Scotland & the EU Scotland's Economy

Scottish Business Buzz (07.06.17)

Written by Rhona Middler

Post-Brexit barriers to immigration biggest potential problem to Scottish economy. 

Representing an even greater potential “headache” than the impact on trade, is barriers to immigration post-Brexit, says an EY Scottish ITEM Club report published yesterday.

Economic adviser to the EY Scottish ITEM Club, Dougie Adams said that Brexit was “definitely a knock to growth” in Scotland and the UK as a whole. He noted current and projected expansion was “well below the type of growth that prevailed before” the Brexit vote.

On the immigration issue, Mr Adams said: “I think Scotland’s biggest exposure to let’s call it a hard Brexit – where immigration becomes much harder – [is that] labour supply is potentially the biggest headache for the Scottish economy.”

Senior figures in the Scottish engineering, information technology, hospitality, food manufacturing and university sectors have been among those to express concerns over access to, and retention of, staff from other European Union countries in the wake of Brexit.

Read more.


Alba Orbital second satellite platform developed with European Space Agency

Alba Orbital, the world leaders in PocketQube technology, today announced their second major contract with the European Space Agency (ESA) to develop and build the Unicorn-2 satellite platform for turnkey In-Orbit demonstration and In-Orbit verification.

“This is Alba Orbital’s second contract with the European Space Agency and is great news for Alba Orbital and the Scottish space industry.” said Andrew Paliwoda, Business Development Manager, Alba Orbital “It clearly demonstrates the success of Alba Orbital as a startup and our expertise within research, Alba Orbital are going from strength to strength and are ready to offer innovative space solutions to the industry”.

“The Unicorn-2 satellite platform will build Alba Orbital’s strengths within In-Orbit demonstration which is already possible using the Unicorn-1 platform. With better specifications and an improved radio, the Unicorn-2 allows for more complex testing to be done on components requiring space heritage. The Unicorn-2 satellite platform will be a compelling testing solution for anyone looking for in-orbit testing”

All of the work involved in this contract will be performed at Alba Orbital’s offices in Glasgow. Alba Orbital has been providing innovative space solutions for over 3 years with some of their solutions flying on the International Space Station. 


Full-time MBA with focus on entrepreneurship launched by Edinburgh Business School

Edinburgh Business School, the Graduate School of Business of Heriot-Watt University, is launching a full-time one-year MBA programme with a focus on entrepreneurship.

This unique programme, which will run from September 2017, offers a host of exciting initiatives including an intensive, six-week study seminar in Dubai, company visits, guest speakers, and a final elective where students develop an investor-ready business plan. Students will also benefit from one-to-one business mentoring while developing their plan.

Recent research conducted by Carrington Crisp (May 2017) highlighted that within five years of graduating 63% of students start their own businesses.

The research also concluded that during their studies, or within six months of graduation, 65% of Edinburgh Business School graduates increase their salary, 52% gain a promotion and 55% change roles within their company.

The new programme will attract entrepreneurs keen to launch their own businesses, and those who want to be more creative and adventurous within their organisations, offering specialist electives in ‘Entrepreneurship and Creativity’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Venturing’.

For more information.


Digital currency Scotcoin speak at The Future of Fintech II 

Speaking last week at Glasgow’s Technology and Innovation Centre, Temple Melville, a major investor in Scotcoin, spoke at The Future of Fintech II.

Melville says that their task is to make Scotcoin Scotland’s very own digital currency, which will support Scottish businesses and make Scotland a leader in the world of Fintech, with plans to migrate Scotcoin to a private blockchain that will be fully KYC and AML compliant.

Melville said: “It is our intention to offer the Scotcoin IP and technological solutions to the Scottish Government for the good of the Scottish people.

“The technology behind the Blockchain (in whatever form) is a truly disruptive technology. So what are we doing about it here in Scotland? At the moment there are lots of talking shops, meet-ups and people eager to invest. The problem is there is a very limited number of uses as yet, and even where there is a use, there are many false starts and wrong turnings.

“Yes, altcoins and crypto-currencies are a major area of investment. But without a positive and simple use, maybe we will never see major adoption throughout society.”

Scotcoin have plans to create the Scottish Fintech Directory and make it available online to all, and will offer training courses to any school, university or learning institute that is interested. Scotcoin also intend to  set up a fund that will help start-ups in this technological area to grow.

Find out more.


Mark Tiffney from Dynamic Core Studios Clydebank talks about Health vs Deadlines

Whether you work for yourself, for someone else or you employ others, it’s easy to get lost in the minutia of the business, deadlines, emails and requests.

Working on your health and fitness is the last thing you want to think about.

You’ll get to it when you have more time – right?

As for that employee who is going to the gym when there is a deadline due – that can wait until next week surely? This is important!

In my professional Architectural life, I saw this trend time and time again. One night of overtime would become two, then a week and before you know it you’ve worked late every night for a month.

That employee who had solid plans of attending the gym regularly, now gives up on the idea and just sees it as an expense, so they cancel their membership “for now”.

But is this how it should be? Where does the responsibility lie?

My view on this is that, unexpected things come up. Projects suddenly need attention to get them completed on time and when that happens it would be ridiculous to look at bringing in additional staff to deal with it as it would take longer to bring the new person up to speed than to simply get it done.

But when it is happening time and again, that’s not a ‘blip’ that’s a failure to resource the project.

Employees take on jobs for the income, but hopefully to also contribute to the company. If they end up run into the ground then productivity will fall and more and more ‘blips’ will occur.

I understand. As a business owner, bills need to be paid and deadlines must be met. But is it possible that the project has been under-sold and should have been pitched at a higher level to allow for more resources? Or could it be that, to maximize profits, you are crushing the will of the resources you have?

Don’t underestimate the value of a healthy, energized team. It may feel like you are better off by pushing them harder (or pushing yourself) in the short term. But when illness strikes, or productivity drops due to fatigue or poorly fueled people, the long-term effect will be much more catastrophic.

Often something like this is just the excuse that is being looked for to put off that workout. I encourage you to see healthy employees as an asset and your own health to be the greatest asset you have. Without it you have nothing.

This is just one of the many common excuses that come up from people as to why they are not exercising or looking after their health. Here are 41 more you may want to look at – have a look and see if any of them ring true. By noticing them you can put a stop to them much easier.

Your health and fitness is crucial in every element of your life. Don’t under-value it. No excuses, no ifs, no buts. Make you your priority and everyone will benefit.


About the author

Rhona Middler

Rhona is Business for Scotland's Engagement Executive and Events Manager.

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