Andrew Burnett Operations Director Business Gateway Aberdeen We welcome Andrew Burnett, Operations Director at Elevator for today's guest blog post:

It’s an inescapable fact that Aberdeen has some challenges to adapt to and yet according to a report released yesterday by the Association of Accounting Technicians, it is the best city in Scotland, and one of the best in the UK in which to start up a new business.

You can read the full article on Scottish Business News online

Having worked with new business start-ups within Aberdeen and beyond for over a decade, this is not a huge surprise to me. Here are some reasons why:

1. Sowing the seeds

I recall sitting through several careers guidance sessions in Third Year at school intended to assist pupils to choose the right subjects that would result in the career of their choice.

One of these contained a fairly elaborate computerised system called JIG CAL which analysed pages of multiple choice questions and answers before generating the profession that best fitted with your interests and ambitions. I was somewhat surprised to find out that my love of the outdoors would so obviously translate into a career in tree surgery, but it was only some years later that I was more surprised to realise that running your own business did not seem to feature as an option in any of the results.

Team Elevator have been working hard for several years in Aberdeen to ensure that pupils and students of our schools, colleges and universities have the opportunity to hear from entrepreneurs, to understand the ups and downs of running your own business and to know how to access assistance in making their dreams a reality. The Be Your Own Boss initiative run in conjunction with North East Scotland’s College (NESCOL) acts as a focal point within their academic calendar for students looking to move into finance, sports science and hair and beauty amongst others to obtain some of this information directly.

On November 20th, Elevator will again be running an annual Elevator Conference, the largest of its kind in Scotland - open to aspiring entrepreneurs, business owners, and students at local colleges, universities and schools. The AECC will be packed with over 600 people eager to know what it’s like to run a business. 

Elevator Conference Making it happen

2. You are not alone

For many people, starting their own business can be a lonely experience. You may be surprised to know that last year Elevator, through Business Gateway assisted 1,080 new businesses to start up across Aberdeen City and Shire. This represents an 8% increase on the previous year and the highest number since the service began. Sole traders represented the greatest proportion of legal entity with hair and beauty the largest business type. 

3. Women Into Business

Last year, 56% of our new businesses established were female-led. Again, this represented the highest proportion in this region since the service began. In Aberdeen, we run a specific networking club for pre-start and newly started female-led businesses each month called Women Into Business. This has a thriving membership and provides an excellent chance for business owners to establish initial networks, hear from the experiences of other and share their own thoughts. 

women into business networking quote

4. International Business Ambitions

One of the associated benefits of Aberdeen’s successful energy industry had been the way that international trade is now embedded into local business culture.

Aberdeen Airport provides an international launchpad while established connections through global energy hubs allow local businesses new to exporting to make the transition into new overseas markets. This will continue to represent further growth opportunities for the most ambitious of our local businesses in the months ahead. 

5. A World-Class Centre for Entrepreneurial Development

elevator hub centre for entrepreneurship bridge of don

At the Bridge of Don, Elevator has invested in and established a facility, the envy of any city across the world. The Centre contains the local Business Gateway operations, direct access to providers of public and private sector assistance and is a digital demonstration centre. Global connections, training and investment are available to businesses with the greatest growth potential through a new business Accelerator unit.

At Elevator, we welcome you to visit us or pick up the phone or email when you are considering starting up your business. We have a wealth of resources and expert business advisers on hand to help you make your idea a reality. Our advice can save you making expensive mistakes early on, and best of all - it's free! 

Call us today on 01224 289725, email or enjoy looking through the Business Gateway resources, workshops and advisers in your local area on the website. 

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