Scottish Business Buzz

Scottish Business Buzz (15.11.17)

Written by Michelle Rodger

An exciting new business competition to find Scotland’s best startups has been launched by Virgin StartUp.

The inaugural ‘Virgin Startup10: Scotland’ is open to startup businesses and entrepreneurs, and will offer ‘startup can’t buy prizes’ including mentoring and support from a leading Scottish law firm. 

The top ten finalists will be shortlisted in February and recognised as Virgin StartUp’s 10 Scottish ambassadors. The overall winner will be revealed at an awards ceremony in March and will receive a mentoring session from each member of the all-star judging panel which comprises a mix of Scottish entrepreneurs.

Paul WheelhouseScottish Government Minister for Business Innovation and Energy, who has thrown his support behind the competition, said: “Scotland has a proud tradition of entrepreneurship, and today we have the highest number of registered businesses recorded in Scotland since records began – an impressive achievement which is largely driven by the success of our small business start-ups.

“This is a trend that we would like to see continue and I am delighted that Virgin Start Up continue to contribute so positively to entrepreneurship in Scotland – identifying best practice among start-ups helps communicate that practice to other new businesses, helping to ensure they survive and thrive.

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Ultrafast broadband has gone live in two remote Scottish communities, the remote Sutherland hamlet of Altnaharra and Skerray giving them among the fastest broadband speeds in Scotland.

New full-fibre cables are now live, with around 60 Altnaharra households and businesses able to order broadband services with speeds of up to 330Mbps*.

The first ultrafast fibre services have also gone live in Skerray, with engineers from Openreach, Scotland’s leading digital network business, continuing work over the next few weeks to reach more Skerray households and outlying Altnaharra properties.

As part of the ultrafast pilots, local people and workers from the Altnaharra Estate have helped to dig in around 4,800 metres of cable.

Until now, due to the high costs of bringing faster broadband to very small communities in remote areas, many of the villagers have been making do with some of Scotland’s slowest connections of around 0.5Mbps.

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UK consumer price inflation has held at its highest level since April 2012, with the CPI rate holding at 3.0 per cent, latest figures for October show.

While consumers will be relieved that inflation held steady, the squeeze on them was likely still appreciable and it is almost certain that inflation of 3.0 per cent remains well above earnings growth, which was limited to 2.2 per cent in the three months to August.

While inflation of 3.0 per cent in October was below the Bank of England’s expectations, most Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members are likely to maintain the view that the recent interest rate hike was justified given extended well above-target inflation and diminishing slack in the economy.

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October was a record-breaking month for both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports.

More than 1.2 million passengers used Edinburgh Airport in October, making it the busiest October on record for the terminal. Meanwhile 928,000 people travelled through the doors at Glasgow airport, representing a 5% increase on October 2016’s passenger numbers.

A total of 1,226,109 people came through the Edinburgh terminal in October, an increase of 8.5% on the same month last year

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Output growth accelerated at the fastest pace since July to ensure the Scottish private sector made a positive start to the fourth quarter.

The seasonally adjusted headline Bank of Scotland PMI – a single-figure measure of the month-on-month change in combined manufacturing and services output – edged higher in October to 52.7, from 52.2 in September. This signalled the strongest rate of growth since July.

Employment across the private sector increased in October. The rate of job creation was moderate overall but accelerated since September.

Meanwhile, Scottish private sector companies continued to face rising input costs. The rate of input price inflation was sharp in October, despite easing since September. In turn, output charges were raised modestly, with the rate of inflation unchanged from that seen in September.

Businesses remained upbeat towards growth prospects in October. That said, the degree of optimism eased to the joint-weakest since April.

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About the author

Michelle Rodger

Michelle is a former national newspaper journalist who co-founded an award-winning IT business before launching Tartan Cat Communications. A social media and crowdfunding expert she manages media and communications for Business for Scotland.

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