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International expansion

Scottish Business Network opens office in New York

Ian Houston: key moment

Scottish Business Network, the global organisation linking Scots around the world, is launching its first international outpost.

A new company has been set up with a New York office through the support of active members of the Scottish diaspora in the US.

SBN Inc will be led by Ian Houston, a former advocate for the US Foreign Service and diplomacy, who assumes the position of president, supported by Fraser Grier as vice president.

Mr Houston represents the network in Washington DC and Mr Grier has a similar role in New York where he is a lawyer with DiRaimondo & Schroeder.

They have been prominent supporters of Scotland and fundamental in driving this next stage in SBN’s growth. The board includes Lynn McCloghry, SBN Ambassador to Los Angeles and Lorraine Bell a seasoned director of non-profit organisations.

The US is the largest international export market for Scottish products and services, estimated at £5.5bn in 2017.

Members of the Scottish diaspora can be found at senior levels within the largest corporations and as founders of businesses across all sectors. SBN has mapped members of the diaspora in all 50 states and over 2021 will appoint local ambassadors in each state capital to coordinate support for SBN Members.

Russell Dalgleish and Christine Esson

Russell Dalgleish and Christine Esson (pic: Terry Murden)

Mr Houston stated: “This is a key moment for Scotland to be bold in engaging with global markets and expanding international relationships.

“The United States is Scotland’s largest international trading partner and the cultural ties run deep. With this historic step SBN is expanding a footprint in the US.

“This will enable us to make even stronger contributions to the goal of furthering Scottish business and engagement in the US alongside our many partners and friends.”

SBN CEO Christine Esson added: “The USA is a key export market for Scottish Businesses and by establishing our offices in New York and increasing our USA Ambassadors presence, SBN is cementing our ambition to provide on the ground support for Scottish based businesses who have the ambition, passion and commitment to export and grow in the USA.” 

The SBN US office will coordinate activity with various Scottish organisations and entities in the US and Canada and this week will assist in the delivery of the inaugural “Business and Burns” conference on 28 January in partnership with the Scottish Government Office in Washington and Scottish Development International.

This event which has attracted large number of senior executives among the Scottish diaspora in the US will hear from the likes of Martin Valenti on Climate Enterprise and COP26, Jenny Gilruth, MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development on the route to achieving equality and SBN chairman Russell Dalgleish on the role of the diaspora in supporting Scotland.

Scottish Business Network is a not-for-profit international membership organisation for Scottish entrepreneurs and business leaders. The aim of this social enterprise is to facilitate greater communication and connectivity between talented Scottish companies and a network of leading Scottish diaspora around the globe.

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