Will Scotland’s lack of exports be the final nail in the Brexit coffin? Insight from BIOS - Scotland's Import / Export Conference - 27/10/16

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50% of all Scottish exports come from only 50 companies, and the Scottish government has identified it as an issue. BIOS - Scotland's Import / Export Conference aims to change that, take part on 27th October 2016

BIOS - The Scottish Import / Export Conference
50% of all Scottish exports come from only 50 companies

50% of all Scottish exports come from only 50 companies. Scotland has one of the highest number of SMEs per capita in the world, and an extraordinary bounty of products and services. So why, then, does Scotland have comparatively few exports?

A recent Scottish government review (the Wilson Review) identified two major barriers preventing Scottish SMEs from exporting abroad:
1.    Many small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) that wish to take the first steps towards becoming exporters still experience difficulties identifying where to get the help and advice they need.
2.    Access to finance is the most significant barrier faced by SMEs seeking to turn themselves into exporters.

As a result of reading the report, a team of Scottish entrepreneurs and business people have set up the BIOS (Business In & Out of Scotland) Import / Export Conference. It has been created with the explicit goal of encouraging the Scottish business community to support one another in increasing the number of Scottish exports.

The government’s goal of increasing exports by 50% from 2010 to 2017 will not be reached unless the Scottish business community back each other in looking outside of Scotland and the UK. This is especially true in light of Brexit.

Finance was identified by the Wilson Review to be the most significant barrier faced by SMEs when exporting. John Brown, Head of Trade & Working Capital at Clydesdale Bank, will be presenting a seminar on International Finance. John will be showing two case studies from The Weir Leather Group & Borders Biscuits.

Other speakers include:

Paul Grant, Chairman of Mackays, who represents an established foothold in the export market. Mackays is a leading Scottish food company exporting to over 50 countries worldwide. Mackays was founded in 1938 by the Mackay Brothers. Today, owned by the Grant family and based in Scotland, Mackays is proud of its heritage and authentic products.

Fiona Houston, Co-founder of Mara Seaweed, represents an “up-and-coming” brand, and a relative new comer. Mara Seaweed is now exporting a range of seaweed flakes, powders and blends across the UK, USA and Europe, Fiona has driven the company’s growth from concept to an award-winning innovative food brand.

Emma Meredith, Director of Internationalisation at Edinburgh College brings an academic and service based view to BIOS. Edinburgh college sell and deliver courses worldwide from their Edinburgh base.

Emil Stickland, Director, Thrive Digital will be providing a workshop, aimed at helping SMEs to develop their international online presence. In conjunction with BIOS, Thrive Digital have created a paper to help Scottish SMEs think about how they can use online as a cost effective means of export. Download their paper here.

To learn more about BIOS or purchase tickets, visit http://www.ScotlandImportExport.com

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Emil Stickland

Rebecca Milne
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