I was delighted to host the second Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards at Gogarburn on the 21st February 2017.
Interface are a natural partner for the bank and form part of the bank’s free Boost programme aimed at driving small business growth by helping organisations make the right connections.
Small businesses represent 54% of all private employment in Scotland. The sector is crucial to the economic success of the Scottish economy and it is important that as a bank for Scotland we do everything that we can to help them prosper.
Being a small business owner brings its own unique set of challenges and our recent Enterprise Monitor report showed that whilst small business owners want to grow, 36% know where to go to for advice to help enable that growth and just a third feel they have access to the relevant advisors.
Through Boost we aim to make this easier. We aim to create a pathway to the correct networks and make it easier to find the resources people need at all stages of growth. We will also give small businesses access to specialist services provided by partners.
Research by Royal Bank of Scotland and YouGov shows that 86 percent of small businesses acknowledge new business connections boost their growth, yet a third are still struggling to make them. Networking is seen to be so vital that a fifth currently spend up to £1,000 to make a single new business connection.
The Royal Bank of Scotland has supported Scottish business for 290 years and Boost is an opportunity to help a new generation of business owners grow and develop. This is a great opportunity to help bring the people, talent and skills we have across the country together to help our entrepreneurs and industries prosper.
Through a dedicated digital portal, small businesses can now get access to valuable business insight and be connected to a team of 11 Business Growth Enablers operating across Scotland.
Operating regionally, their local knowledge and networks can connect businesses with each other, provide hands-on expertise and training, and will host regular local workshops and events. An entirely free project, the initiative was officially launched on January 19.