NEBW'17 RESEARCH - 'Opportunity Driving Growth'

North East Business Week is delivered annually in partnership by SCDI, Elevator, FSB and Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC). Each year, the research unit at AGCC undertake research on the theme of the week to provoke discussion at events and to provide an evidence base. This year the theme of the week (24-28 April 2017) was 'Opportunity Driving Growth'.

As part of the research, business owners and senior business leaders were asked to provide their views on opportunities that exist for individuals and businesses in the North-East of Scotland. The research reviewed views related to opportunities for businesses, young people and the North-East.

Key findings of the NEBW'17 Report were:

Opportunities for business:

  • 39% of respondents stated that greater market penetration in Scotland would be the greatest opportunity their business could realise in the next two years.
  • In terms of efficiency measures over the next two years, over half of respondents (52%) believe that increasing the use of technology will be the opportunity with the greatest potential impact over the next two years.
  • Almost 2 in 5 respondents identified movement into renewables and other industries as the greatest opportunity for energy focused companies.

Opportunities for young people:

  • One in 3 respondents believed that if they were starting their career today then undertaking an apprenticeship would give them the greatest opportunity.
  • 29% believed that today's young people have more opportunities than they had compared to 15% who believe they have less opportunities than they had, however the majority (56%) simply perceived their opportunities to be different.

Opportunities in the North-East:

  • When asked to identify the greatest opportunities that exist for the North-east to sustain or grow the economy, 35% of respondents highlighted the importance of diversification (e.g. of businesses, skills or knowledge).
  • Disruptive technologies are perceived as the greatest opportunity for the region, with 42% of respondents viewing this as an opportunity, although 32% viewed it as a threat (i.e. net balance = 10%).
  • Political change and uncertainty is seen to pose the greatest risk to the North-east economy. The prospect of a second independence referendum is seen as a threat by 73% of respondents compared to only 20% who viewed this as an opportunity (i.e. net balance of - 53%).

Personal opportunities:

  • Of those that had previously been made redundant, 78% stated that it was ultimately a positive experience.
  • 29% stated that starting up or buying their business was the opportunity that had the biggest impact on their life.
  • Sir Ian Wood and Brewdog topped the list of those in the North-East who were perceived to have recently grabbed an opportunity. 



NEBW'17 - Creating an Enterprising & Prosperous Future - 'Opportunity Driving Growth' 

The seventh North East Business Week (NEBW) took place from 24 - 28 April 2017 with the theme 'Opportunity Driving Growth', and was again organised collectively by Elevator, Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce, FSB (Federation of Small Businesses), & SCDI.

Information on NEBW'17 is available at:


SCDI delivered a business Influencers' Dinner at Ardoe House - in Partnership with Lufthansa - during NEBW'17 on 26 April, with guest speaker Ian Laidlaw, Chief Executive of Peterhead Port Authority.

You can read an advance overview of this year's North East Business Week in The Press & Journal (19/4/17) here.