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SCDI ‘re-energises’ its brand and becomes Prosper

Sara Thiam
Sara Thiam: essential that we modernise

Economic policy organisation, the Scottish Council for Development & Industry, has confirmed a change of name and from today will be known as Prosper.

It says the re-brand reflects its ambition to support economic innovation in Scotland.

The decision to change the name of the 92-year-old organisation was revealed by Daily Business in June when chief executive Sara Thiam said it was to “ensure we bring SCDI to a new audience and to better reflect what we do”.

After a series of consultations with its broadly-based membership, the new name has been launched with the backing of the First Minister and the Secretary of State for Scotland.

“We are incredibly proud of our heritage as one of Scotland’s most important membership organisations,” said Ms Thiam.

“However, given the huge changes in Scotland’s economy, industry and society in recent years, we felt it was essential that we modernised and re-energised the way we present ourselves to the outside world.

“We hope that our sophisticated new brand will be appealing both to our existing membership base and to new members from across the private, public and voluntary sectors who share our vision for a brighter, better future for Scotland.”

SCDI differs from other “trade” groups in having a more eclectic membership and a broader role in influencing government thinking. Its members are drawn from business, local authorities, trade unions, voluntary and third sector organisations and in some cases have opposing views.

Two years ago it was forced into a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) because of a legacy issue that left it short of cash to cover its pension commitments and which threatened the organisation’s existence.

Ms Thiam took over as CEO in June 2019 and following the CVA reshaped the team and launched a 10-year strategy.

Speaking ahead of the annual forum in June, she said the full name of the organisation was “a bit of a mouthful” and dated. There was a mistaken view that it was a public sector organisation.

First Minister Humza Yousaf with SCDI representatives (see full caption below)

Responding to today’s news, First Minister Humza Yousaf said: “SCDI and the Scottish Government have worked closely to help promote fair work principles and deliver better outcomes for people across Scotland.

“As Prosper, I am confident its members will continue to champion cross-sector collaborative working and innovative approaches to continue to further our shared goal of a fair, green and growing economy.

“By working closely in partnership with industry, we can develop sustainable economic models to support efforts to take on the many social and environmental challenges facing Scotland and the world.”

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack: “SCDI has a long and proud relationship with the UK Government, having represented its diverse membership at Westminster for decades.

“Those productive relationships between Prosper, parliament and the UK government will continue for decades to come, cemented by our shared commitment to a thriving Scottish economy.”

Group photo shows:

Front row (L-R):  Joanna Boag-Thomson, Chair, Prosper

Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s First Minister

Lord Stewart of Dirleton KC (Advocate General for Scotland)

Shonaig Macpherson, President, Prosper

Back row (L-R): 

Rozanne Foyer, General Secretary, Scottish Trades Union Congress

Michael Downey, Operations Manager, Committee of Scottish Bankers Judith Cruickshank, Chair, Scotland Board, Royal Bank of Scotland

Stephen Leckie, President of Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Councillor Shona Morrison, President of COSLA

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