Scottish Business Buzz

Scottish Business Buzz (29.11.17)

Written by Michelle Rodger

Adam Davidson and his team at BoConcept have been inspired by the Social Bite initiative to end homelessness in Scotland within 5 years and have launched their own fundraising efforts to support the cause – Sit Down For Change.

Famous Scottish artists and designers have each taken a BoConcept chair and redesigned them, donating the new and unique furniture back to Adam and McTears to auction.

Adam says: “The Social Bite plan blew my mind but it was the BoConcept store teams that got behind it and asked Scottish artists to take a BoConcept chair and work their magic on it so we could auction it.

“Our design consultants have reached an unbelievable caliber of artists and designers who have contributed. John Byrne, Alistair Gray, Callum Innes, Timorous Beasties and 13 others. Every chair will come with a Certificate of Authentication signed by the artist.

“There are some seriously unique pieces that could have real value! If we get the right people bidding, some of the chairs won’t just go for hundreds but thousands.”

The BoConcept team has even managed to get the support of McTears Auctioneers who will run the live online auction (open to bids now) and the grand finale in the Glasgow store on Thursday night (30th) from 6pm.

Adam says: “We have a real opportunity to raise some serious cash IF we get the right people in the room on Thursday night.

“Imagine what a confidence booster it will be for Scotland when this succeeds. Governments and charities from all over the world will look to Scotland to understand what can be done when we get impatient and refuse to accept the unacceptable.”

You can get involved and join the online or live auctions by following the links below:

The online auction catalogue can be found here:

The link to register to attend the live auction is here:

The link to bid in the McTears online auction is here:

The newly launched link just to donate to the cause is here:

Gerry McCusker of Dog Digital joins the new Enterprise and Skills Strategic Board, which will meet for the first time on 13 December.

It features members with a wealth of experience in business, education, research, the trade union movement and local authorities, including Jeanette Forbes – PCL Group, Professor Russel Griggs – South of Scotland Economic Partnership and Karen Betts – Scottish Whisky Association.

Economy Secretary Keith Brown welcomed the announcement as a significant step forward in adopting a new approach to the delivery of skills and business support.

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New research shows Scotland’s pharmaceutical sector is worth £2.7billion a year, employing more than 5000 jobs in Scotland and indirectly supporting 16,482 jobs elsewhere in the Scottish Economy.

The analysis, carried out by the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), mapped out the economic contribution of Scotland’s pharmaceutical sector and highlighted it boasts the biggest jobs growth of any of the key growth sectors in recent years.

The average productivity of a Scottish pharmaceutical industry employee in 2015, expressed as Gross Value Added (GVA), is £112,364, more than double the Scottish average (£49,708).

At a UK-level, Scotland’s pharmaceutical sector has also accounted for an increasing proportion of the UK pharmaceutical industry turnover and employment.

According to the latest available turnover figures, the pharmaceutical industry in Scotland represents 4.3% of all UK pharmaceutical industry sales (in 2015) – an increase of nearly one third since 2008. This increased share of turnover has also had a significant impact on the total UK share of pharmaceutical industry employment, with data demonstrating that the industry in Scotland now supports 9.3% of total UK jobs (in 2015) up from 5.1% in 2008.

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The amount of venture capital funding available to Scottish businesses increased by nine per cent during 2016, with 25 businesses sharing in a total funding pot of £12 million.

Despite the rise, the total was significantly below the £53m of funds invested during 2014 and came at the same time as a 37 per cent drop in expansion funding from £96m to £68m.

The figures come from the Barclays Entrepreneurs Index, which also found that the number of high growth companies in Scotland fell from 221 to 171 during the course of 2016.

Growth levels among young enterprises are also down with the number of high-growth companies hitting an all-time low, 33 per cent lower than its peak in 2013, and the number of companies receiving venture capital investment is the lowest it has been in the report’s history.

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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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