Joining us were our Executive Team Ambassadors Martin Mutch, Mike Christopherson from Edinburgh and Nick Cohen from Glasgow, along with 2 of our 2017 Award winners, Barry Park of OEM Group – High Growth Company of the Year Award and Clare Burns of CarGo Seat – New Start Business Award along with Sunil Varu of Edinburgh’s West End BID and WeDO’s founder Belinda Roberts.
The evening started with an excellent and inspiring speech from WeDO member Dave Townsley from BQ, our media partners.
“To have had so many business enter the awards, and so many with amazing stories to tell, is really encouraging. Each year we hear brand new stories of businesses who are creating jobs as they increase their export markets.”
We also heard from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and legendary entrepreneur Fraser Doherty of Superjam who kept the audience entertained and captivated by the amazing tales of his incredible global entrepreneurial journey. Fraser set up SuperJam at 14, using his Gran’s jam recipes. Fraser became the youngest ever supplier to a major supermarket chain when Waitrose launched the range in March 2007. SuperJam now supplies over 2,000 supermarkets around the world (incl. Tesco, Asda Wal-Mart, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Waitrose) in countries including Australia, Russia,
Denmark, Finland and Ireland.
In August 2010, Fraser launched The SuperJam Cookbook, sharing his jammaking secrets with the world. In April 2011, he launched SuperBusiness; a book about his story and everything he has learned. Both books have since become best sellers, on sale at Waterstones, WHSmith and in supermarkets.
The company invests in running ‘SuperJam Tea Parties‘ for elderly people who live alone, in care homes or in sheltered housing. SuperJam has hosted over 125 events across the UK, with live music, dancing and, of course, scones and SuperJam. Up to 600 guests attend each of these events and they are growing in popularity every month.
It was fascinating to hear from Mr Jin Xu, Minister Counsellor (Economic & Commercial) from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the United Kingdom. He was keen to stress the opportunities in China for Scottish businesses and to encourage them to engage with China, fantastic opportunities abound and his enthusiasm was matched by the audience.
We were delighted to sponsor the Export Team of the Year Award and present the Award to winners Pure Malt Products the Haddington based, family-owned manufacturer of innovative malt ingredients for the food and beverage industries. In an amazing double whammy, Pure Malt also scooped the Emerging Markets Exporter of the Year Award Our congratulations to them on 2 fantastic and well-deserved Award wins. Well done also to all of the short-listed companies – Speyside Distillers, St James Smokehouse, Isle of Arran Distillers, John Ross Jr Aberdeen, Exchange Communications, Bute Fabrics and Add Energy.
Bridge of Weir Leather Company, won the overall Scottish Exporter of the Year Award as well as picking up the Large Exporter of the Year Award. They are the UK’s only manufacturer of leather for the automotive industry and as part of the parent company Scottish Leather Group operates one of the largest tanning groups in Europe. Their customers include Volvo, Mercedes, and McLaren.
The Judging Panel for the Awards included WeDO member Professor John Anderson, Head of SME Engagement at Strathclyde University Business School who is chairing the Panel Debate on ‘Scotland’s Future: What Lies Ahead’ at our Conference on the 17th of May at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh.
Our congratulations to all of the Award winners:
Ecommerce Exporter of the Year: Freeze Pro Shop
Most Entrepreneurial Exporter of the Year: SST Sensing
Commendation: Scottish Salmon Company
Micro Exporter of the Year: Cut Media
Small Exporter of the Year: Trtl
Commendation: Aqualife Services
High Growth Markets Exporter of the Year: Teknek UK
Scale Up Exporter of the Year: John McGavigan
Commendation: ARX Maritime
Our thanks to BQ for a fantastic evening which we all thoroughly enjoyed, we’re looking forward to next year already when we hope several of our members will be entering the Awards.