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Joint global project

Exports initiative targets Scottish business diaspora

Russell Dalgleish and Christine Esson
Initiative: Russell Dalgleish and Christine Esson (pic: Terry Murden)

Senior executives around the world claiming Scottish heritage are being quizzed about the help they can offer to Scotland’s exporters.

Scottish Business Network (SBN) and Momentous Change have launched the worldwide initiative to explore opinion and build an insight into the business diaspora.

The research team will be led by Professor Roger Mullin of Momentous Change and will draw on more than 8,000 members garnered by SBN over the last three years. The overall project will encompass an online survey, one-on-one interviews and investigative research techniques.  

The study will form a detailed report presented to a global audience as part of the St Andrews Day celebrations in November. It is hoped that the insights secured from this project will be of major benefit to the Scottish business community.

Momentous Change founder Michelle Thomson stated “Never can it have been more important to undertake research into the views of our valued Scottish diaspora than in these uncertain times.

“Scotland has huge goodwill globally – and this can be translated into opportunity. We hope our research can add some insights to help shape how we all gain from those around the world who hold Scotland dear”. 

SBN CEO Christine Esson added “Diaspora is a topic that many countries are currently interested in. They are all trying to figure out what will add the most value to those with a strong heritage and link to their home nation. 

“By undertaking this research and engagement with the global Scottish diaspora, Scottish Business Network and Momentous Change will obtain first hand insights and data that can inform and support growth opportunities in international trade”.

Since its inception in 2016 Scottish Business Network has developed into the largest Scottish business diaspora community, partnering with leading organisations such as Standard Life Aberdeen, Silicon Valley Bank, Institute of Directors and Smith & Williamson.

Michelle Thomson
Uncertain times: Michelle Thomson (pic: Terry Murden)

In June this year SBN hosted the first Celtic Nations diaspora event in London where the concept of this survey was first raised. The need for the study was highlighted by recent reports from The Scale Up Institute and Beauhurst highlighting the weakness in the development of high growth businesses in Scotland.

As a social enterprise the goal of SBN is to support Scottish based companies’ secure new international opportunities through leveraging the connections and experience of those with Scottish connections.

More than 100 Scottish companies have now presented at SBN events and the community have been represented in London, New York, Silicon Valley and Dubai.

Russell Dalgleish, Chairman SBN added “As this research is privately funded, we are looking to identify partners who share our ambition to add their resources to our cause with the aim to ensure that this research samples as many opinions as possible. Scotland is a small country and it is only through collaboration and pulling together our assets that success can be achieved.”



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