Entrepreneurs and business leaders are encouraged to seize new opportunities as the Elevator Awards 2016 open for applications!  

The current downturn in the oil and gas sector is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to seek new opportunities and capitalise on the wealth of experience and skills in the area across a diverse mix of sectors.

Launching the 16th annual Elevator Awards in Aberdeen, at Bagels & Stuff (winner of Most Promising New Business Award 2015) our CEO, Professor Gary McEwan said:

gary mcewan“Aberdeen City and Shire have, unsurprisingly, been heavily reliant on the oil and gas sector over the past few decades and Aberdeen has grown to be among the top five highest growth cities in the UK.

“However, the area also has a long tradition of entrepreneurship and business acumen.  There are many exciting opportunities on the horizon, and now is the time for those looking to start their own business to take the initiative and grab those opportunities with both hands. 

“Innovation and diversity, as well as a carefully-crafted strategic approach, will be required to steer the region through the difficult times and to ensure the growth and stability of its future economy, but I do believe that the downturn could, and should be, a catalyst for change.” 

The Elevator Awards 2016 have 10 categories and aim to commend business excellence, entrepreneurial behaviour and outstanding community contributions made by top businesses in Aberdeen city and Shire.  Winners at last year’s awards included up and coming businesses, innovative organisations and firms from a range of sectors including energy, technology, hospitality, beauty and property.

In the last year, Elevator has seen a 20% increase in the number of start-up businesses assisted in Aberdeen City and Shire, having supported more than 1,200 businesses to start up and over 800 to grow via delivery of Business Gateway services in April 2015 to April 2016 year.

Meanwhile, Elevator’s ‘Making It Happen’ conference saw its largest attendance rates in November 2015, with over 1,000 people attending, including college, university and senior stage school pupils, aspiring entrepreneurs and local business owners. 

Sir Ian Wood, chairman of Opportunity North East (ONE), encouraged individuals and companies to enter the awards.

Sir Ian Wood

“These awards are an excellent opportunity to recognise enterprise and entrepreneurs across the North-east. Our region has an impressive track record for business start-ups and, as we seek to broaden and diversify our economy, we need to celebrate success across all our sectors.”

The Royal Bank of Scotland is the principal partner and sponsor of the awards.

russell whyte elevator awardsRussell Whyte, director, Corporate and Commercial Banking in Aberdeen, said: “The Royal Bank of Scotland is delighted once again to support the Elevator Awards. 

“Enterprise and entrepreneurship are crucial to Scotland’s economy and as a bank, we are keen supporters of innovative individuals and businesses which are pushing boundaries in their sectors.

“We are sure this year’s competition will showcase some of the great talents that the North East of Scotland has to offer.”

Applications are open now online at www.elevatorawards.com with a closing date of 5 pm on Friday 11th March 2016.   The black tie awards ceremony will be held at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel on Thursday 30th of June 2016.

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About Elevator 

Elevator works across Grampian and Tayside to help facilitate the start-up and growth of new and existing businesses.  Delivering Business Gateway, Elevator currently engages with 2,500 start-up businesses and assists around 1,000 organisations to growth annually with advisory support.  With the launch of the centre for entrepreneurship, Elevator aims to support an additional 200 start-ups per year through stimulating interests in launching and growing businesses, as well as welcoming global talent onto the Elevator Programme accelerating businesses. Elevator supports the entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees of today and tomorrow by providing expert business advice, teaching entrepreneurship and enterprising behaviour. 

About the Elevator Awards:

Businesses can enter one or more of the following 10 categories: 

  • Most Promising New Business - sponsored by Business Gateway
  • Business Success Under Three Years (businesses that have been trading for under three years at deadline for applications) - sponsored by RBS Ahead for Business
  • Business Success Over Three Years (businesses that have been trading for over three years at deadline for applications) - sponsored by RBS Ahead For Business
  • The Grampian Award for Innovation 
  • The ‘Spirit of Enterprise’ Award – sponsored by The Prince’s Trust
  • The Alick Buchanan-Smith Enterprising Communities Award – sponsored by partner Aberdeenshire Council
  • Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year  - sponsored by the University of Aberdeen
  • Employer of the Year - sponsored by Empire  
  • Entrepreneurial Supporter of the Year - sponsored by the Federation of Small Businesses
  • Entrepreneur of the Year – sponsored by RBS

About RBS, our principle partner and sponsor:

RBS is a UK-based banking and financial services company, headquartered in Edinburgh.

RBS provides a wide range of products and services to personal, commercial and large corporate and institutional customers through its two main subsidiaries, The Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest, as well as through a number of other well-known brands including Citizens, Charter One, Ulster Bank and Coutts.

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