SCOTTISH Business Week 2022 took place virtually last week, with over 1,200 registrations from business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs across the country.
The free event, organized by Business Gateway and its national support partners including Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, South of Scotland Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, and sponsored by British Business Bank, saw over 40 webinars and masterclasses presented during the week.
Councilor Gail Macgregor, the environment and economy spokesperson for COSLA, opened the events. She spoke of the demanding circumstances that Scottish business owners find themselves in and the unique resilience of the Scottish people that helps the business world to persist despite the extreme challenges they face.
A panel discussion led by Business Gateway Managing Director Hugh Lightbody explored the support landscape, focusing on the help available immediately to businesses. Hugh was joined by representatives from all business support agencies, who provided updates on how they have adapted their support to meet business demands following the continued impact of the pandemic and gave clear indications on where to seek funding.
Other events also explored opportunities through digital transformation, learning opportunities and market research. Each discussion opened the floor to the participants, with the possibility of asking questions to the panelists and the speakers.
Business coach Jayne Murdoch of South of Scotland Enterprise led a panel discussion on the business landscape for women in business, which was attended by over 60 guests. Inspirational discussions from panelists including Carolyn Currie of Women’s Enterprise Scotland; Jo Chidley of Beauty Kitchen Ltd; and egg’s Kylie Reid, explored barriers to funding, the strong network of businesses in Scotland and the opportunities that arise from a greater diversity of the workforce.
Carolyn Currie commented, “Gender diversity drives step-change innovation. It’s the kind of innovation that makes us competitive as a nation and drives the economy.
Keynote speakers for the week included Ivan McKee, Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and Enterprise for the Scottish Government; Andrew Dobbie, Founder/CEO, MadeBrave; Paul Wheelhouse, Net Zero Implementer – Energy Transition, South of Scotland Enterprise.
Gail Macgregor, spokesperson for environment and economy at COSLA, said: “Scottish Business Week 2022 has brought together some of the best and most innovative thought leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country, to share ideas, experiences, create discussions and most importantly, provide a sense of community for Scottish business owners and aspiring start-ups.
“During these difficult times, the event was also an opportunity for us to report vital information on managing the economic and labor challenges facing the country, as well as more in-depth sessions on the access to finance and building basic business skills I am confident that the event will have inspired the next group of entrepreneurs to take the plunge and set up a business in Scotland.
Also participating in the discussions were several small businesses that had been supported by Business Gateway throughout their start-up and growth journey. They shared their own experiences working alongside Business Gateway, as well as the knowledge, tips and advice they gained along the way.
All sessions will soon be available for download on the Business Gateway website at www.bgateway.com