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INSPIRING GROWTH: Alternative ways to take your business to the next level

22nd March 2017 @ 8:30 am - 1:00 pm

£59 + VAT

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                                                                  Sponsored by                                                                                                    App Partner                                                                                                                                                       


For SMEs in Scotland, the transformation from an early-stage to a mature and successful business can be extremely challenging.

With traditional debt and equity funding difficult to access for young companies, alternative finance – usually sourced through crowdfunding platforms – is increasingly being used to drive forward businesses with high-growth ambitions. One of the broader challenges is matching businesses with investors to plug gaps in both the supply and demand of finance to support SME growth.

This event – targeted at established businesses looking to scale up – will hear from a range of experts about the benefits of alternative finance. It will also look at a wider range of issues affecting SMEs, including exports, e-commerce and how to overcome the variety of challenges facing businesses wanting to scale up. The ultimate aim is to help them compete in UK and international markets.



9:00am Welcome and Introduction by Chair
Laura Gordon, Vistage International and  Corporate Connections International

Session 1 – Overview

9:05am The Scottish economy and the importance of SMEs: an overview plus Q&A
Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work

9:30am Inspiration and perspiration: two paths to business success
Petra Wetzel, Founder and Managing Director, WEST Brewery

9:55am Innovative funding solutions for SMEs: How alternative finance is challenging traditional funding solutions
Stuart Lunn, CEO, LendingCrowd

10:15am Supporting small businesses in Scotland through alternative finance
Derek Shaw, Investment Director, Scottish Investment Bank

10:30am Moving to the next level: what you need to scale up and grow
Paula Skinner, Partner, Harper Macleod

10:50am Q&A with Petra Wetzel, Stuart Lunn, Derek Shaw and Paula Skinner

11:10 Coffee Break

Session 2 – Different paths to growth

11:40am Taking one step at a time to tech success
Leah Hutcheon, Founder and Chief Executive, Appointedd

11:55am E-Commerce as a driver of global growth
Emil Stickland, Director, Thrive Digital

12:10pm Exporting skills and knowledge
Angela Morrison, Founder, Owner and Director, amiExecutive

12:25pm The five pillars of making your own luck
Brian Smillie, Founder and CEO, Beezer

12:40pm Q&A with Leah Hutcheon, Emil Stickland, Angela Morrison, Brian Smillie and Lucy-Rose Walker, Chief Entrepreneuring Officer, Entrepreneurial Spark

1:00pm Summary by Chair and close


Fees include refreshments before and during the event followed by a networking lunch and access to post-conference reports.



22nd March 2017
8:30 am - 1:00 pm


The Scotsman Conferences
0131 311 7233
View Organiser Website


Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh
Nicholson St
Edinburgh, EH8 9DW United Kingdom
View Venue Website