Stirling means business…
as hundreds of businesses turn out for STEP’s annual Stirling Business Week.
Here are just some of the highlights of the week:
Stirling: A Business Update in partnership with FSB
Scotland’s Economic performance has, on balance, strengthened in 2017, following a challenging 2016, which saw a combination of headwinds impact on growth. But what’s expected for 2018 and in years to come?
Simon Clearly, from the economic consultancy firm Biggar Economics, spoke to over 50 businesses at Stirling Business Week’s business update event, discussing the implications of growth projections for Stirling Businesses. In particular; preparation for an older workforce, low unemployment rates impacting recruitment and Stirling still being under-represented in business investment. Stirling accounts for less than 1% of Scottish investment, but growth projections in this area looks promising.
Brexit is an important topic for all businesses and Professor David Bell from Stirling University deciphered the current Brexit Talks, and what they could potentially mean for businesses. Touching on post-Brexit travel, the movement of people and policy issues, Professor Bell focussed on the impact on importing and exporting goods and services Brexit may have, and how businesses can prepare now.
With the City Regional Deal on its way, economic development is a key priority for Stirling Council, as we heard from Steven MacDonald, Team Leader of Economic Development at Stirling Council. Steven explained the upcoming strategies that the economic development team will be working on, outside the City and Regional deal, including inward investment, sector support and other investment projects.
To finish the event off, City Fibre and its partner MLL Telecom introduced Stirling as one of the first UK Gigabit Cities. The team explained, that Stirling businesses, uniquely, now have the opportunity to access full fibre broadband, with speeds up to 1000mpbs, which will put them ahead of most of the UK.
Women in Leadership in partnership with She’s in Biz Stirling
Run for the second year, Stirling Businesses Week’s Women in Leadership event once again proved that Stirling has some amazing, inspirational, determined and supportive women leaders. Hosted again by Suzanne George, CEO of Denvir Marketing, who has taken Denvir on a 30-year journey to now be a successful marketing agency, with a focus on hiring local talent and mentoring the next generation.
On the panel we were joined by Elaine Morgan Machray, founder of She’s in Biz Stirling, The Re-Invention Room and Stirling Fitness, discussing her passion for networking, and how she became a business owner after returning to work in a retail store. She found she had a skill for making women feel better about themselves. Bid Stanger, Director of Stanger Pro Limited, told us we should push ourselves, to have a ‘chicken list’ of all the things that scare us and to drive ourselves to check it off once in a while. Ann-Maree, Managing Director at Labels4Kids, told us of her journey from high- flying corporate business woman, to health problems, to finally being happy running her own company and giving back, as Chairwoman of the British Association of Women Entrepreneurs Scotland (BAWE Scotland), Vice President for BAWE UK and founder of Ann-Maree.biz non-executive, mentoring advisory services. Finally, Sam Greer, from Skills Development Scotland, had us in fits of laugher hearing about her ‘first mid-life crisis’ in turning her husband’s small-scale tree surgery business into a large-scale business, with multi-million-pound contracts.
Innovation in partnership with Knowledge Transfer Network
Innovation in business is important to stand out. Colin Cark, STEP’s digital lead, and Dr Richard Cooper from Knowledge Transfer Network, amazed a room full of businesses with the potential of 3D printing. We also were delighted to hear about a world’s first, being developed right here in STEP, from Claus Marquordt, Managing Director at RD Support Ltd.
The feedback and attendance from Stirling Business Week is a true reflection of the ambition and growth potential the businesses here have.