Scottish Business Buzz

Scottish Business Buzz (27.09.17)

Written by Michelle Rodger

A specialist bakery that produces Syrian bread is set to double its manufacturing space and increase its product range thanks to a surge in demand.

Taza Bake, based in Stewartfield, Edinburgh, will expand into a second unit, after experiencing a surge in demand and being added to Heritage Portfolio’s list of corporate event suppliers.

The business, which was launched by Abdullah Razzouk, will now expand into a second unit immediately next door to its current bakery this month, increasing its floor space to 2200sqft.

Abdullah, who runs his bakery while working full-time in the financial services industry, predicts his six-figure turnover could increase by up to 70% next year if current talks with two leading supermarkets are successful.

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Engineers from the University of Edinburgh are to carry out tests of light-enabled technology in a remote part of the Scottish Highlands in the hope to address connectivity issues.

The research team from the School of Engineering hope the field trial in Caithness will help to address the challenge of insufficient web connectivity for businesses and homes in remote parts of the country.

Rural communities may be several miles from a telephone exchange, which is too far for high-speed broadband to work, or served by slow copper wire infrastructure. Satellite connection for high-speed access, on the other hand, is very expensive and poses added technical problems.

A team from the Li-Fi Research & Development Centre will implement a trial of their wireless communication, which uses light beams to carry data, and solar cells as receivers. Norscot Joinery, a small business in Bower, Caithness, will host the trial.

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Smart label technology could help prevent Scottish households throwing out 360,000 tonnes of waste food every year and save shoppers £150m

Insignia Technologies, a spin-out firm from Strathclyde University,  has developed a smart label which helps to track when food is at its freshest. It is currently seeking additional funding to fast track the commercialisation of its technology.

In 2014, Scottish households threw out 360,000 tonnes of food which had could have been consumed.

Government agency Zero Waste Scotland has put the cost of this waste at £1.1 billion, or £460 for every household.

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Sustained economic growth and the fall in the Sterling exchange rate have put record pressure on businesses in Scotland to increase the amount of money tied up in working capital, leaving them at risk if growth were to weaken in the months ahead, according to a new report from Bank of Scotland.

Firms across Scotland now have around £35.6bn tied up in excess working capital – up 13 per cent from £31.5bn since the last report was released in May – meaning that firms could struggle to free up cash either to grow or to weather turbulent financial conditions.

The sustained growth seen nationally in the past 12 months – particularly in manufacturing and in the services sector – has increased the amount of cash tied up in the day-to-day running of businesses, with the impacts from the fall in Sterling, forward purchasing of inventory and a rise in input costs being fully realised.

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A Scottish ‘holiday bookshop’ – the only one of its kind in the world – is booked solid every day until the year 2020.

The Open Book in Wigtown – which people pay to run for a fortnight while living in the flat above the shop – has proved such a ‘bestseller’ that a Chinese company has contacted creator Jessica Fox with the aim of opening its own version in Asia.

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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