Scottish products such as whisky and tartan are famous around the world, but they’re far from the only exports. Last year a record number of Scottish businesses began exporting, with products ranging from software to seafood, tea to television programmes.
Recent figures from the Scottish Government show that exports were worth almost £40 billion in 2012. And it’s not just large, well-known names that are adopting an increasingly global mindset.
Hundreds of smaller companies, such as Glasgow-based Rage Music, or Eteaket, the Edinburgh-based tea company, are successfully becoming “micro-multinationals” by targeting overseas markets.
The country’s largest export markets are the USA, Netherlands, France and Germany, but businesses are starting to look further afield. A recent Scottish innovation showcase in China included the online learning company Twig World, software developers Run Rev, and green construction company, Applegreen Homes.
Now Business Quarterly and Scottish Enterprise are announcing the first ever Scottish Export Awards, to recognise and reward innovation in exports. They want to highlight companies that demonstrate strong business growth through exports, and inspire others to engage with international customers.
Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “With ongoing economic challenges, the importance of trading internationally has never been so in focus for Scotland’s economic success.
“By recognising successful Scottish exporters and highlighting the significant benefits international trade can bring, the prestigious event and its accompanying programme will play a key role in helping to inspire many more companies to realise their global ambitions and act on opportunities in overseas markets.”
They’re inviting entrants in seven categories: ·
- Ecommerce Exporter of the Year
- Most Innovative Exporter of the Year
- Most Entrepreneurial Exporter of the Year
- International Trade Best Professional Service Adviser
- Best Start-up Exporter of the Year
- Scottish Export Team of the Year
- Business Quarterly Scottish Exporter of the Year
All entrants must have a trading base in Scotland and show a dynamic, innovative approach to the challenges of selling to overseas markets.
An independent judging panel will be looking for entrants to demonstrate how they’ve applied their business strategies, knowledge, creativity and industry know-how to deliver the best results. They’ll look at innovative marketing plans, sustainable growth and how it’s contributed to the business’s expansion in the last 12 months.
Finalists will be invited to a ceremony at the Glasgow Science Centre on Wednesday 28th May, hosted by TV presenter Adrienne Lawler.
It’s a great opportunity for entrants to raise their brand profile, and share their own success story with other businesses.
You can find out more here. The deadline for applications is Friday 28th February. And if you’re thinking of taking your business global, then check out Scottish Enterprise’s Smart Exporter programme for lots of free help and advice.