solution-focused.”

on – it really makes us feel like we are making a difference to young people’s lives.”

It’s a joined-up, cost-effective approach appreciated by a list of well-known clients, including The University of Edinburgh, Citizens Advice Scotland, Tesco Bank and RBS.

The past few years have also seen Sterling diversify into the public and third sectors: “Last year, we were approached by the Mental Health Foundation with a brief to help create an identity for a new fund to support those who have suffered in-care abuse in Scotland,” reveals Melanie. “The result was ‘Future Pathways’ ( It’s an incredibly sensitive task to ensure that you get something like this spot on not just for the client but also for every one of the stakeholders they are aiming to help,” she continues, “but we are all really happy with the end result.”

Building a diverse portfolio

Building a sustainable business

“We’re always working to improve our customer experience and devise new, affordable solutions,” confirms Melanie. “We’re able to offer an end-to-end service from concept to delivery thanks to our production facility in Kettering, which sets us apart from our competitors.”

“Financial services and education account for the majority of our business,” explains Melanie. “Several of our team, including myself, have previously worked client-side in these areas, and we have built up an indepth knowledge, which allows us to become like an extension of our clients’ marketing teams. “Our long-standing partnership with RBS is a great example. Among many other things, we manage the communications for MoneySense (, the bank’s flagship financial education programme for 5-18 year-olds. “Our involvement with the programme has grown over the last two years to the point where we are trusted with a number of key responsibilities, including project management and programme delivery. Helping to support teaching kids about money has been a fantastically rewarding job to work

Perhaps, most surprising of all, is that Melanie has led Sterling Creative to its current enviable position primarily through customer referrals. Is this how she sees the business continuing to evolve? “We’ve developed our creative offering in Edinburgh in quite an organic way so far, but are now gearing up for an exciting period of more targeted growth, promoting Sterling Creative across the UK. I guess that means getting over my phobia of the limelight,” jokes Mel, “so this article is a good start!”

Get in touch If you want to know more, contact: 0131 240 5400

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DSN Sound Creator Christopher Ferguson talks What is your background within business?

me know that he thought the product was great and it felt like he now had “multiple guitars” due to the Tone Magnet.

I actually have no business background apart from a few retail experiences, one being a guitar shop. Originally, I thought about being a priest and then I wanted to have career being an Archivist within a library which led me to being heavily involved with academia.

Then the only low I have really experienced is going through rough patches with funding and making sure there is a steady flow of income.

As a Chamber member how has the Chamber helped and supported the process?

What led you to create DSN Sound?

From a young age, I have been heavily involved in music, playing different kinds of instruments. My first paid job was playing the bass at a Hogmanay party when I was 13 years old. When I realised working within academia wasn’t something I wanted to continue to do, I decided to look at music and from my experience looked to see what musicians wanted. I then realised there was a gap in the market for musicians who were looking for the sound of a heavy weight guitar on any guitar. This led me to start researching various options. I took my idea of the Tone Magnet® to the University of Strathclyde where a student took it on as their project. It was there I could advance on my idea after it was discovered that the stronger the magnet the better the effect as it was using electronic magnetic force. It also meant I could make the product smaller which looked more appealing.

What are your main activities?

At the moment, I am focusing on Tone Magnet® and getting a customer base and so far, I have been able to get the product out to some known musicians Joe Bonamassa, an American blues rock guitarist, St. Ananas who is an youtuber from Austria and a few great musicians within Edinburgh. I am also investing time into research and development focusing

on voice control practice equipment as I am keen to keep developing tools to help musicians. I think being creative helps with peoples’ wellbeing and I want to be able to support this.

What process did you take from idea formation, design, manufacturing and distribution?

I think for me when creating the product, I was always looking at the end user from the initial idea to the design and manufacturing. Therefore, I originally wanted to sell straight to the end user using e -commerce but I eventually realised this wouldn’t be so easy as a lot of the potential users wanted to see the product in person. I then had to think more about the visual appeal through packaging and marketing material. I will now be stocking the product in stores and will feature it on Amazon. It meant I had to look at the process a little differently but I think a benefit to this was that I didn’t have any preconceived ideas about how everything would go in the process beforehand so I was able to adapt to the changes well.

Can you let us know the highlights and lows of the experience?

My biggest highlight so far has been receiving great feedback from the users. In particular, St. Ananas got in touch after buying the product independently to let

I think being a part of the Chamber has offered a great deal of support through the events, workshops and mentoring. It really lets you be a part of the business community within West Lothian. It lets you see the true diversity within businesses and careers which I appreciate being able to be a part of it. West Lothian Chamber is different to what I originally thought it would be as it understands businesses might need different support so gives a very modern and progressive approach to this. In general, I really appreciate being able to approach the Chamber to get support, advice and be taken seriously as a business. I really do feel like it is being part of a community and a lot of the benefits I have received from being a member have been intangible while valuable.

Do you have any tips or knowledge that you would like to pass along to others starting their own company or designing their own product?

My biggest tip would be to understand that nobody knows what they are doing and your ideas are just as good as any if you work at them. I think it is important to know that you don’t need to know everything, you just need to ask questions, be confident and humble.

I think it is important to know that you don’t need to know everything, you just need to ask questions, be confident and humble. Business Scotland



Local MSP Angela Constance (l) congratulates the winning Bathgate Academy team with the drawings of their successful design with Mr and Mrs Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul General of Japan in Edinburgh (3rd r and r) and Mr Yoshihiro Sumida, President of Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe (back centre)

Building the future workforce Here at West Lothian Chamber there is a focus on building strong business links within education by encouraging schools to be more pro-active in their approach to business. This is led through various employability projects in West Lothian such as DYW- West Lothian, Erasmus + programme and local business competitions like the Chamber’s collaboration with Mitsubishi Electric for the Pump It Up Challenge. Pump It Up now in its third year, aims to further integrate industry and schools to support young people in developing skills beneficial to their future career choice. After a hugely successful pilot competition with Armadale Academy back in 2014 who have been encouraging a collaboration like this in schools, Armadale has continued to be a leader in creating business links within schools. Armadale Primary have recently won the National Social Enterprise Academy Award for their entrepreneurial skills. The school has set up an international exhibition to learn about different countries and their languages alongside a social enterprise consisting of a café and shop which they hope will help raise awareness around mental health while Armadale Academy continue to be involved in the Pump It up Challenge . Now the joint venture between

Mitsubishi Electric and the West Lothian Chamber of Commerce has extended to 11 schools across the area. This year more than 1600 pupils from the schools competed for a spot in the final of ‘Pump It Up’ held at Howden Park Centre in Livingston. Each team was tasked with creating a future use idea for an energy efficient heat pump design primarily used for domestic heating and hot water. After a series of preliminary rounds, the competition was whittled down to a final, featuring one team from each school, with Bathgate Academy emerging as the overall winners. A team from Linlithgow Academy were runners-up with Inveralmond Community High School finishing third. Bathgate Academy focused their design on recycling hot air from a gymnasium that could transfer the energy to heat a swimming pool. The team concluded that sports activities held in a gym created the right environment to capture heat and transfer this energy in an efficient way to heat the pool. The judges were further impressed by the team’s detailed research on their heat pump application and importantly, to ensure that re-useable was an integral part of their design. At the final pupils pitched their heat pump ideas to a special panel of judges, including Mr Daisuke Matsunaga, Consul General

of Japan in Edinburgh and Mr Yoshihiro Sumida, President of Mitsubishi Electric Air Conditioning Systems Europe and other senior representatives from the public and private sector, who collectively decided on the overall winner of the competition. Mr Yoshiro Sumida, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric air conditioning systems Europe Ltd commented that, “The team work, learning and skills needed to decide on the future use of an air source heat pump will support the young people in their future move into the world of work and a design and development engineer was extremely impressed with the ideas generated by all the schools.” Linda Scott, Chief Executive of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, commented;“The aim of ‘Pump It Up’ is to support young people in creating skills required for their future development. There are innumerable benefits for a young person taking part in an industry-led competition like this one. These are derived from the experience of teamwork, leadership, planning and strategy skills – all the ingredients they will need to take forward into the work place.” West Lothian Chamber of Commerce wants to continue to play a pivotal role in supporting the future employment for young people through partnerships with business and education across the region.

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Focus on Health and Safety/ Construction






TSL IS A MULTI-DISCIPLINED COMPANY THAT OFFERS A RANGE OF INTEGRATED SERVICES IN THE WEST OF SCOTLAND, TO A VARIED CLIENT BASE Based in West Central Scotland these services include building new homes, schools, healthcare facilities, industrial and commercial premises as well as infrastructure, utility and renewable sector civil engineering. We also offer various construction related services which include Mobile Concrete Solutions, a mobile concrete batching facility, and Skyhook helicopter services. Operated plant hire, aggregates, ready mixed concrete is available on the Isle of Mull. In addition to this we provide a national road haulage service and operate port facilities at Mull Commercial Marine Facility.

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Vigilance the key in the world of health and safety For those working in the health and safety industry, vigilance is the key to success. Talk to specialist advisers and they will tell you that care is needed in everything that staff and contractors do and that constant reminders and regular training support that message. In difficult economic times, there can be a temptation for employers to take their eye off the ball when it comes to safety, feeling that they have always been safe and that they always will be so they will concentrate on more pressing issues. However, there are regular reminders that such an approach risks disaster and each error or oversight has a human cost. That is why good health and safety practice at work is crucial to any business, however large or small. There are plenty of reasons why it matters, a major one of which is the need to meet legislative demands. Recent years have seen health and safety legislation having a greater impact than ever before on daily business life, and the laws are not just relevant to the likes of factories and chemical plants but also to smaller businesses and places, ranging from schools to community-run leisure centres. Barely a week goes by without a story in the national, local or specialist press

about the consequences of a company or organisation failing in their heath and safety responsibilities. To counter the risks, companies are increasingly turning to outsourced experts. Such specialists are able to take businesses through the increasingly complex health and safety legislation, ensuring that they meet the criteria relevant to their industries. The effect of ignoring health and safety requirements in such areas can be longlasting and devastating, not just for the person involved but for the employer, who may find themselves facing large compensation claims and having to deal with a damaged reputation. Taken to the final extent, there may even be a prosecution with the company taken to court and hit with a hefty fine. According to the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work, good practice is also a way of ensuring that enterprises are successful and sustainable, and that economies thrive in the long term.

It said that good practice: n enhances ‘brand image’ and ‘brand value’ as a socially responsible business n reduces absences and increase the productivity of workers n increases motivation and the commitment of employees to the business n reduces business costs, such as insurance premiums, and business disruption caused by accidents n enables enterprises to meet and exceed customer expectations, which could be crucial when pitching to retain contracts. Get it wrong, and the opposite is true. For the individual, there are the costs of care and loss of earnings and for businesses, disruption, claims for damages, loss of goodwill and loss of confidence in management. All of which adds up to a strong reason for get health and safety right from the start.

OES Construction & Energy Ltd We are constructing OES Construction and Energy is an operating company based in Edinburgh. Our business is ready to provide architectural and engineering services as consultancy and/or construction for houses, flats, offices, hotels, hospitals and outsourcing architecture companies. SERVICES Design stages • Feasibility study • Planning application

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Every 9 minutes, in the UK, an employee is attacked whilst working alone. Employers have a duty of care for ensuring their workforce are protected from assault, attack or injury. We have 60 years of collective experience in the security industry and believe that our Personal Guardian products can truly revolutionise security and safety for lone workers across a variety of sectors.


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Community Benefits Maxi Construction – Let’s Build Together. pursue a career in the construction industry.

It has become increasingly common for public sector construction contracts to include requirements for the provision of Community Benefits. These can range from specific targets for the creation of job opportunities or opportunities (including tender, work and training) for SMEs and supported businesses within geographical areas to support for the wider community, for example, sponsorship of local community groups or events. One area which is attracting a lot of attention at the moment, both within Community Benefit requirements and the construction industry in general, is the promotion of careers in construction within schools and colleges. As a CITB Construction Ambassador our Construction Director, Barry Simpson, contributes to numerous events including careers presentations, mock interviews and work experience placements. For a recent 6th year pupil placement, a 4-week bespoke training plan was formulated which included: n introduction to commercial management and forms of contract

n introduction to site management and responsibilities n completing site records including diaries n accompany members of the site management team on quality and safety inspections n Head Office visit to find out more about the roles completed by all Departments within a construction company. Participation in the work placement helped the school pupil to make the decision to

Providing support for apprenticeships is typically another key area for community benefit requirements. In addition to employment opportunities for apprenticeships, contributions can also be made via hosting site visits/demonstrations and providing work placement opportunities. One of our recent projects enabled us to deliver a 2-month work placement for an apprentice stone mason from The Princes Trust and host a number of traditional craft apprentice visits including a hot lime mortar demonstration. The delivery of community benefits via construction contracts provides support for local authorities’ social, economic and environmental objectives and allows us, as contractors, to give something back to the communities in which we work. Follow us on Twitter @maxiconstruct Follow us on LinkedIn company/maxi-construction-limited

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Learning to Lead – Forth Valley businesses put through their paces As part of our continued partnership with the Armed Forces, we invited our members to come along and learn about leadership from some recognised experts in the field; the soldiers of the Scottish and North Irish Yeomanry! Michelle McKearnon, CEO of Forth Valley Chamber commented, “We know that exforces personnel make ideal employees as they have a strong skill set, a can do attitude and a great teamwork ethic. All of these skills are transferable and we want to encourage our businesses to benefit from this great resource by taking part in events such as the one today. It’s an interesting and fun way to develop your staff – and your managers!”

Strong leadership is vital in any business, whether military or civilian, and the skills of leadership and teamwork training developed in the Armed Forces can be put to very good use across all sectors of the business community. Members of the Chamber were joined by youngsters from Falkirk Football Community Foundation and Larbert High School for an interactive morning of teamwork challenges, led by Regimental Sergeant Major Simon Talbot. Simon has served in the British Army for 26 years and been deployed in both combat and peace operations across the world. He said, “From my perspective, leadership is the single most important element in the building of teams. We can offer an insight into how we do business, and how that applies to the civilian sector. Learning what leaders are, what they know and what they

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do, together with understanding the vision of how to support and challenge your team to deliver goals are all key to achieving results in any industry.”

Martin Allen of the Forth Valley Sensory Centre was one of the participants on the course and he said, “I found the leadership event with Scottish and Irish Yeomanry a very worthwhile exercise. The stories were inspirational but the key thing for me was the approach to problem solving; sometimes the simplest way is the best way. We would all do well to remember that.”


A new name, a Re:markable new era for Scottish business There is no denying the challenges faced by businesses across Scotland are changing. Indeed, the challenges we saw ten, even just five, years ago are different to those we experience nowadays. For many organisations, the challenges of the last decade have been overtaken by new issues emerging alongside the advancements we’ve seen in the ways we work: whether that’s technology-driven or driven by changes to working patterns and wider inclusion, it’s clear that investing in the development of our people is key. Last month marked a significant milestone for the future of Scottish business. Investors in People Scotland, which had been helping and supporting organisations across the country for almost 27 years, chose to radically rebrand with a new name, a new look and a new direction. The result is Re:markable, the new home for Investors in People in Scotland. Peter Russian, Chief Executive, says: “We’re building on the best of what we do, and

responding to the increasing demands from organisations who are looking for specific help and support in addressing the changing challenges of today’s workplace. “Ultimately we believe that organisations are more successful when they develop and give more control to their employees. Our role as Remarkable is to help employers do just that.” Since Investors in People began in 1991, attitudes towards training and development have changed dramatically and thankfully there are more employers investing in skills and development. Attitudes are shifting for the better, and Peter believes Investors in People has been an important part of that change. The decision to rebrand to Remarkable reflects the organisation’s repositioning

as a business focused on organisational development with a wider service offering to support business and economic growth. The internationally recognised Investors in People accreditation (IIP) and Investors in Young People (IIYP) will remain the flagship services, complemented by the roll-out of new services later this year. “We remain committed to the IIP accreditation as an award of quality. We will continue to improve our services by working with Scottish, UK and international partners to share the latest thinking and research on leading practice. People are the key to making organisations remarkable and we believe they perform better when they develop and give more control to their employees.”

Business Scotland



Organised by Inverness Chamber of Commerce and supported by Scottish Provincial Press as media partner, Highland Business Week will run from Monday 25th September through to Friday 29th September, providing Highland companies with excellent opportunities to make new business connections and celebrate their achievements. The week, which is now in its fifth year, will feature an exciting series of events including networking sessions and seminars as well as the firmly established Highland Spotlight business to business exhibition and the annual Highland Business Awards lunch.

Highland Business Dinner Organised by Inverness Chamber of Commerce, the annual Highland Business Dinner took place on Friday 19th May at the Drumossie Hotel, Inverness, and proved once again to be the leading business event in the Highlands.

Over £7,000 was raised for the event’s nominated charity, Blythswood Care, through a high-end prize draw and auction which included items such as a signed John Lowrie Morrison print and tickets to see Emeli Sandé live in concert at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, commented: “Having sold out before we’d even announced our speaker for 2017, the Highland Business Dinner has certainly grown to be the annual highlight for

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“The Highland Business Awards encourage entries from the wider Highland business community and our close relationship with Caithness and Lochaber Chambers, as well as the Cairngorm hip has helped us to engage with their members guaranteeing submissions cover the whole of the Highlands. “Highland Spotlight this year takes place on Tuesday 26th September and always attracts a significant number of Highland business delegates – with over 400 visitors through the doors in 2016.”

Attended by over 350 business men and women from across the Highland region, guests were treated to political insight from BBC Radio Broadcaster and current special correspondent on Radio 4’s Today programme, James Naughtie (pictured). Willie Cameron, often known as “Mr Loch Ness”, who has presided over the flagship event as Master of Ceremonies for a number of years, provided an entertaining round up of current affairs and significant events over the year, Chamber President Liam Christie delivering updates from the last 12 months at Inverness Chamber of Commerce.

Paula Nicol, Events Manager at Inverness Chamber of Commerce said: “It’s been great to see once again, a fantastic reaction to the launch of Highland Business Week again and this year’s programme of events looks set to be our busiest yet.

hundreds of the region’s business leaders. The event always provides a fantastic opportunity to reflect, celebrate and network in excellent company. “It’s not just good fun, it’s good for business. Many of the best connections I have made over the years have been across the tables of our annual flagship event, and I hope this tradition continues for many years to come. On behalf of Inverness Chamber of Commerce, I would like to thank our Partners for their support of the Highland Business Dinner – thanks to their backing the dinner continues to be an unmissable event in the Highland business calendar.” In recent years, speakers at the Highland Business Dinner have featured an eclectic mix of top journalists and renowned politicians from Jon Snow and Andrew Neil, to Anne Widdecombe and Michael Portillo.

The Highland Business Awards on Friday 29th September receive entries for 12 categories ranging from ‘Most Promising New Business’ and ‘Best Family Business’ to ‘Exporter of the Year’. One business will also be crowned overall winner as ‘Highland Business of the Year.’ The Award winners will be announced at a lunch for around 300 business men and women at the Drumossie Hotel. “I’m extremely excited about the buzz which can already be felt around Highland Business Week 2017” said Lana MacGregor, Events Co-ordinator for Inverness Chamber: “We have secured events for each day of the week in Inverness, and Caithness Chamber will run a programme of events to compliment the week but if you are not local, you can still participate! For the past couple of years, the social media influence of our dedicated accounts has been tremendous, with #HighlandBizWk reaching over one million accounts.


Inverness – Augsburg Trade Visit 8th – 10th May 2017 Inverness Chamber International recently led a delegation on behalf of Scottish Chambers on a highly successful trade visit to the Bavarian region of Germany. A total of ten businesses were involved in the visit on 8th – 10th May, with representation from three key areas: food and drink, life sciences, and renewables. Organisations participating included the University of the Highlands and Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP. The visit was a fantastic opportunity to find out more about business in the Augsburg region and the potential opportunities available for exploration. Meetings and company visits were hugely informative and of great interest; demonstrating the benefits of a shared vision between Bavaria and the Highlands. Visits to IHK Schwaben in Augsburg and the Bavarian Ministry for Economic Affairs in Munich were of significant benefit to us, as a Chamber, and visits to the Riegele

WirtsHaus and the Rewe and Karstadt shops were hugely valuable to many of the businesses involved. As well as building on the existing relationship with the Augsburg Klinikum, the visit also managed to incorporate an opportunity to explore renewable energy prospects; making it a varied but effective three days overall. Speaking at the 18th National Economic Forum in Inverness on Friday 12th May, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recognised that Scottish Chambers of Commerce are ideally placed to help business trade globally. She said: “Just two days ago, Inverness Chamber led a delegation of Highland Businesses to Augsburg and Munich. This is exactly what I mean.” Stewart Nicol, Chief Executive of Inverness Chamber of Commerce added: “This is fantastic recognition for our visit, on a national level. We’re delighted that we were able to facilitate the trip and look forward to building on our Bavarian connections.”

This trade visit was Inverness Chamber International’s first ever international delegation and follows on from the Joint Declaration signed by the First Minister of Scotland and Ilse Aigner, Deputy MinisterPresident of Bavaria, in March, encouraging enhanced economic co-operation between the two areas.

Moray offers fantastic opportunity to local pupils Developing the Young Workforce Moray (DYW) have given eighty-four secondary pupils from across Moray the opportunity to be involved in a Digital Media Project. The project is in partnership with Northport Studio of Elgin and aims to support the Moray Skills Framework. The collaborative project allowed participating schools the opportunity to research and select four local businesses from their allocated business growth sector. The pupils prepared a professional ‘pitch’ to highlight the variety of job roles existing within each sector in the hope that they would be chosen to work alongside the team at Northport Studio to produce a series of films capturing business diversity in Moray. The DYM Moray Manager, Moira Stickle says, “This is a fantastic opportunity to engage with pupils in secondary schools in Moray. Offering them a work relevant experience which will help them develop their creativity, self-management, teamworking, communication, leadership and ultimately their employability skills – in line with the Moray Skills Framework. Pupils have the opportunity to follow a commercial bid process, with each school having selected their best three proposals before the film-makers decided the eventual winners. The whole process has been fascinating.” Pupils from the winning successful teams at Buckie High, Keith Grammar, Elgin High

and Speyside High School will participate in introductory workshops at the Northport Studio over summer before filming begins in August. The Northport Studio Education Liaison Officer, Anne Duncan concluded, “This was a tough challenge for the last few weeks of the school term. However, the energy and

enthusiasm of the pupils is infectious, and it was extremely hard to make that final selection. We congratulate all the students involved in stage one and look forward to working with the winners and their chosen businesses over the next five months.” To find out more, visit

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AN ENVIRONMENT TO INSPIRE IDEAS THAT CHANGE THE WORLD Located in the heart of Edinburgh, the EICC boasts a series of innovative event suites, all of which are fully accessible and incredibly flexible - but above all, our venue provides the perfect environment to inspire the vital networking and sharing of ideas which bring your event to life. Contact us today to discuss the requirements for your next event.

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Bring your group for a fun, interactive experience at the recently renovated Fairmont St Andrews. We have partnered with Maximillion to bring you a Wild Goose GPS treasure hunt around the historic town of St Andrews. Endless fun that is sure to get the most out of your team! • • • • • • • •


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Business Meetings

In a Business Environment Both Algo and Inveralmond Business Centre have a range of meeting and conference rooms available to suit all your enquirments. All rooms Provide: • • • • •

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Tel: 01738 450 450

Treat your colleagues like Royalty with the ultimate Christmas party on board The Royal Yacht Britannia, Her Majesty The Queen’s former floating palace. Take in the sumptuous decorations and immerse yourself in Britannia’s festive traditions, before enjoying an exquisite four course dinner, served by Britannia’s butlers in the stunning State Dining Room, where kings and queens, world leaders and celebrities have all been wined and dined. Book now for a Christmas event of a lifetime aboard one of the most luxurious venues in the world. | 0131 555 8800 |

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Registered charity: SC028070


Bees knees Business Awards

Bee’s Knees Business Awards 2017 category winners

Inverclyde’s most iconic businessman Aldo Spella scored success at the Bee’s Knees Business Awards 2017 by picking up the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award.

Best Performing Small/Medium Business, sponsored by Waterfront Cinema Union Projects

In the 1960s he changed the local social scene by introducing the bistro experience and accompanying carry out trade. His career influence and achievements over the decades have resulted in major jobs creation and economic benefit to the lower Clyde, making him a worthy recipient of the award. For the past fourteen years local businesses have gathered to celebrate their success and achievements at the Bee’s Knees Business Awards. The annual awards gala dinner and ceremony was held in front of an audience of 300 in the Marquee at the Chartroom, Kip Marina. The awards have a number of local sponsors including Calmac Ferries, Holiday Inn and Waterfront Cinema. President of Inverclyde Chambers of Commerce, Linda Scott, congratulated Aldo and the other ten category winners, “Our warm congratulations go to Aldo and another fantastic line up of Bee’s Knees Business Awards winners,”

The gala dinner and awards ceremony are the highlight of our Chamber calendar of events. The awards initiative gives companies the opportunity to show their achievements and their ambitions, providing the backcloth and foundation for continued Inverclyde growth. We thank all our sponsors for joining with us to recognise the great talent we have here in Inverclyde.” As well as enjoying the accolades of success, category winners were awarded a crystal trophy and framed certificate. For their own promotional purposes, media sponsor Gryffe Studios provides them with a broadcast quality DVD showcasing their business, which was screened for the first time at the awards dinner. Other Bee’s Knees Business Awards sponsors are Elaine Stewart Public Relations, Love & Humphries, Wild Rose Flowers and BEP Signs.

Best Performing Large Business, sponsored by premier partner Riverside Inverclyde Ferguson Marine Most Promising New Business, sponsored by Holiday Inn Express Hotel Lose It and Love It Emerging Young Talent, sponsored by Texas Instruments Claire McParland, Deputy Manager, Holiday Inn Express Hotel Excellence in Customer Focus, sponsored by premier partner Inverclyde Council Waterfront Cinema Excellence in Marketing & Communications, sponsored by premier partner Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce Wet Wall Works Best Use of New Technology or Innovation, sponsored by Autotec Scotland RIG Arts Manufacturer or Producer of the Year, sponsored by Union Projects Ferguson Marine Excellence in Skills and Learning, sponsored by West College Scotland Morton in the Community Proud to be in Inverclyde, sponsored by CalMac Ferries Scotland’s Boat Show

Business Scotland



Helping Lochaber to flourish Lesley Benfield, CEO of Lochaber Chamber of Commerce explains why it’s so important to support the local wider business community to ensure that Lochaber flourishes as a great place to work.

DG Chamber Lunch 2017 Book your tickets now for the annual DGChamber Business Lunch on September 22nd 2017 at The Crichton Church, Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries. With more than 200 of the region’s most influential business people in attendance, the lunch is a real highlight of the region’s business calendar, and this year’s special guest speaker is the Chief Executive of STV, Rob Woodward. He will be speaking about his fascinating career to date, his work as chairman of the Scottish Government’s Developing the Young Workforce project, and the challenge of delivering trusted local news and information across an ever-expanding number of broadcast and digital platforms. Tickets for DGChamber Lunch 2017 are on sale now: £35 for members; £45 for non-members; tables of 10 are available from £335. Contact Business Development Manager Lee Medd on 01387 270866;

New Project Director Developing the Young Workforce Dumfries & Galloway is pleased to announce the appointment of Tricia Hunter as the new Project Director for the project. Tricia joins the DGChamber backed project having previously managed Minerva People, the award winning Scottish training provider and a recruitment agency. Tricia will be based in Dumfries and replaces former Project Director Brian Richardson who is heading up the DGChamber special project team.

Business Scotland


In today’s connected world, we can’t help but be aware that the news is often less than optimistic surrounding the economy, the future, and life outside Europe. However, according to recent reports, Scotland has not only escaped recession, but has in fact grown by 0.8 percent in the first quarter this year, the strongest growth for some time. In the recent HIE Business Panel Survey, 76% of businesses are optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months, however SME’s are less likely to experience the same growth as being forecasted by larger companies. Additionally, the employment uncertainty surrounding Brexit has already this year created challenges within the tourism sector due to lack of availability of seasonal work force: typically, 2 in 5 small businesses employ a non-UK member of staff. Despite this, it is far from doom and gloom. Many small businesses, the lifeblood of our future, are still actively recruiting and creating new jobs. In Lochaber we are still experiencing high levels of growth in tourism and business investment, with many businesses expanding their existing operations, or people moving into the area to combine a business start up with a lifestyle choice; Lochaber is absolutely a great place to live, work, study and visit. One concern I do have however, is regarding the professional services sector. These SME’s make a valuable contribution to our local economy: where would we all be without the architect, surveyor, engineer, accountant, lawyer or other business professional to call on and who understands the local area and our needs? Increasingly, and despite the Scottish Governments’ procurement policy, local authorities appear to be awarding tenders outside their local region which then has a double negative: not only does it mean that wealth is dispersed elsewhere, but it also means that local businesses are not being supported and the wider local economy suffers from lower income levels.

We’ve seen Highland Council spend 10% less in 2015/16 with local SME’s than it did 4 years previously with many of the contracts being awarded to larger businesses outside Lochaber, who have economies of scale and quote lower prices. Local SME’s might appear less competitive, but invariably offer valued advantages by being on the door step with local knowledge and beneficial contacts. Most worrying of all within this trend is the loss of opportunity for the professional services sector to create high worth, sustainable local jobs for the region’s young work force. Lochaber Chamber of Commerce hosts one of Scotland’s 21 Developing the Young Workforce Groups; an industry led approach to engage business with local young people, allowing insight into their industry and the opportunity to develop and source their future workforce. Earlier this month, the Government funding for the programme was extended to 2021 which is fantastic news, however at the same time if business contracts are being awarded outside the region, the small local business is challenged in being able to offer apprenticeship and trainee opportunities in these key professions. Lesley Benfield CEO Lochaber Chamber of Commerce commented: “We have already seen significant success for the Developing the Young Workforce in Lochaber, Skye & Wester Ross and we know that spending money with local SME’s benefits the local economy. As a business support organisation we will be working very hard with all the relevant agencies to ensure we have a far more joined up approach so that Lochaber can continue to flourish and continue to be a great place to work for everyone” Lesley Benfield 01397 705765

We have already seen significant success for the Developing the Young Workforce in Lochaber, Skye & Wester Ross and we know that spending money with local SME’s benefits the local economy.


Donna Kudarenko (Employer Engagement Advisor), Liz Jackson (DYW P&K Vice Chair), Steven Stewart (DYW P&K Chair), Fiona Reith (Manager), John Robertson (Employer Engagement Advisor)

Supporting our future workforce East Renfrewshire Business Awards 2017 –winners announced The most prestigious night in East Renfrewshire’s business calendar seen 150 guests attend the Busby Hotel to celebrate the East Renfrewshire Business Awards 2017. Top performing businesses gathered to celebrate their achievements and success. The event hosted by East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce successfully raised £1400 for Alzheimer Scotland East Renfrewshire. The night was hosted by Karen Dunbar and guests were entertained by X-Factor’s Emily Middlemas. Chamber President, John F Hamilton said, “We are delighted with the response to this year’s Business Awards. The awards have provided a platform for celebrating the category winners and their tremendous achievements. The winners really do showcase the best of East Renfrewshire’s thriving business sector. The Awards would not have been possible without the support of our sponsors and I would like to thank them all for their commitment to this event.” Audrey Ross, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland said: “We are delighted to be this year’s principal sponsor of the East Renfrewshire Business Awards and the category sponsor of the ‘Developing East Renfrewshire’s Young Person’s Workforce Award’. “Being involved has given our business the opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the East Renfrewshire area as our plan to deliver new developments at Neilston and Maidenhill in Newton Mearns progresses. “The winners have impressed the panel of judges and I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone. The winners in each category are an incredible showcase for their drive, spirit and commitment to the local area.”

The 2017 Winners Developing East Renfrewshire’s Young Workforce Award sponsored by Taylor Wimpey Scotland West Barrhead Travel Community Impact Award sponsored by East Renfrewshire Council Pioneer Mutual Credit Union Ltd Family Business Award sponsored by CALA Homes Tailor Maid Home Care Limited Excellence in Customer Service Award sponsored by the Avenue Shopping Centre The Busby Hotel Most Promising New Business Award sponsored by Barrhead Travel I-Kick Martial Arts Ltd Excellence in Innovation Award sponsored by George Leslie Ltd Fatburn Extreme Ltd East Renfrewshire’s Best Business Award (10 employees or less) sponsored by Business Gateway First Floors (Scotland) Ltd East Renfrewshire’s Best Business Award (11 employees or more) sponsored by Miller Homes George Leslie Ltd

A national programme funded by the Scottish Government, Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), has been established to invest in Scotland’s young people, helping them to get work ready and ensure employers have access to the right skills to support their growth ambitions. Local regional employer led DYW groups have now been established across the country which will focus, at ground level, on increasing employers’ engagement with schools and colleges and encouraging them to recruit more young people into their workforce. Steve Stewart, Director of Perthshire Chamber of Commerce and Chair of DYW Perth and Kinross (DYW P&K) group said: “Being an employer led board, we understand our local economy, its needs and its challenges. We are delighted to now have our full team in place to drive our local strategy forward and work on developing sustainable links between employers, local schools and Perth College UHI.” “There is currently some good work going on between some of our employers (around 1000) and schools. However we still need to do more. The new team’s focus will be to simplify the connections between business and education – encouraging the rest of our 6,000 employers, large and small, to get involved to take things to the next level.” “We have also had invaluable support from organisations supporting the local business community including the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce. These partnerships are critical as we develop our programme,” Steve added. Fiona Reith who heads up the team DYW P&K, concluded: “Working across the region, the team is here to act as the voice of the employer.” Get Involved - Contact the team on or visit

Business Scotland



DYW launches new website June saw DYW and Dundee and Angus College jointly host an afternoon tea at the Training Restaurant within the College. The idea behind the event was to create a passion and enthusiasm for hospitality within schools, to inform people of the career opportunities available within the Hospitality Industry and to look at how to create a parity of esteem between careers within hospitality and other industries. DYW wanted to look at the variety of educational routes into hospitality and to look at the types of pupils that would be suited to a career in the sector. Discussions were encouraged about what we can do to ’future proof’ the industry and try to fill the gaps that there are currently in mid to high level jobs. Hospitality and Tourism is a key sector for Scotland, and for Dundee & Angus in particular, with the opening in 2018 of the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee estimated to attract over 275,000 visitors each year. Helping young people develop their skills and attract them into careers in this sector is vital in ensuring our businesses can thrive and cope with customer demand. With a wide variety of careers in hospitality, this industry will deliver many opportunities for young people to build long-lasting and successful careers, with a wide variety of extremely transferable skills and knowledge. A very attractive option indeed! Visit for more information about the many activities that the team are offering for employers to connect with young people and influence teaching and curriculum across schools and college courses.

Business Scotland


Dundee & Angus Chamber delivers Schools Enterprise Challenge event Pupils from all Dundee and Angus secondary schools took part in the second George Donald Fund Secondary School’s Enterprise Challenge Event. The challenge involved teams of 4 pupils from each school tackling a live business challenge in a competitive environment and up against tight deadlines. Each school was sponsored by a business who gave practical advice and support during the event. The teams had the opportunity to discuss their business ideas with ‘marketing panels’ comprising local marketing professionals. They were given 2 minutes to present their business idea at the end of the day and create an A1 poster demonstrating how their business idea could be resourced. Judging the business ideas were Alison Henderson, Chief Executive Officer at the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, Ian Collins, Area Director of Local Banking, Bank of Scotland and Dr Masoumeh Velayati, Assistant Professor (Lecturer) in Gender and Development at Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education. They chose an ambitious airport expansion plan by Braeview Academy, whose business sponsor was Key Talent Partners, as the overall winner. The ‘Pupil’s Choice’ award went to Carnoustie High, sponsored by

the Carnoustie Golf Hotel, for their new enterprise which introduced shuttle bus tours around the Dundee and Angus area. Helen Smith, Senior Lecturer from Dundee Business School at Abertay University said “The Schools Enterprise Challenge brings together partners from education, business and social enterprise to create a unique learning opportunity for the young people of Dundee and Angus. We also introduce the school pupils to student mentors studying a variety of courses at Abertay”. Alison Henderson, Chamber CEO added “The highlight was seeing the teamwork of the schools and the companies. The energy and the ideas coming from the pupils was truly amazing. The important takeaway from the day is continuing the relationship between the businesses and the schools. We’ve had a tremendous response from Chamber members and other local companies willing to share their knowledge and expertise while working with the school teams.”


Celebrate our special year It began with our Platinum Anniversary Dinner in March at Trump Turnberry, hit the fairways at Dundonald Links and continues throughout the year with several prestigious and fun events to celebrate 70 years of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce. A fun programme was designed to offer less formal opportunities to network, entertain clients and celebrate Ayrshire’s largest business network turning 70. Chief Executive Val Russell said: “What a fitting way to start a year of Platinum Anniversary celebrations with a fantastic evening in equally stunning surroundings. “While paying tribute to Ayrshire businesses from the past we are keen to keep moving forward to ensure our region’s economy flourishes for the next 70 years and we will be doing that over the next 12 months. Lorna Gibson, Vice President of Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce and chair of the Platinum Events committee, said: “Being in business for this length of time is something to shout about we feel and this is why we created a calendar of events commemorate that. “The Platinum Dinner, sponsored by First Independent Finance, in March at Trump Turnberry was a massive success and the Platinum Golf Challenge was an excellent day at Dundonald Links in May. “We’re now looking forward to the Platinum 5-a-side cup in June and seeing all the teams entered trying to secure a place in the Grand Final at Rugby Park in July.

“With no football this summer it’s perfect for all football fans to get their football fix before the season starts up again.” The Platinum Events working group is made of Chamber staff and Board of Directors. Ayrshire Chamber Events Co-ordinator Yvonne Munro, said: “It has been a great start to our Platinum series of events and we’re looking forward to seeing as many of our membership throughout the year at these events, as well as our usual calendar of events to benefit your business. “We’ll be hosting a series of events including fun sporting competitions including football and golf and to social evenings like a Platinum Race Night and the Great Ayrshire Bake Off competition.”

Lorna added: “We’re excited with what we have planned for the remainder of the year and into 2018 including a very special Audience with event with Sir Tom Hunter at Dumfries House in November. The Platinum Series of events has been made possible by the support of local businesses who have kindly agreed to sponsors and support events – First Independent Finance, Billy Bowie Tankers, The PGA European Tour, SimpsInns, QTS Group, Crucial Drinks, Seamill Hydro and Ayrshire College. Full details on the Platinum events calendar will be revealed throughout the year on our website at

Connecting Ayrshire for Growth Ayrshire Business Week returns in October to give businesses the platform to develop, and grow their organisation to the biggest audience in the region. The five-day series of events is now in its tenth year taking places in venues across Ayrshire between Monday 9th October and Friday 13th October. Ayrshire Chamber Chief Executive, Val Russell, said: “Ayrshire Business Week is all about providing opportunity, developing skillsets and growing the area’s economy. “Each year, the Ayrshire business community turnout throughout the week for the chance to meet new customers, make new partnerships, develop and celebrate the region’s economic successes. “The programme is varied and offers something for all and I thank our

supporting sponsors for the continued backing of Ayrshire Business Week.” Kicked off by Business Gateway Ayrshire at Dumfries House with The Business Fairground: Riding the Rollercoaster on Monday 9th October at 9.30am. Full details can be found on their website. On the Tuesday, Ayrshire’s biggest business to business and trade conference takes place at The Park Hotel, Kilmarnock. ‘Connect for Growth’ will see 100 stands with some of the area’s best businesses represented. In a slight change to the format, the B2B conference will be shorter, the informal Connect Networking replaces the facilitated Tick Talk networking and there will be a special ‘Ayrshire talks’ Made in Ayrshire and a panel discussion on media. ‘Women Mean Business’ Lunch on

Wednesday at Seamill Hydro will be attended by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce providing more opportunity to network with businesses further afield. A new addition to the programme is an International Trade specific event, recognising the growing number of Ayrshire businesses who are exporting abroad. Val added: “We’re pleased to have introduced an International Trade specific event which reflects the growing amount of Ayrshire companies producing goods required across the globe.” Business Week 2017 rounds off on Friday 13th October with the Ayrshire Business Awards at Ayr Racecourse where the winners of the 15 categories will be revealed with host Colin McArdle. Full details of Ayrshire Business Week can be found at

Business Scotland




Scottish Chambers of Commerce 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 8316 F: 0141 204 8371 E: President – Tim Allan Chief Executive - Liz Cameron OBE

Dumfries & Galloway Chamber of Commerce

Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce The Hub, Exploration Drive Aberdeen Energy Park, Bridge of Don Aberdeen, AB23 8GX T: 01224 343900 E: Chief Executive - Russell Borthwick President - John Brebner Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce & Industry The Mezzanine, Glasgow Prestwick International Airport, Prestwick, KA9 2PL T: 01292 678 666 F: 01292 678 667 E: Chief Executive - Val Russell President - Graeme McKinstry Cairngorms Business Partnership Ltd Inverdruie House, Inverdruie Aviemore, PH22 1QH T: 01479 780539 E: Chief Executive - Mark Tate President - Steve Oliver Caithness Chamber of Commerce Naver Business Centre Naver House, Naver Road Thurso, KW14 7QA T: 01847 890076 E: Chief Executive - Trudy Morris Chairman - Stephen Sutherland

Business Scotland


Hillhead House, The Crichton, Bankend Road Dumfries, DG1 4UQ T: 01387 270866 E: Chief Executive – Brian Richardson President – Tom Armstrong Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce Whitecrook Business Centre 78 Whitecrook Street, Clydebank, G81 1QF T: 0141 280 0272 E: Chief Executive - Damon Scott President - Stewart Rennie Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce Unit 27, City Quay, Camperdown Street Dundee, DD1 3JA T: 01382 228545 F: 01382 228441 E: Chief Executive - Alison Henderson President - Colin Loveday East Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Barrhead Foundry Main Street, Barrhead, East Renfrewshire, G78 1SW T: 0141 887 6181 E: President: John F Hamilton Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce 40 George Street, 2nd floor Edinburgh, EH2 2LE T: 0131 221 2999 F: 0131 261 5056 E: Chief Executive – Liz McAreavey President - Scott Black

Fife Chamber of Commerce Evans Business Centre, 1 Begg Road John Smith Business Park Kirkcaldy, KY2 6HD T: 01592 647740 E: CEO – Alan Mitchell President – Peter Southcott Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce Group (incorporating Stirling Chamber of Commerce) Suite 2, Scion House Stirling University Innovation Park Stirling, FK9 4NF T: 01324 665 500 E: Chief Executive – Michelle McKearnon Chairman – Justin Grace Glasgow Chamber of Commerce 30 George Square, Glasgow, G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 2121 E: Chief Executive Stuart Patrick President - Neil Amner Inverclyde Chamber of Commerce Room 5, Victoria House, 5 East Blackhall Street, Greenock PA15 1HD T: 01475 806824 M: 07939 272787 E: Inverclyde Chamber of Senior Executive Office Commerce Margaret Moran President - Linda Scott


Inverness Chamber of Commerce Metropolitan House 31-33 High Street, Inverness, IV1 1HT T: 01463 718 131 E: Chief Executive - Stewart Nicol President - Liam Christie Lochaber Chamber of Commerce Station Square, Fort William Inverness-shire, PH33 6EN T: 01397 705 765 E: Chairman - Bruno Berardelli Chief Executive - Lesley Benfield Midlothian & East Lothian Chamber of Commerce Moulsdale House, Edinburgh College 24d Milton Road East, Edinburgh, EH15 2PP T: 0131 603 5043 E: Executive Director George Archibald President - Keith Barbour Moray Chamber of Commerce Suite 7, Elgin Business Centre Maisondieu Road, Elgin, IV30 1QP T: 01343 543344 E: Chief Executive - Sarah Medcraf Executive Director Margery A McLennan President Carol Stewart

Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Saltire House, 3 Whitefriars Crescent Perth, PH2 0PA T: 01738 448 325 F: 01738 450 402 E: Chief Executive - Vicki Unite President - Ross Graham

Scottish Chambers of Commerce Scottish Chambers of Commerce 30 George Square Glasgow G2 1EQ T: 0141 204 8316 F: 0141 204 8371 E: @ScotChambers Like us on Facebook

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Bute Court, St Andrews Drive Glasgow Airport Paisley, PA3 2SW T: 0141 847 5450 F: 0141 847 5499 E: Chief Executive – Bob Grant President – Tom Johnston

Production & Design Distinctive Publishing Unit 6b, Floor B, Milburn House Dean Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 1LE Telephone 0845 884 2384

Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce Academy House, Shedden Park Road Kelso, TD5 7AL T: 07771 865 758 E: Convenor - Jack Clark Vice Convenor - Bruce Simpson West Lothian Chamber of Commerce Alba Centre, Alba Business Park Rosebank, Livingston, EH54 7EG T: 01506 414808 E: Chief Executive Linda Scott President Billy MacLeod

Advertising John Neilson Commercial Director Telephone 07813 874970 This publication is also available as an ebook at:


Distinctive Publishing or Scottish Chambers of Commerce cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies that may occur, individual products or services advertised or late entries. No part of this publication may be reproduced or scanned without prior written permission of the publishers and Scottish Chambers of Commerce.

Business Scotland



Iconic route to create positive economic impact ©VisitScotland

The ‘Snow Roads’ scenic route will see many businesses within and surrounding the Cairngorms National Park benefit greatly from increased tourism that the new route will bring.

Mark Tate

Chief Executive Cairngorms Business Partnership The ‘Snow Roads’ route will develop a scenic tourist route running through the heart of the Cairngorms National park and enhance further the iconic journey through Cairngorms, linking Blairgowrie in Perthshire to Grantown-on-Spey in the Highlands (A939) via Glenshee, Braemar, Ballater and Tomintoul. Scott Morrison, the managing director of Dunrobin Castle in Sutherland, addressed businesses attending the Cairngorms Business Partnership Spring Conference themed around the ‘Snow Roads’ initiative and hailed the record breaking visitor numbers to the Castle as a product of the successful ‘North Coast 500’ route ; annual visitor numbers have gone from 67,000 to 85,000 since this route was launched. As Scott Morrison stated, “My advice for

businesses in and around the Snow Roads is to grab hold of the opportunity and make it work for you. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences and demonstrating the benefits a route like this can bring to communities.” The ‘Snow Roads’ initiative will cost £315,000 and a £245,000 grant from Scottish Enterprise has been awarded under the Tourism Development Fund. The Cairngorms Business Partnership and Cairngorms National Park Authority will supplement the remaining funding. The Cairngorms Business Partnership will deliver the Snow Roads initiative with the appointment of a Project Manager. Jennifer Green is now in post for the next two years to commission the latest in Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technology, and to collate local stories and legends for the creation of a digital toolkit which will bring the route to life for visitors. Head of Visitor Services with the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Peter Crane said, “We have already received great support

©James Donlan

from local land owners and communities regarding the installations along the route and there is a real excitement building for the project among all involved. Together with the Cairngorms Business Partnership we will drive the project forward to create a truly inspiring and immersive scenic route.” Mark Tate, the chief executive of the Cairngorms Business Partnership, explained the aim is to create a must-do scenic route through the Cairngorms National Park. He concluded, “We have an exciting opportunity to create a truly immersive visitor experience and a destination road which will have a major positive economic impact on communities and businesses along the route.”

We have an exciting opportunity to create a truly immersive visitor experience and a destination road which will have a major positive economic impact on communities and businesses along the route. Business Scotland



HORIZON. Delta is committed to pushing the limits of how great travel can be. Whether you are catching an early flight to pitch new business or taking your next holiday, you deserve the best experience along the way. We’re honoured to have been named Business Airline of the Year 2017 from Business Travel Awards and we vow to keep moving forward in the years ahead.











With connections to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness, Heathrow is the gateway to global markets for Scottish exports – like whisky from the Tomatin Distillery. Expansion will double our cargo capacity and create new domestic and international trading routes, helping businesses in Scotland boost exports. Heathrow expansion is part of the plan to strengthen Scotland’s future. That’s why we are getting on with delivering the new runway. Find out more about the opportunities Heathrow is creating for Scotland’s businesses at our Business Summit in Edinburgh on 18th October:


Business Scotland 9  

Business Scotland is the media publication for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Business Scotland 9  

Business Scotland is the media publication for the Scottish Chambers of Commerce