Queen's Awards for Enterprise
Scotswoman’s unique prize among Queen’s roll of honour
A Scottish businesswoman with a long track record of mentoring young people has become the first woman north of the border to receive the Queen’s Award for enterprise promotion.
Margaret Gibson, chief executive of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, has been recognised for more than 20 years of promoting enterprise in Scotland.
Receiving the same honour is Nelson Gray, the angel investor and board member of LINC Scotland, the national association for business angels in Scotland.
A further eight Scottish firms were winners, and 141 in total, of Queen’s Awards for Enterprise announced today for outstanding business achievement in the fields of International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development.
After five years running her own food production business, Wild Rice, Margaret Gibson joined the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust in 1992. She worked there for 21 years, rising to the position of deputy chief executive.
Two years ago she joined Women’s Enterprise Scotland where she has worked to support women starting their own businesses.
She is a voluntary mentor with Young Enterprise Scotland and more recently with Entrepreneurial Spark, the innovative business incubator that is now being replicated in other parts of the UK.
She said: “I am delighted to receive this award – I feel it is not really for me but for all of the young entrepreneurs I have worked with.
“One of the things that I feel most strongly about is the need for young entrepreneurs to make links and connections with people. That way rather than trying to make it on your own you’re part of a big family of people.”
Annabelle Ewing MSP, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, said: “I am delighted that Margaret has been recognised with this prestigious award. I have always been struck by her selfless drive to support the next generation of entrepreneurial successes.”
Since selling his business in 1995, Mr Gray has been a key player in the development of a vibrant business angel community in Scotland, and in helping the LINC model achieve widespread international recognition and adoption.
As an active business angel, Mr Gray has helped numerous start-up and early stage entrepreneurs with funding, support and mentoring.
“People like myself become business angels because we want to invest our capital and knowledge into local businesses with the potential to make a significant economic difference. Seventeen years ago my wife and I invested in a Borders company which has grown into one of the largest employers in the area. I feel that we’ve put something back into Scotland, particularly for young people. It’s not just a financial payback, but a social one. I am a ‘hands-on’ investor and like to help businesses as well as providing money and if we can have fun along the way, even better.”
David Grahame the executive director of LINC Scotland said: “Over the years Nelson has been a superb champion for the angel community in this country and his activities overseas both for LINC Scotland and as a GlobalScot have helped angel groups around the world set up networks based on the Scottish model.
The company, which works in the oil and gas sector, won the award for international trade and with the support of local partners it now exports to more than 16 countries. It has enjoyed an increase of more than 100% in export earnings in the last three years.
Paddy Collins, managing director, said: “At Aubin, we are driven by our customers’ requirements and working closely with our clients cements our business success.
“We have developed strong international partnerships over the years and more than 90 per cent of our business is with repeat customers. We continue to retain several international clients since we began trading overseas more than 25 years ago.
“Around a quarter of our staff work on research and development projects, a significant investment for a company of our size, and our customers appreciate that we are committing considerable resources to provide tangible benefits to their operations.”
The United Arab Emirates is the company’s biggest overseas market, accounting for 45% of sales.
Mr Collins added: “We have established a strong presence in the UAE and I foresee continued strategic expansion in the region.
“We recently established an office in Dubai and have also announced a partnership agreement with Rawabi Trading and Contracting in Saudi Arabia.
“It is an important step which allows us to further improve the availability and delivery of additives that are urgently required by our customers. Our progress will help us accelerate the delivery of new products from development to deployment.”
A Linlithgow-based maker of kits for testing mobile phone networks.
Chief executive Tommy Cook said: “We have built a solid reputation of doing difficult things well, delivering pioneering products aligned to our customers’ ever-changing needs.
This combination of attributes has been pivotal in enabling us to establish a global reputation for market-leading products and it is an honour to receive this award in recognition of our success.”
The Cumbernauld company sells through distributors in the US and Japan, and via agents in Europe. It also has flagship stores in London and Tokyo.
Rabbie’s Trail Burners
The Edinburgh tour company provides scheduled mini-coach tours, holiday packages and other travel services for international consumers and trade. Passenger numbers on scheduled tours in 2013 reached 61,065 – an increase of 36% from 2011
Air Service Training
Aviation consultant based in Perth
Motherwell based maker, designer and installer of vacuum furnaces.
Offshore engineer based in Aberdeen
Global Pipe Components
A provider of inventory to the oil, gas and petrochemical pndustry worldwide based in Aberdeen