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SCDI Highlands and Islands Awards

SCDI’s Annual Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards is the highlight of the Highland business calendar and is always a sell-out, with 350 guests drawn from the Highland business and economic community and across Scotland.

This annual gathering recognises some of the businesses and organisations that have made a real contribution to the economy of the region. With categories covering a range of sectors, this event brings together people from across the region to rightly celebrate success. This year, while the awards remain regional, we will open attendance at this prestigious event right across Scotland.

SCDI has always provided top-class after dinner speakers and this year impressionist, stand-up comedian and actor Alistair McGowan, from the BAFTA-winning The Big Impression and classic comedy show Spitting Image, hosted what was a very memorable evening. Our members enjoyed networking on the Remo digital platform, where they were seated at tables of eight, with the freedom to move around the room and visit the SCDI bar. ​


The 2021 Award Categories

Ocean Winds Award for Excellence in Marine Innovation and Growing the Blue Economy

This award aims to identify and reward innovation in the Highlands and Islands which supports the marine sector and grows the Blue Economy in the region. This award will recognise innovation which, for example, improves business or sectoral productivity, strengthens collaboration and integration within and between sectors, or enhances offshore health and safety, responsible ocean management and sustainability.

Crown Estate Scotland Award for Outstanding Supporter of Coastal Communities

Coastal Communities across the Highlands and Islands have been put under immense pressure from both the Covid-19 pandemic and EU Exit. This award is open to businesses and organisations who have played a positive role in supporting coastal communities to survive and thrive during the most challenging of times, whether through creating new employment and economic opportunities, delivering regeneration and sustainable development, or connecting and collaborating with citizens and communities.

The Highland Council Award for Highland Spirit and Resilience

This award recognises businesses, organisations or individuals who have played a significant role in maintaining resilience, community spirit and local support networks during the Covid-19 pandemic. This could include excellence in areas like innovation and repurposing resources, supporting local supply chains, providing social and community resources, protection of vulnerable individuals and community wealth building.

The Highlands and Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Upskilling, Reskilling and Emerging Leaders

This award recognises the business or organisation working in the Highlands & Islands which best demonstrates positive transformation of the workforce through upskilling, reskilling, and investing in emerging leadership. Evidence of this transformation could be increased productivity, an improved business culture, better organisational planning, or a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

The Open University in Scotland Award for SME enterprise of the Year

This award goes to the small or medium sized business, social enterprise or third sector organisation in the Highlands & Islands that has demonstrated outstanding commitment to or achievement of development of their staff or the promotion of diversity and equality in their organisation, with their customers or in their communities. 

Benromach Award for Excellence in International Business

This award celebrates the business or organisation working in the Highlands & Islands which best demonstrates a track-record of outstanding achievement in the global marketplace, involving a strong internationalisation and export strategy which underpins growth and an ability to innovate and break into new markets.

The Harper Macleod Award for Excellence in Natural Capital, Climate Change and Sustainable Communities

Scotland’s Natural Capital is in abundance in the Highlands & Islands and requires to be preserved & enhanced ensuring a positive environmental impact as we journey towards net zero. Businesses & organisations need to continue to deliver positive environmental impact. This could include investing in peatland restoration, creating a circular economy within communities, innovation in recycling, investing in new greener production processes or becoming a net zero organisation. This award is open to organisations of all sizes, and the emphasis will be on the degree of commitment to action on sustainability and championing Scotland’s Natural Capital.

Alvance Aluminium Award for Outstanding Business Leader

This award recognises the business leader in the Highlands and Islands who best demonstrates an outstanding personal difference to a business and a significant positive contribution to the economy through: delivering business growth; pioneering innovation; maximising community benefit; overcoming barriers; or inspiring others.

SCDI Award for Excellence in People Development

The organisation, working in the Highlands & Islands, which best demonstrates its commitment to developing the skills of its employees. This will involve leadership and a company-wide ethos of investment in people which shows a high priority to excellence of service, health & safety, sustainability, and the communities in which its works.

SCDI Highlands & Islands Chair’s Award for Outstanding Business Achievement

Presented to the company based in the Highlands & Islands, which best demonstrates having made a significant positive contribution to the regional economy.

Primary Partners

Food & Drink Partners

The Remo platform gives much more of a sense of occasion than other technology.​ It makes an online event fun and allows networking to feel more natural and like ​real-life than you would expect on-line. Jenny MacPherson, Director, JMC Communications Scotland


Previous Years' Events

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