From beer to biodegradable packaging, Scotland’s exports are growing fast. Exports have grown 17 per cent in the last six years, and more and more businesses are looking beyond their borders. This week, Business Quarter (BQ) Magazine organised the first ever Scottish Export Awards with Scottish Enterprise to celebrate their achievements.
Lingo24 joined around 350 guests at the awards ceremony in Glasgow on Wednesday. Andrew Campbell, Global Managing Director, were surprised and delighted not only to win our category, Best Professional Services Advisor, but also to win the overall Scottish Exporter of the Year award. With some great finalists, there’s no doubt it was a tough competition!
After thanking BQ and Scottish Entreprise, he said: “English might be a global language, but it’s not always the best language for engaging with global customers. Much of our success has been built on the back of other companies who are exporting across language barriers.”
Brian Wilson, the former Energy Minister and chairman of Harris Tweed Hebrides who chaired the judging panel, said that increasing exports was a key objective of the Scottish Government, and vital for the country’s economic growth.
The winners showcase some of the wide variety of goods and services that Scotland is bringing to the world. Moreover, they show that businesses don’t need to be large and well-established to start thinking global.
Brewmeister Beer, a craft beer manufacturer, scooped the award for Best Start-up Exporter. Friends Lewis Shand and John McKenzie loved brewing for their friends and families, and decided to turn it into a business. Since their launch in 2012, they are now selling to Europe and Asia, and are in talks with US distributors.
Eribe Knitwear has also seen success with a typically Scottish product – beautifully designed, colourful hats, sweaters and scarves. Their small team, who are based in Galashiels but ship around the world, were named Export Team of the Year.
It’s not just traditional products that are achieving global success. Vegware EcoPackaging was named Scotland’s Most Innovative Exporter for their unique range of compostable, low carbon packaging, all made from renewable or recycled materials. The fast-growing company is winning customers from South Africa to Australia, reducing business waste and helping customers enjoy a takeaway with a clear conscience!
The other winners included Sumdog (Ecommerce Exporter of the Year) which develops online games that make learning fun. Alba Power was named Scotland’s Most Entrepreneurial Exporter. With bases in Scotland and Texas, their expert team provides dedicated support to the gas, power and marine turbine industries.
Other well-known finalists included Genius Foods, the gluten-free food company, Innis & Gunn Brewing Company, and Mackie’s of Scotland.
Hosted by TV presenter Adrienne Lawler, the event provided plenty of entertainment and inspiration for would-be exporters. The keynote speaker was Kevin Gaskell, chief executive of Fairline Boats, and former managing director of Porsche and BMW (who has also fitted in playing international cricket and trekking to the North and South Poles!)
The judging panel included John Anderson, the chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange and Jack Perry, as well as academics from Strathclyde Business School.
If you’re looking to expand to new markets, there are plenty of resources to help, including Scottish Enterprise’s Smart Exporter programme. Or find out more about how translation services can help you speak your customers’ language.