Creating an enterprising and prosperous future

Opportunity driving growth

Hundreds of people attended events in North East Business Week 2016, on the theme of Entrepreneurship Driving Growth. You can read the results of our bespoke survey from the event here.

Each year, Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce, Elevator, SCDI and FSB join forces to create a week of events for the local business community looking at a theme 'driving growth', in the collective quest to create a sustainable, enterprising and prosperous future for the North East region - in 2017 the theme will be 'Opportunity Driving Growth’. The key four partners will invite further associate partners, fitting with the theme of Opportunity Driving Growth, to host events to build the vibrant schedule of the week.

North East Business Week is a week of events taking place in Aberdeen City and Shire from Monday 24th April to Friday 28th April 2017, which invites the North East Business Community to gather to discuss how Opportunities in the region can assist in driving the growth of local businesses. The events vary from breakfast meetings to lunches, networking events, private dinners and will conclude with a larger event on Friday the 28th of April, open to all, to reflect on the week of events and the learning taken from them.

Events will take place in a variety of locations across Aberdeen City and Shire.

More information will follow in the coming weeks.

Monday 24th April 2017

9:30am - 11:00am Conservative Party Political Briefing

Venue: Elevator at The Hub, Aberdeen Energy Park, Exploration Drive
Time: 9:30am - 11:00am
More details to follow.

3:00pm - 5:00pm RGU Free Digital Health Check

Venue: Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen Business School
Time: 3:00pm - 5:00pm
Link: Book Here
This Robert Gordon University Business Week event will offer tailored advice on and a health check on the effectiveness of your current website and social media marketing? What could you do to optimise your digital marketing - and where should you start?

RGU’s MSc Digital Marketing’s student agency, The Digital Scot, will be providing FREE Digital Marketing Health checks to help you answer these questions. Together, we will uncover key actions to drive your business growth through digital. We’ll provide you with a summary report and discuss key findings in a 30-minute advice session on the day.

We have 10 places available – registration will close on Fri 14 April and businesses will be selected based on timing and operational criteria (e.g. availability of access to your digital analytics).

6:00pm RGU Supply Chain Forum

Venue: Robert Gordon University, Sir Ian Wood Building
Time: 6:00pm
Link: Book Here
The Forum is now also being organised as part of Robert Gordon University's contribution to the North East Business Week.

This session will feature presentations from Google Digital Garage, Amazon EU, Total and other local organisations. It is open to businesses and students alike.

Pre-event refreshments will be served.

Tuesday 25th April 2017

9.00am – 11.00am Your Future Workforce - DYW Employer Workshop

Venue: The Craighaar Hotel
Time: 9.00am – 11.00am
Are you ready make your future workforce your business?

Join Developing the Young Workforce North East Scotland for this interactive session where you can learn about the opportunities to engage with education.

We'll look at your goals as a company and look at how we can support you in branching into new or different engagement activities with schools, colleges and universities. You'll leave the workshop with a better understanding of the things you can support schools and young people with.

2:00pm - 4:00pm What's After Gin? Elevator's Innovation Event for North East Business Week

Venue: The Barn at Barra Castle (brand new venue!), Inverurie
Time: 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Link: Free event open to all: Book Here
Join us at the brand new venue - The Barn at Barra Castle where Sarah Stephen of Barra Berries will host us.

At this event, in the luscious Aberdeenshire backdrop, we look at the North East Business Week theme of Opportunity Driving Growth in the North East of Scotland.

This event in particular looks at 'What's After Gin?', where we take a look at the Craft Gin Revolution, and what may follow it? We hear from speakers: Ben Irivani from Porter's Gin and Jayne Carmichael-Norrie from The Gin Room.

We then take a look at what innovations and opportunities can be utilised to establish the next stage of your business. This will be an interactive 'Innovation in the Wild' session with Steve Harrison of Scottish Enterprise. There will be networking opportunities at this event and Coffees, Teas and Homebakes from a local supplier will be provided. Utilise this opportunity to expand your mind, your network and take in the stunning countryside at The Barn at Barra Castle, a brand new venue for both weddings and corporate events.

Wednesday 26th April 2017

7:00am - 9:00am Business Breakfast: Opportunity Driving Growth

Venue: Aberdeen Exhibition & Conference Centre (AECC), Bridge of Don, Aberdeen, Aberdeen, AB23 8BL
Time: 7:00am - 9:00am
Speakers: Alan Dickson, Chief Operating Officer, BBC Scotland
Geraldine McCartney, Finance Business Partner, BBC Scotland
Link: Book Here
This breakfast is part of North East Business Week and will launch The Ultimate Business Show 2017, focusing on the theme of ‘Opportunity Driving Growth’.

The broadcasting industry has gone through seismic change over the last 20 years and continues to do so at an unprecedented rate.

How do you navigate and evolve a business to make sure it is responsive to current audience and market demands, but also be match fit and ready for the next chapter and future audience? This is the challenge facing BBC Scotland and the wider BBC as it embarks on a new Royal Charter. Alan Dickson, BBC Scotland’s chief operating officer and Geraldine McCartney, BBC Scotland’s finance business partner will give an overview of the BBC’s business in Scotland, how it impacts the wider creative industry and what it needs to do keep it relevant to all audiences in an ever increasing digital age.

Alan was appointed to the post of BBC Scotland’s chief operating officer in 2013 and has since been responsible for leading the broadcaster’s core enabling functions. Prior to his appointment in 2013, Alan held a variety of senior business management roles across BBC Scotland, in both the TV and Radio content making departments.

Geraldine has held the post of BBC Scotland’s Finance Business Partner since 2013 and works closely with the commissioning editor, TV to maximise impact and value from BBC Scotland’s Programme Slate. She has additional responsibilities as the Head of Strategy and played a key role in devising BBC Scotland’s Content Strategy.

Attendees will gain immediate access to the Show after the breakfast to visit exhibitors, learn from topical seminars and network with businesses from across the North-east.

To find out more information about The Ultimate Business Show, please visit

9.00am – 11.30am Political Briefing - Liberal Democrats

Venue: Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce
Time: 9.00am – 11.30am
More information to follow.

9.00am – 4:00pm The Ultimate Business Show (TUBS) is back for 2017.

Time: 9.00am – 4:00pm
Link: Book Here
The Ultimate Business Show (TUBS) is back for 2017.

It returns on April 26, 2017, once again at the AECC, and this time features as part of North East Business Week.
The Ultimate Business Show brings together the best products, services and offers available to businesses in the North-east.

It features around 75 local exhibitors and is the perfect platform for attendees to source products or services in the region, helping them to save money while keeping the North-east economy buoyant. Throughout the day, there is a series of fantastic free seminar sessions. These aim to provide the right tools and knowledge to secure new business and raise a company's profile.

The Ultimate Business Show welcomed over 70 exhibiting businesses in 2016 from across the North-east and attracted an audience of nearly 800 delegates on the day.
  • Meet our local exhibitors
  • Attend our free seminars
  • Be entered into free prize draw to win The Ultimate Business Hamper
  • Network with fellow attendees
Tell us you’re coming and join the conversation #TUBS2017

7.00pm – 7.30pm SCDI Influencers’ Dinner

Venue: Ardoe House Hotel & Spa, South Deeside Road, Blairs, Aberdeen, AB12 5YP
Time: 7.00pm – 7.30pm
Speaker: Ian Laidlaw, Chief Executive, Peterhead Port Authority
Link: Invitation only
SCDI Contact: Fiona Downie –
More details to follow.

12:00am - 3:00pm BAFTA Scotland Presents: A Games Keynote with Brenda Romero in partnership with Robert Gordon University and Oracle Academy

Venue: N242 Lecture Theatre, The Sir Ian Wood Building, Robert Gordon University
Time: 12:00am - 3:00pm
Link: Book Here
Brenda Romero is a BAFTA award-winning game designer, artist and Fulbright scholar who entered the video game industry in 1981.

As a designer, she has worked on 47 games and contributed to many seminal titles, including the Wizardry and Jagged Alliance series and titles in the Ghost Recon, Dungeons & Dragons and Def Jam franchises. Away from the machine, her analog series of six games, The Mechanic is the Message, has drawn national and international acclaim, particularly Train and Siochán Leat (The Irish Game) which is presently housed in the National Museum of Play. This year, she is to be awarded the 2017 Development Legend at the Develop Industry Excellence Awards.

In 2015, she won the coveted Ambassador's Award at the Game Developers Choice Awards. In 2014, she received a Fulbright award to study Ireland's game industry, academic and government policies.

In 2013, she was named one of the top 10 game developers by and Develop magazine listed her among the 25 people who changed games in 2013. Romero co-owns Romero Games based in Galway and is Program Director at the University of Limerick MSc in Game Design & Development.

Oracle Academy advances computer science education globally to drive knowledge, innovation, skills development, and diversity in technology fields. Each year, Oracle Academy reaches more than 3.1 million students in 110 countries. Education is a prerequisite to community stability, economic prosperity, and future innovation, and students and educators who engage with Oracle Academy gain industry-relevant skills and knowledge that enrich their futures.

As part of the event, there will be two members of Oracle Academy's Team available to explain the free resources available to students and staff as members of Oracle's Academy. Membership of the Academy is free and open to all students and staff.

Thursday 27th April 2017

9.00am – 11:00am Political Briefing - SNP - at Aberdeen Grampian Chamber of Commerce

Time: 9.00am – 11:00am
More details to follow.

10:00am into the evening North East Scotland College Event

Venue: The Loch Street Entrance of the College
Time: 10:00am into the evening
Link: No booking required.
Photographic Exhibition of George St. Members of the public, local traders, students and staff can write down their views on what’s good or not so good about the area now. People can also describe their vision of what George St could look like in the future, with a little investment

Students Driving Growth

North East Scotland College students from our Learning Opportunities programmes will showcase & sell their produce.

Opportunities that make a difference

The Students’ Association will showcase a storyboard highlighting the benefits of volunteering in the Association.

Opportunities for You!

Staff from Student Services will be available to discuss full time and part time courses that may be suitable for you.

Showcasing skills for Life, Learning & Work.

Administration students will highlight the skills they have learnt on their courses and how they have made the most of their opportunities.

2:00pm to 4:00pm The University of Aberdeen Business Model Innovation

Venue: Linklater Rooms, University of Aberdeen, Regent Walk, Aberdeen, AB24 3FX
Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Speaker: Steve Harrison - Scottish Enterprise
Link: Book Here
Join our session for a quick-fire ideation and creation session as part of North east Business Week 2017

Come and meet a selection of business founders and disrupt their businesses!

Steve Harrison will lead our interactive session to help participants develop the tools and techniques to identify areas of growth in business while giving fresh ideas to business founders.

In quick-fire rounds with a host business founder you will use random word process, among other tools, to show how sausages and cheetahs can identify areas of potential growth in new markets.

3:00pm - 4:00pm One Great George Street – the Workshop

Venue: The Loch Street Entrance of the College
Time: 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Link: Book Here
Representatives from local enterprise agencies will facilitate an Ideas Generation Workshop. If money were no object, what could George Street become?

This workshop will be opened by guest speaker, Marc Cole from Aberdeen City Council

6:00pm to 9:30pm Young Enterprise Scotland Event - Young Enterprise Grampian Final 2017

Venue: The Sir Ian Wood Building, Robert Gordon University, Garthdee Road, Aberdeen
Time: 6:00pm to 9:30pm (although the trade stands will be in situ from about 2:00pm)
Speakers: Chris Burnett - Surge Aberdeen
Jamie Hutcheon - Award winning entrepreneur and founder of Cocoa Ooze.
Link: Book Here
Join us for an exciting and entertaining evening as the six finalists in the annual Young Enterprise Grampian programme battle it out to represent the region in the forthcoming Scottish finals. These young entrepreneurs from schools across Aberdeen City and Shire have created and run their own companies for a school year and have faced challenges, solved problems and experienced the highs and lows of any business owner in 'the real world'.

Compered by broadcaster and columnist Nicky Marr, tickets for this Dragons' Den meets The Apprentice meets The X Factor entrepreneurial extravaganza are highly sought after so reserve your place today.

Details for the evening
5pm - Registration, Drinks & bites, A chance to peruse the finalists’ trade stands.

6.15pm - The Main Event. The six finalists present to the judging panel and the audience. Question time.

7.30pm - Presentation by Chris Burnett - Surge Aberdeen

7.40pm - Drinks and comfort break.

8.10pm - Presentation by award winning entrepreneur and Founder of Cocoa Ooze, Jamie Hutcheon.

8.20pm - The winners are announced. Presentations.

9pm - Close

7:00pm to 9:00pm FSB / SDS event - Skill Up Your Business

Venue: The Royal British Legion, Ravenswood, Ramsay Road, Banchory AB31 5TS (ample free parking on site)
Time: 7:00pm to 9:00pm
Apprenticeships in Scotland are changing. Discover the benefits of work-based learning and the opportunities available to help your business grow.

Presented in association with FSB and Skills Development Scotland, this free event will focus on the benefits of taking on apprentices and developments in the Apprenticeships Family, which can support your future business success. Whether your business will be paying the Apprenticeship Levy from 2017 or not, find out how apprenticeships can work for you.

Europe’s highest-performing economies are supported by strong systems of work-based learning, contributing to low unemployment and fewer skill shortages. In partnership with employers, we are aiming to achieve a world-class infrastructure for work-based learning here in Scotland. Industry-led Foundation, Modern and Graduate Level Apprenticeships are the key SDS products that are supporting work-based learning across Scotland.

SDS has also a range of other products and services available to employers to help businesses develop and grow and you will be able to hear about these in more detail at the event from Roddy Innes, Employer Engagement Adviser with Skills Development Scotland.

Friday 28th April 2017

9.30am – 11:00am Greens/Independent Party Political Briefing

Time: 9.30am – 11:00am
More details to follow.

12:00am – 2:00pm Opportunity North East - North East Business Week Wrap up event.

Venue: ONE Office
Time: 12:00am – 2:00pm
Pat Machray to share vision for the North East with the youth of the region. Survey results to be shared.

12:00am – 2:00pm ONE Young People’s Event Towards economic renaissance

Venue: ONE Office
Time: 12:00am – 2:00pm
  • Engage with 20-30 key young people in the North East, drawn from the young business community, the two universities and college
  • Provide attendees with an understanding of the economic challenge facing the region, the Renaissance scenario and the economic diversification strategy, thus providing the context for ONE’s work
  • Provide attendees with an understanding of the economic challenge facing the region, the Renaissance scenario and the economic diversification strategy, thus providing the context for ONE’s work
  • Provide the audience with the opportunity to engage in the Renaissance scenario

Renaissance vision and investing in our future

Introduction to the current economic climate and the Renaissance versus Museum scenario to 2050, with some comments on the mega trends that will influence the future economy.

ONE’s activities to date and future priorities

An update on ONE’s activities in the key industry sectors and priorities for the year ahead with a look forward at the trends that will influence growth opportunities.
  • Food, drink and agriculture
  • Life sciences
  • Oil and gas
  • Tourism
  • Achieving high growth entrepreneurial companies
  • How to maximise the digital technology opportunities
Interactive session – a facilitated discussion each table around the key industry sectors and themes.

Attendees will discuss and consider:
  • Which trends will have most impact on the sectors and regional economy?
  • How do we maximise the opportunities associated with these trends – what actions should we take and how do we mitigate the risk they may pose?
The feedback from the discussion will be collated and inform the development of future projects and will form part of an ongoing dialogue following the event with a range of audiences.
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