Gillian Hambley, Business Engagement Executive, Interface, is in the heart of the North East business community, using her superb connections into universities across Scotland to boost business success.
We caught up with her to find out what she does, how she does it, and why Interface’s free and impartial service can make all the difference to organisations.
When did you start at Interface and what’s your background?
Having supported business in the North East for over 10 years, with 6 of these being in post at Interface, I’ve seen many ups and downs within the economy and love how the community always adapts to whatever has been thrown at it. Redundancies have led to start-ups and now we are adapting to the energy transition exploring what part the North East will play in the drive to net zero and, who knows, even become the net zero capital of Europe.
What attracted you to the position?
Being a key player within the business support ecosystem across the North East as Business Engagement Executive at Interface I get to speak to a whole array of businesses – some obviously connected to supporting the drive to net zero with innovative renewable energy technologies, to others looking to redesign their product using more sustainable materials. Being able to support these businesses through introducing them to academic experts is fantastic as I know great things can happen when academic and industry skills combine. I’ve seen minimal viable products entering the market and incredible international marketing strategies being implemented.
What does your role incorporate?
Keeping in touch with the community and the various business support agencies, such as ABN (Aberdeen Business Network) and Opportunity North East, is a key part of my role. Knowing what support is out there for the businesses I speak to means that not only can I link organisations to brilliant expertise within the Scottish universities but I can also signpost a whole range of support opportunities from funding calls to local events.
What advice would you give businesses which want to collaborate with academic expertise?
If there’s a challenge or pressure point that is holding your business back or even stalling your growth potential then ask for support. It’s a free service for us to chat and for us to reach out across the Scottish universities to what experts are there for you. There could be an individual or an incredible facility behind the doors of the universities just waiting to have the chance to impact industry with their knowledge and studies.
What three words sum you up?
Approachable, eager, passionate.
Get in touch with Gillian to find out how Interface can help your business grow.