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“When Boris Johnston announced a partial lockdown on March 23rd the world – as we knew it, changed.

"Amongst the downturn, it is imperative to remember on the other side of the crisis lies opportunity. The stage has been set for unprecedented growth."

Professor Gary McEwan CEO

“When Boris Johnson announced a partial lockdown on March 23rd the world – as we knew it, changed.

“It was a tough pill for many to swallow. The current Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is a crisis on a scale most of us have never seen in our lifetime.

“Shortly after the Prime Minister’s address, questions started to stir as individuals did their best to understand lockdown guidelines and considered the effect it would have on businesses.

“During more stable times, we create consumption chains. These start with basic, raw materials which then pass through many businesses before making their way to the consumer.  A new business has the challenge of breaking into or disrupting existing and mature chains, which are normally reluctant to allow new entrants.   

“What we are experiencing right now is multiple breaks in just about every consumption chain; we are living in a radical pattern interruption. One question which remains: will the pandemic come to be seen as a momentary interruption when consumption chains can reform exactly as before or will it create a moment of great opportunity for those entrepreneurs brave enough to elbow their way in to the new chains that are created?

“Amongst the downturn, it is imperative to remember on the other side of the crisis lies opportunity.

“The stage has been set for unprecedented growth.

“As of March 2019, the Scottish Government reported an estimate of 354,125 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, accounting for 99.3% of all private businesses, 55.4% of private sector employment and 41.5% of private sector turnover.

“Entrepreneurial spirit is certainly alive, and those SMEs who look for opportunities now will be long remembered.

“Elevator Founders, those who have been through our Accelerator programmes, are grasping the opportunities COVID-19 has presented. Dr.B of The Foot Expert in Tayside has taken her podiatrist service digital, offering online consultations to new and existing clients. Moray Founder Jill Brown of Avva Gin has followed in the footsteps of North East brewer, BrewDog, and pivoted her distilling operations to make hand sanitiser to help with local shortages. While Aberdeen Founder, Glasgow Greens, is ramping up its aquaponics operations to grow common herbs and leafy greens to service Glasgow’s local grocers and market gardens. 

“These individuals have shifted their mindset to spark new entrepreneurial spirit. They are working in different ways and fuelling creative businesses juices. The radical interruption has been turned into something tangible, and real, and possible to fathom.

“We are being offered a promising flicker of light.

“Elevator’s role is to provide a supportive environment in which businesses can succeed and accelerate growth in our economy. Through the mist of COVID-19 we are working with businesses to recalibrate mindsets. A mindset which allows you to take a different approach to your business. A mindset where you allow for critical questioning of the norm.  

“Can you pivot to fulfil a need in a different market? Does your product or service development serve another purpose at this time? Does your technology offer alternative uses?

“These are the questions we now need to be asking. Individuals who grasp these opportunities well – those who rise to the challenges we currently face, will drive more meaningful and positive change long term. They will be the business owners that thrive in the not too distant future.

“It is a time to stop and think, are you sitting waiting for the storm to pass? Or are you using this time to observe where opportunities will emerge and ensure the good health of your own entrepreneurial spirit?”

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