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BusinessFive minutes of fame on offer to Scottish SMEs with plenty of...

Five minutes of fame on offer to Scottish SMEs with plenty of can do

SCOTLAND’S entrepreneurs have a chance to get their business ideas in front of an audience of global movers and shakers.

Small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as start-ups, could also get £2,000 to help prepare for their appearance on the big stage.

The CAN DO Innovation Summit is being held virtually from February 23 next year, with some in-person elements in the proceeding weeks.

The event is designed to help SMEs explore how tech adoption combined with inclusive leadership can boost productivity and drive change.

The #SMEstage competition gives SMEs the chance to win exposure to an international audience of more than 800 investors, academics, entrepreneurs and innovators.

Kate Forbes, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy in the Scottish Government, is among those taking part

Three winners will each get five minutes to showcase their business.

Winners also get two days of support with an innovation specialist from Scottish Enterprise, valued at £2,000.

The overarching theme for the Summit this year is digital transformation.

Competition entrants must submit a 60 to 90 second film at by midnight on December 21.

They have to demonstrate how their business is driving innovation using at least one of the following: innovation to emerge stronger after recent economic challenges; adopting digital technology to advance social value as well as business growth; and overcoming barriers in their digital transformation journey.

A panel of business innovation leaders in Scotland have been selected as competition judges to review applicant videos and select the winning SMEs.

They are Evelyn McDonald, CEO at Scottish Edge, Enoch Adeyemi, CEO at Black Professionals Scotland and Alison Munro, head of business services and advice at Scottish Enterprise.

Dr Laura Bell of the CAN DO Innovation Summit said they wanted to hear from SMEs across all sectors, from healthcare and advanced manufacturing to renewables, finance, construction and the creative sectors.

Bell said she wanted to see “how they are using innovation and adaptation to unlock opportunities – and to help them survive and thrive in this turbulent time”.

She added: “The #SME stage can provide a much-needed boost to small businesses and start-ups by giving them a great platform and profile with innovation leaders across Scotland and the UK.

“I wish all applicants the best of luck with their entries. For the best chance of success, keep in mind the event’s aim of driving purposeful change as well as this year’s digital transformation theme – the more relevant your entry to this the better.”

Last year’s #SME stage winners were Edinburgh-based Scene Connect, Aberdeen-based Recycl8 and Edinburgh-based Space Intelligence.

The CAN DO Innovation Summit will showcase local and international leaders and SMEs at the forefront of innovation, including Wade Davis, Vice President of Inclusion Strategy for Product at Netflix; Gayemarie Brown, Forbes Top Female Futurist and Kate Forbes MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy.

It will connect SMEs with leading innovators, academics, entrepreneurs and investors to help them maximise their potential and tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time.

For competition terms and conditions, more information, or to submit a video clip entry, please visit:

For more information and to register for the event please visit:

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