North East Business Week to Shine a Light on the Future of Aberdeen City and Shire
Creating an enterprising and prosperous future for Aberdeen city and shire will be the focus of North East Business Week 2017, which starts on Monday, April 24.
Now in its seventh year, North East Business Week – which this year has the theme Opportunity Driving Growth - is led by core business support organisations Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Elevator, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and SCDI.
Local organisations including Aberdeen University, Robert Gordon University (RGU), Developing the Young Workforce (DYW), Skills Development Scotland (SDS), North East Scotland College (NESCol) and Young Enterprise Scotland, will host a range of events across Aberdeen city and shire.
There will also be a new final event delivered by Opportunity North East (ONE) on Friday, April 28, which will engage young business people and students from the universities and college in a facilitated discussion on future trends in business and society, and how these will impact on the major industry sectors in the North-east of Scotland. Those taking part will hear about the economic challenges facing the region, the Renaissance vision for the economy and the diversification strategy to broaden and strengthen the region’s industrial base.
ONE will also set out its short-term priorities before exploring the major trends that present new opportunities for the area’s major industries. Attendees will discuss which trends are likely to have the greatest impact in the region and how opportunities can be maximised within key sectors. The outcomes from the discussion will inform the development of future projects and provide the basis for further dialogue with stakeholders.
Elevator and Business Gateway’s ‘What’s After Gin?’ event will take place on Tuesday, April 25, at new Aberdeenshire venue The Barn at Barra Castle. Hosted by Sarah Stephen of Barra Berries, speakers include local entrepreneur Ben Iravani, who will share details of his journey with Porter’s Gin, and Jayne Carmichael-Norrie, founder of The Gin Room, who will discuss how to identify markets. The second half of the event will be an interactive Innovation in the Wild session with Steve Harrison of Scottish Enterprise.
Elevator Deputy CEO Graham Morgan said: “Every year we are encouraged by the enthusiasm we see in the business community to take part in North East Business Week, and we are always impressed by the level of discussion which takes place across the events. This year’s theme is particularly relevant at a time when the region is going through a period of economic uncertainty. However, the quality of events on offer reflects the fact that there is optimism for the future and an appetite for the business community to come together and learn from each other.
“Elevator’s ‘What’s after gin?’ event is going to provide a unique insight into how innovation can create business opportunities. There has been massive growth across the gin industry in Scotland in recent years and its success provides excellent learning opportunities for businesses operating across other sectors.”
Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce will host an Opportunity Driving Growth Business Breakfast on Wednesday, April 26, with keynote speakers BBC Scotland Chief Operating Officer Alan Dickson and Geraldine McCartney, BBC Scotland Finance Business Partner.
The breakfast will be followed by The Ultimate Business Show (TUBS), which will take place at the AECC throughout the day and will feature more than 70 local exhibitors showcasing their products and services. There will be a series of free seminar sessions, which will aim to provide the right tools and knowledge to secure new business and raise a company's profile.
Russell Borthwick, Chief Executive of Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce, said: “Aberdeen is currently at a crossroads, but there is now a cohesive plan in place and progress underway to reinvent the future economy of the region, what with The Regional Economic Strategy, City Region Deal, City Centre Masterplan, the sector diversification agenda and over £5billion of infrastructure projects currently in the pipeline.
“However, it isn’t just the role of our local authorities and ONE to drive our economic development and shape the future of our area – if we are to achieve our ambition it will take a collective effort. It is everyone’s responsibility to do their bit. North East Business Week provides an ideal opportunity for everyone to engage and help to create the legacy we all want - a more economically vibrant region will benefit us all as well as the organisations we work for.”
Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish Policy Convenor said: “North East Business Week is now a firm fixture in the Aberdeen City and Shire business calendar. In these uncertain times, there is an even greater need for businesses of all shapes and sizes to arm themselves with the tools they need to exploit new opportunities and face the future ready to take action.
“Getting and keeping the right people to help your business grow is vital. Our Banchory event, Skill Up Your Business, will be run in conjunction with Skills Development Scotland and will highlight the support that any business, of any size, can access. Whether you are looking ahead to taking on your first employee, or looking to develop the people you already have, you’ll get your questions answered. You will also have the opportunity to meet and chat with other local businesses.”
SCDI's Regional Director, Ian Armstrong, noted: "SCDI is once again delighted to be taking part in North East Business Week. After a period of significant challenges for the region now is the time to shine a light on the major opportunities we have for diversifying the economy and strengthening our infrastructure."
SCDI will host an Influencers Dinner looking at opportunities driving growth in the fishing industry with keynote speaker Ian Laidlaw, Chief Executive, Peterhead Port Authority.