The Scottish Export Awards sponsored by HSBC is returning for 2018, in association with Scottish Enterprise & Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The Scottish Export Awards sponsored by HSBC in association with Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise bring together businesses from across Scotland to recognise and celebrate their entrepreneurial exporting achievements, as well as encourage others to increase their export potential.
Exporting and international trade remain central to the Scottish Government’s economic growth agenda and this campaign and export awards are about recognising those entrepreneurial, wealth-creating companies that are selling their products, services and expertise in scores of overseas markets. It is vital that we appreciate and recognise those exporters who have made the transition from great local companies to potentially world-class exporting businesses based in Scotland.
Exporting continues to present an opportunity for Scotland to bring immediate and sustainable growth to its economy, and we need to encourage businesses across the country to consider exporting as a realistic opportunity for growth.
The event in 2017 generated 236 nominations from 125 Scottish exporters with 49 exporters shortlisted representing almost £500m of export turnover from Scotland. The 2017-18campaign will culminate with the awards evening to be held on 22 March 2018 at the Glasgow Hilton.
The event will be the highlight of the international trade campaign that will see BQ promote exporting across its entire audience in Scotland, in print, online and across social media. Forthcoming editions of BQ magazine in Scotland will carry lead feature sections on international trade and the BQ weekly digital business update service will also reach out to Scotland’s exporters with a range of international trade initiatives including the regular “Around the World in 80 Trades” feature, showcasing the best of Scottish export activity online.
Bryan Hoare, group commercial director at BQ, says: “It’s important to recognise that this international trade campaign isn’t simply about the show-piece Scottish Export Awards. Instead, this is a year-long opportunity for entrepreneurs to talk about the successes of their companies in overseas markets, not only promoting their own businesses in the process but also encouraging fellow entrepreneurs to consider exporting.
“Some of the tales that BQ has uncovered during the international trade campaign have been absolutely incredible. Our entrepreneurs have fantastic stories to share, from current champion John McGavigan, which went from printing religious pamphlets to making components for car dashboards, all the way through to previous winners like Peak Scientific and Think Analytics.
“I can’t wait to find out whose stories we’re going to be able to share this year, whether it’s in our printed BQ Scotland magazine, on our BQ Live website or across our social media channels. BQ’s mission is to celebrate and inspire entrepreneurship and nowhere does that crusade come more to life than during the Scottish Export Awards and the international trade campaign.”
The Scottish Export Awards and international trade campaign include two new categories this year – emerging markets exporter of the year title and the prize for the scale up exporter of the year. The two new trophies come in response to the way in which the competition has grown over the past five years.
Helping to nurture scale-up companies is a big focus not just for the Scottish Government in its “Scotland Can Do” movement but for the whole of our nation’s entrepreneurial support system, from membership bodies like Entrepreneurial Scotland through to training schemes run by institutions such as the University of Strathclyde. As Sir Tom Hunter is so fond of reminding audiences: “Start-ups are good, but scale-ups are great.”
And he has a very valid point: while start-ups are essential to growing our economy, it’s the scale-ups that will create the jobs for the hundreds and indeed thousands of workers who will never be entrepreneurs and will never start their own businesses.
That’s why this year’s awards and campaign will include a special scale-up category, acknowledging the effort that goes into scaling-up a business so that it can access overseas markets. Many customers abroad want to see evidence of success at home in a supplier’s domestic market and so scaling-up services or production is often key to satisfying consumer demand.
“With these new categories and the existing range of awards, there’s never been a better time to enter the competition,” Hoare adds. “Over the past five years, we’ve welcomed contestants from throughout Scotland and this year we’re looking forward to receiving an equally broad spread of entries, both geographically and from all the different sectors that make up Scotland’s thriving economy.”
Alison McGregor, chief executive of HSBC in Scotland, said: “Scotland is a thriving business hub, home to many world renowned organisations. Through exporting, these businesses have grown their markets and reaped the rewards of international trade
“However, this opportunity is not exclusive to big corporations but open to SMEs across the country. There is great demand for Scotland’s unique offering of goods and services and it is incumbent on business to take advantage of the opportunities available to them and grow beyond Scottish borders.
“However, despite these opportunities abroad, we still encounter a reticence to enter international markets. In fact, an HSBC survey showed that 70% of non-exporting UK businesses think they are unsuitable for overseas trade.
“It is very encouraging to see initiatives such as the Scottish Export Awards and the international trade campaign highlight the appetite and opportunities for Scottish goods and services abroad.”
“Scotland’s strong track record for exporting goods and services all over the world is testament to the strength of our innovative, ambitious and forward-thinking companies says Paul Lewis, managing director of Scottish Development International (SDI) and Scottish Enterprise’s international operations. “Helping to grow exporting from Scotland remains a priority for us and we will continue to work with as many companies as possible to help them open up new opportunities and new markets, in order to achieve their growth ambitions”.
Full list of award categories
MOST ENTREPRENEURIAL EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
A company that has demonstrated entrepreneurial flair within their export strategy. This will be shown through an extraordinary approach to reaching new markets where creativity, innovation and tenacity has resulted in success.
MICRO EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
Recognising outstanding achievements in export growth by a company in any industry with a turnover up to £2million. This success will be measured by growth in sales and market penetration together with the application of innovative market strategies to extend export potential.
SMALL EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
Recognising outstanding achievements in export growth by a company in any industry with a turnover of £2-£15million. This success will be measured by growth in sales and market penetration together with the application of innovative market strategies to extend export potential.
LARGE EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
Recognising outstanding achievements by a company in any industry with a turnover greater than £15million. This success will be measured by growth in sales and market penetration together with the application of innovative market strategies to extend export potential.
EXPORT TEAM OF THE YEAR
The export team of the year award will recognise a team who can demonstrate significant added value to their business through adopting innovative techniques, personnel development measures, and successful implementation of the company's export sales strategy. It should be clear how the company has developed a team wide approach to exporting which may well extend beyond the company to distributors, agents and other third parties who will have contributed to export success.
E-COMMERCE EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
A company that through e-commerce has increased brand awareness and recognition, expanded into new markets, increased sales and efficiency and improved customer service. The winner of this category must be able to demonstrate how they have used e-commerce and trading online to significantly enhance their export growth or potential for growth.
HIGH GROWTH MARKET EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
Awarded to a company demonstrating impressive export growth in high growth markets (including Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Macao, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan or United Arab Emirates). This success will be measured by growth in sales and high growth market penetration together with the application of innovative market strategies to extend export potential.
SCALE-UP EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
A company that has shown significant growth as a direct result of its export activity where exporting has played a fundamental role in the scaling of the business. It should be clear how exporting from the outset has allowed the business to scale both in terms of size, turnover and profitability. This would be demonstrated through a coherent business plan and strategy that places exporting at the heart of the business. The company must have achieved average annual growth in employees or turnover greater than 20 per cent per annum over a three year period, and with more than 10 employees at the beginning of the period.
EMERGING MARKETS EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
Awarded to a company who can demonstrate impressive export growth across one or more emerging markets, including Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hungary, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Thailand or Turkey. This success will be measured by growth in sales and market penetration together with the application of innovative market strategies to extend export potential.
BQ SCOTTISH EXPORTER OF THE YEAR
This award will be presented to a company that has made an outstanding contribution to Scotland's export profile and success. Companies must have demonstrated how they have overcome their barriers when entering new markets. The winner of this award will be selected from the winners of the above award categories and announced on the evening of the awards.