Entrepreneurialism is in Scotland’s DNA

With just over one week left to go until the winners of this year’s The Herald Scottish Family Business Awards in association with Business Gateway are announced, the excitement is building.

Dozens of companies, across 14 different categories that range from Green Family Business of the Year to International Growth Award, are in the running to collect awards on the night. And for the finalists the ceremony, which will take place on Thursday, 1 December at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow, will be a chance to meet with other owners who like them have nurtured retail outlets, manufacturing concerns, hospitality firms and a broad cross-section of commercial interests into thriving businesses.

Family businesses are the backbone of the Scottish economy, creating jobs, opportunities and wealth in the areas where they are located. And many also play an important role in their local communities, supporting events and good causes and providing continuity in times of change.

For some of the finalists who have been shortlisted for this year’s awards, it has been a case of starting from the ground up, taking an innovative idea and turning it into a successful venture that involves family members. Others may have grown up in the business, absorbing dinner-table talk and learning the ropes from a very young age before finally taking over the reins themselves.

All of them will have faced challenges along the way, from expanding the original concept to passing the baton from one generation to the next, all while staying true to the ethos of service and quality that have been there since the early days.

And it is not just the finalists, the sponsors too are anticipating the outcome of this year’s awards. Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer at Business Gateway, who are sponsoring the Fastest Growing Family Business Award, said: “The Scottish Family Business Awards is set to be a fantastic night for all. I am especially looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing more about the businesses and the exceptional people that bring so much talent and entrepreneurial spirit to the Scottish economy.”

And John Anderson, Director of Growth at Strathclyde Business School said: ” I am looking forward to celebrating the best of Scottish Family business success next week and revealing who has won the Strathclyde Business School Outstanding Contribution award this year. Hope to see you there!”

Also backing this year’s awards are Zonal Retail Data Systems, who are supporting the Next Generation category, which will recognise one family business that has made an outstanding success out of what can sometimes be a difficult transition. Stuart McLean, CEO, Zonal said ““Zonal is a family business through and through, which is why these events are so important to us. This year for us is especially exciting as we welcome the third generation into the business, and to the event itself. As a business determined to keep family roots at its core we are excited to see where the next generation of the McLean family can take us”

Norma Stewart, Partner and family business expert at Azets, says “The Herald Family Business Awards will showcase many of the Scottish family businesses that go above and beyond. The finalists have shown remarkable commitment, ambition and innovation as well as demonstrating family values. Family businesses create opportunities for the local and wider communities they operate in and support them. Scottish family businesses continue to make a vital contribution to the Scottish and wider economy – this dedication deserves to celebrated and profiled. We look forward to celebrating with the leaders and their teams who have worked so tirelessly and passionately to ensure success.”

David Henderson, Head of Strategic Finance, West of Scotland, Virgin Money, who sponsor the Scottish Family Business of the Year Small and Medium said “Virgin Money are delighted to be providing our support to the awards evening, which will be a great opportunity for everyone attending to celebrate their own successes and to hear more about the achievements of others in the family business community.”

For the winners, the ceremony will be a night of rejoicing, but every one of the finalists has shown themselves to be outstanding in their field and so the event will be an opportunity to celebrate the vigour of Scotland’s entire family business community and to recognise its contribution to both the economy and society. Tickets to attend the awards ceremony are still available at https://newsquestscotlandevents.com/events/familybusiness/.