2020 AccelerateHER Awards Target Fife’s aspiring entrepreneurs

Fife-based female business founders are once again being offered an opportunity to raise their company’s profile and win a place on an international trade mission with today’s (Thursday 14 November) launch of the 2020 AccelerateHER Awards.

 

This year’s awards programme is seeking applications from businesswomen whose companies fit into one of the following four categories:

  • MedTech and Science;
  • FinTech and Cyber Security;
  • CleanTech and Climate; or
  • Disruptive Innovation.

 

© Sandy Young Photography scottishphotographer.com
AccelerateHer 2019 Finals – Edinburgh

A winner will be selected for each category and announced at an awards final event in March 2020.

 

Winners will all secure a free slot on a market-building trade mission to Europe, North America or the Middle East to showcase their business to industry contacts and global investors.

 

The 2020 programme will also include a ‘Rising Star’ award for the female founder with the best early stage business idea.

 

The AccelerateHER Awards, which celebrate and support aspirational Scottish-based female founders, are running for their fifth consecutive year. Organised by all-female business angel group Investing Women, the awards are designed to inspire and support more female-led companies in Scotland. They are open to ambitious women who play a leading role in companies with strong global growth potential, providing participants with an ideal platform to connect with Investing Women’s network of angel investors, commercial advisers and other successful businesspeople.

 

Entrants will initially be asked to submit a video pitch via the Investing Women’s website, outlining their business, its ambitions, growth plans and international potential.

 

A panel of highly experienced judges will then review the submissions and draw up a shortlist of entrants who will present to a panel in February. Up to 12 companies will then be short-listed with winners announced at the AccelerateHER Awards final being staged in March 2020. Deadline for entries is Friday, 20th December 2019.

 

Last year’s AccelerateHER Awards winners were Rachel Jones of SnapDragon; Lina Gasiunaite of Biotangents; and Corien Staels of Staels Design. Dr Carla Brown, the founder and Director of Game Doctor, won the ‘Rising Star’ award. To date, more than 2,500 female business founders have joined the AccelerateHER community.

 

Launching this year’s AccelerateHER Awards programme, Jackie Waring, CEO of Investing Women said: “These awards celebrate both the achievements and future potential of many female founded businesses in Scotland. This year’s focus on technology, life sciences and environmentally-focused businesses is designed to dovetail with the appetite of the global investment community which is keen to support such enterprises.

 

“I would urge all ambitious Fife-based female founders who wants to raise their companies’ profile on an international stage to enter the awards. This includes those whose businesses are only at concept stage who could secure recognition through the Rising Star category. The competition gives participants an ideal platform to promote their companies and attract initial or additional investment to help them grow their business on a global scale.”

 

For more information and to submit an entry visit www.investingwomen.co.uk/accelerateherawards2020/

New Real Living Wage Rate Announced

Today (Monday 11 November) is the start of Living Wage Week, the annual celebration of the Living Wage movement in the UK

 

To kick off the celebrations, the Living Wage Foundation has announced that the new Real Living Wage has increased from £9.00 per hour to £9.30 per hour across Scotland and the UK.

 

The real Living Wage is a rate of pay independently calculated based on what people need to earn to live in the UK.  It’s a voluntary scheme for employers and applies to all employees over 18 years of age.

 

The new rate is £1.09 per hour more than the national minimum wage for over 25 year-olds.

 

Whilst there are currently over 70 Living Wage employers in Fife, around 20% of employees in the region are still paid less than the Real Living Wage, leaving many families struggling to cope.

 

Earlier this year Glenrothes became the first town in the UK to start an initiative to become a Living Wage Town.

 

 

Visit https://our.fife.scot/fairerfife/livingwage/ for more information on how to join the growing number of Fife employers who are paying the Living Wage .

 

 

 

Local Employers Support Making Glenrothes a Living Wage Town

Fife-based employers from private business, third sector and public sector organisations, gathered at an event held in Glenrothes on Thursday 7th November to network and learn about the benefits of becoming an accredited Living Wage employer.

 

The business breakfast seminar was hosted by Fife Voluntary Action, a member of the Fife Living Wage Action Group, and provided an opportunity for local companies to meet businesses that are already accredited Living Wage employers to find out first-hand about the advantages of signing-up to the scheme. The event, part of Fife Business Week, also provided an opportune time to celebrate the progress being made in Glenrothes in the week prior to the annual announcement of the new Living Wage rate for 2020/21.

 

Councillor Fiona Grant said: “Glenrothes is leading the way by becoming the first town in the UK to take this place-based approach to tackling the issue of low pay and in-work poverty. By Making Glenrothes a Living Wage Town we can create conditions where businesses prosper and residents can live good lives. The Action Group has been very effective in setting out the plan and motivating others to become involved.  I’m delighted with the progress we have made to date and looking forward to more businesses and organisations signing-up in the next few months. I encourage all local business owners and employers to find out more and consider becoming accredited by visiting our website at our.fife.scot/livingwage/.”

 

Kenny Murphy, Chief Executive of Fife Voluntary Action, said: “ We are delighted to be partnering with Fife Council, Living Wage Scotland and the Fife Living Wage Action Group to host this event. I believe paying the real Living Wage is a value that most employers in our community share, but many are not aware of taking the next step to becoming accredited. Events like this give businesses the opportunity to meet others who are accredited, ask questions and hear about the benefits. The Action Group is encouraging all employers in the Glenrothes area to lead the way and pay the real Living Wage as a way of demonstrating their commitment to their community. ”

 

 

 

Fife businesses to benefit from funding support for innovative in-work degree programme

Fife College University Hub in Dunfermline will host a second tranche of its innovative one-year top-up degree programme in January 2020.

 

The BA in Business and Enterprise offers local businesses an opportunity to upskill their workforce with a minimum disruption to work routines,  while benefitting from the innovative and creative ideas that their employees will bring to the workplace whilst on the course.

 

SMEs in Fife can also benefit from a grant towards the course fees from Fife Council’s Economic Development Services.

 

Pamela Stevenson, Enterprise and Business Development Manager at Fife Council said: “This locally-delivered degree programme provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses to enhance their capability, even while participants are still studying. It has proved to be an excellent way for businesses to upskill their workforce and develop their future management team needs.”

 

The year-long top-up programme, run by Edinburgh Napier University, is available for those in work – both employed or self-employed – who have relevant work experience and an HND or SCQF Level 8 equivalent qualification.

 

Using practical work-based content, the programme develops business, management and enterprise skills and leads to the award of a BA degree.

 

The programme involves a combination of assessments, workshops and independent study, with attendance one day per month at the Fife College University Hub in Dunfermline.

 

Assessments are practical and applied, including reports around work roles, work-place based assignments, presentations and case studies.

 

Business owners, managers and employees can find out more at a drop-in information session at 4-6pm on Tuesday 10 December at Carnegie Conference Centre, Dunfermline.

 

Alternatively, visit http://bit.ly/Fife-topup-degree for more information or to apply for a place on the course.

 

 

Companies invited to Fife Council’s annual House Builders Conference

A key event in the house building industry’s calendar – Fife Council’s annual House Builders Forum – will take place at the Lochgelly Centre on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 November.

 

Fife’s 13th House Builders Forum – ‘Realising Opportunities – Mid-Fife Matters’ – is designed to help develop industry partnerships and increase housing supply and development.  This year, the Forum explores the theme of ‘Realising Opportunity’ and considers current issues that affect the house building industry, as well as looking at priorities for the sector.

 

All house building industry sectors – from small to medium-sized firms to multi-national operators – are welcome to attend.

 

Th council is also keen to attract developers from outwith Fife to the event.

 

The key note address from Fife Council will focus on the significant capital investment in regeneration and infrastructure coming to Fife from two City Deals – the Tay Cities Deal and Edinburgh and SE Scotland City Region Deal.

 

The conference programme also includes a presentation by Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) whose address follows hot on the heels of Fife Council and the Scottish Government’s declaration of a ‘Climate Emergency’.

 

Cllr David Ross, Fife Council Co-Leader, said: “The Fife House Builders Forum is a great opportunity for industry professionals to come together.  At Fife Council we have a steadfast commitment to collaboration and sharing of best practice.  Our own affordable housing programme is highly successful and already challenging us to drive innovation across the industry to remove barriers to development.”

 

Co-Leader Cllr David Alexander added: “Anyone associated with Fife’s house building industry should attend – house builders, development companies and those working within construction-related professionals.  It’s important for public and private sectors to continue to work together and for all of  us to engage well with communities.

 

“This event will showcase the investment and innovation opportunities within the region and describe the improving market conditions within Mid-Fife.

 

“Mid-Fife has readily available sites, good infrastructure including existing transport links and lots of potential.  It includes a high quality natural and built environment and is set to benefit from considerable new investment.  This includes over £70 million of funding for a dedicated rail link to serve Levenmouth and the surrounding areas.”

 

Email housebuilders.forum@fife.gov.uk to reserve your free place.

Fife businesses to showcase products at the Country Living Fair in Glasgow

Fife Council is supporting Fife businesses to exhibit at the Country Living Fair at the SEC, Glasgow on 21 to 24 November.

 

If you are planning to attend the show, make sure you visit stand C26 where businesses such as Freedom Unlimited (Dalgety Bay), Scogli (Burntisland), Tayport Distillery (Tayport) and the writer and food ambassador Christopher Trotter will be exhibiting.

 

Also exhibiting will be House of Bluebell (Auchtertool), The Wee Tea Company (Dunfermline), Wemyss Malts (Kingsbarns) and the award-winning Eden Mill in St Andrews.

 

Gordon Mole, Interim Chief Officer, Business and Employability at Fife Council said: ” The Food and Drink Sector has been identified as a key priority for Fife and the Council has committed to resource its development.  Fife has world-class innovative producers and we are committed to supporting them access new markets and attract new customers.  Using the Trade Development Programme to assist companies to exhibit at the Country Living Show is a great example of how Fife Council works closely with businesses to support their growth plans.”

 

The Trade Development Programme has been developed by Fife Council to help businesses participate in, or visit, exhibitions in a wide range of industry sectors.  It organises group stands at major national events, such as this year’s Royal Highland Show.  Companies also receive a range of support services from advice and information to customised training.

 

The Fife business businesses attending this year’s Country Living Fair should make quite an impact on the anticipated 19,000 visitors to the show with their high-quality handcrafted items.  As they attract new customers and grow their business, Fife Council’s Economic Development team will provide them with further support and advice  to help strengthen their capacity to grow and be successful.

 

For more information on Fife Council’s Trade Development Programme email dorothy.smith@fife.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

FSB Small Business Awards 2019 Open for Entries

The Federation of Small Business’ annual Celebrating Small Businesses Awards are the leading celebration of small businesses, shining a light on some of the best, most innovative and most determined small businesses.

 

Open to all small businesses and self-employed  – whether current members of the FSB or not – the awards are free to enter.

 

Winning an FSB Celebrating Small Business Award is a great was to showcase your business achievements and celebrate business success and innovation.

 

 

Entries to the Scottish awards are open until 11 January 2019 – click for more information and to submit your entry.

Fife Council welcomes Tay Cities Deal investment

Last week, Council leaders formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal which will finance more than 20 projects across Tayside creating over 6,000 jobs across the region.

 

Under the deal, £37 million of investment will be injected into local tourism and culture as well as some £25 million to be invested in the University of St Andrew’s Eden Campus.

 

The Tay Cities Deal commits both the Scottish and UK governments to work with partners across Tayside and Fife to deliver a deal that creates a smarter, fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross.

 

Representatives from the Scottish and UK governments joined leaders of the council, businesses and academia at Perth & Kinross Council HQ to sign the Heads of Terms last week.

 

Co-Leader of Fife Council, David Ross said, “This signing of the Deal is a significant milestone for North East Fife. This investment will enable all City Deal partners to deliver real and lasting economic benefit to the region, making it an even more attractive and inclusive place to live, work, visit and do business. The investment brings a range of opportunities across the whole region and the next steps include developing in-depth business cases for the funded programmes of work.”

 

Councillor Karen Marjoram of Fife Council said, “I am pleased that the Heads of Terms have been agreed by both the UK and Scottish governments, and the councils involved. This is an exciting step forward for the Tay Cities Deal. Boosting the economy of the region will bring new jobs and infrastructure improvements to benefit everyone. There are many benefits to Fife of the Regional Skills Programme, Regional Culture and Tourism programme.

 

“This will be of real benefit to Fife. It supports our efforts to tackle inequality, develop a Fairer Fife where everyone benefits, and will support economic growth. As well as creating new opportunities for people currently without jobs to get into employment, it will also help those who are in work to progress. This will happen in a variety of ways and improve the lives of people across the whole area.”

 

Councillor Tim Brett added, “The Eden Campus development will create around 500 new jobs and enhance the reputation of the region as a leader in innovation, sustainable development and biotechnology. In partnership with the University of St Andrews, investment will see this former paper mill at its Guardbridge site redeveloped into a global research and innovation hub.

 

“The investment at the Eden Mill site in Guardbridge is great news and will hopefully lead to more employment opportunities as the site is developed. I also hope that the joint working with other three authorities will lead to closer working in the future, which will benefit us all.”

 

The key elements of the Tay Cities deal include:

 

Preparing for a Low carbon Future

  • Investment in the University of St Andrews’s Eden Campus, Guardbridge – a 32.5 acre industrial site – will include: up to £7 million to develop a primary substation power upgrade at the site, up to £13.5 million for the Scottish Centre for Clean Energy Storage and Conversion – building on strengths in carbon innovation – and up to £4 million for the Eden Enterprise Hub.
  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £2 million, alongside Fife Council, in Eden Enterprise to establish a commercially viable business incubator that caters for spin-out and start-up companies from the region’s universities.

 

Employability and Skills

  • The Scottish Government will invest up to £20 million to support delivery of the Tay Cities Skills and Employability Development Programme to deliver Fair Work. This will reduce skills shortages and gaps as well as support re-skilling into new career opportunities.
  • New job opportunities for the people of Dundee, Fife, Perth & Kinross and Angus through research and innovation – from research and academic posts, to new start-up companies, expansion of existing companies and migration of companies to the region.

 

Developing a World Class Tourism Offer

  • The Scottish Government will invest £37 million, subject to approval of a programme business case, to support a regional culture and tourism investment programme. This aims to build on current tourism offerings at St Andrews, Gleneagles and V&A Dundee.

 

Advanced and Sustainable Manufacturing

  • £10 million of investment from the Scottish Government in high value manufacturing. This includes £2 million to establish the Tay Cities Engineering Partnership, the first regional engineering and advanced manufacturing network in Scotland.

 

Building a World Class Renewable Energy and Decommissioning Industry

  • To maximise the significant potential economic benefits of offshore decommissioning to the Tay Cities region, the Scottish Government is committed to working with Dundeecom and the regional economic development partners to maximise opportunities to build supply chain capabilities and new technologies.
  • The Scottish and UK governments will consider how best to support additional port infrastructure investment in Methil where this contributes to, and creates additional value, in the renewable energy sector.

 

Transport

  • The regional transport model will help inform masterplanning across the region. Together with the regional transport partnership, TACTRAN, has commissioned a Tay Cities Regional Transport Model to help inform understanding of problems and opportunities and appraisal of potential strategic transport interventions.

 

An Empowered Tay – A New Regional Partnership

  • The Deal promises a “new approach to economic development, strategic planning and transport planning underpinned by a new approach to city regional governance”.

Decommissioning specialist plans a new Fife facility

Decommissioning specialist, CessCon Decom Ltd, has set its sights on setting up a scrapping facility at the Energy Park Fife in Methil.

 

The company, which is a new Scottish-based division of the Norwegian firm, CessCon Decom AS, has signed heads of terms with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council.

 

The company said it was “fitting” for the numerous oil rigs that were built in the Methil yard to be returned for decommissioning.

 

Cesscon Decom Ltd said it is ready to make a “multi-million pound” investment to create an area fit for dismantling with water collection and treatment facilities.

 

The development could see the return of much needed jobs for the area following redundancies at the BiFab yards in Methil and Burntisland.

 

CessCon Decom Ltd CEO, Lee Hanlon said, “We have been working extensively with Scottish Enterprise and Fife Council to secure the site at the Energy Park Fife.

 

“The aim is to develop an east coast facility in Scotland to complement our existing European facilities, adding to the expansion of our decommissioning services in the UK, Europe and Asia.

 

“The Energy Park Fife facility is advantageously located to accommodate the substantial North Sea decommissioning market and it is very fitting that assets that were constructed and commissioned at the Energy Park some 20 or 30 years ago, might return to be decommissioned and recycled, creating a true circular economy, and bringing employment opportunities to the Fife area.”

 

Read the full story here.

Heads of Terms signed for Tay Cities Deal

Council leaders have formally signed the historic £700 million Tay Cities Deal.

 

After months of negotiation, the heads of terms were officially agreed at a ceremony in Perth this morning (Thursday 22 November).

 

The deal will finance more than 20 major projects across Tayside and Fife, creating more than 60,000 jobs. The projects to be funded include a regional culture and tourism investment programme and the University of St Andrews’ Eden Campus.

 

The Scottish and UK Governments have each committed to investing up to £150 million throughout a 10-15 year period, subject to the approval of ‘robust business cases’.

 

The investment also has the potential to lever in more than £400 million of investment over the next decade.

 

Representatives of the UK and Scottish Governments joined four council leaders and business chiefs at Perth and Kinross Council HQ for the signing.

 

Click to see full details of the Deal.