Since John Swinney MSP launched the Scotland CanDo agenda five years ago, entrepreneurial organisations from across the country have engaged in regular cooperation to make Scotland “a world-leading nation for entrepreneurship and innovation”.
In a crowded space, with competition from Lisbon to Tallinn, the companies, startups and organisations working as a part of the CanDo movement see their shared vision and core values as the unique selling points attracting business to the best small country in the world.
From the civil servants and investors engaging in alternative finance discussions, to the purpose-driven startups attracting human capital to Scottish technology clusters, the message coming from Scotland is that business works a lot better when it benefits everyone - a message backed by think tanks such as the EY Beacon Institute and embraced by the tidal wave of companies joining the B-Corp movement worldwide.
An essential part of the momentum behind Scotland’s CanDo forum comes from the fact that the Scottish Government has encouraged the entrepreneurial community to set its own course. Organisations involved support each other in working towards long-term goals, free from the pressures that come with election and budget cycles and free to adapt to the emerging needs of the Scottish entrepreneurial community. Think of a flotilla of speed boats heading to the same coordinates, each nimble enough to adjust course when necessary, rather than a single oil tanker ploughing through the sea with no ability to react to the ever-changing waters.
Not long ago the CanDo forum was a handful of organisations that opted to share their plans and ambitions for Scotland rather than compete for the attention of the nation’s entrepreneurial talent. Two years later, and our quarterly meetings attract over 70 members working from a shared calendar towards a common goal.
2018 sees a new level of collaboration within the Scottish entrepreneurial community with the first CanDo festival - three weeks in April and May - through which backbone organisations are bringing events such as EIE18 and Entrepreneurial Scotland’s annual conference under one banner to attract the world to Scotland.
The festival will also see the inaugural Virtual Economy Leaders forum and a new Impact Summit organised by FutureX, bringing international leaders in the public, private and social sectors together with enterprising citizens to reimagine the global economy of tomorrow. As part of the momentum behind CanDo festival, we hope Scotland will become the first nation to adopt a Best for Scotland competition, encouraging companies to take steps to becoming B-Corps.
Above all, we want everyone to feel welcome on the journey towards creating the world’s first regenerative economy and make Scotland the global epicentre of purpose-led entrepreneurial talent. If you’d like your company, network or organisation to be part of CanDo festival 2018 you can attend any of the events or nominate yourself as an event host at candofest.scot