COLLABORATION PRIZE WINNER SPOTLIGHT – Healthworks

We’ll be taking a closer look at each of our Collaboration Prize winners and learning more about their plans for the future. Next up is Healthworks…

Healthworks Consortium, L-R Niall Gosman, Marney Ackroyd, Karen Davidson, Kevin Dewar

Healthworks members Niall Gosman, Marney Ackroyd, Karen Davidson, Kevin Dewar

Healthworks is a new consortium formed of health and wellbeing professionals based in East Lothian.  It works in partnership with businesses to optimise their employees’ physical, psychological and personal wellbeing,

Comprising four member businesses, Healthworks offers a range of expertise in areas including physiotherapy, nutrition, psychological therapies and counselling, fitness training, behavioural risk management training and employee health assessments.  Working with businesses to identify the health and behavioural risks and barriers that prevent them from getting the best from their employees, Healthworks develops innovative, integrated health and wellbeing services and solutions that clients can ‘own’.  Each service is designed to address the unique needs and culture of the individual business and delivered in the way that best meets their needs.

Karen Davison from Healthworks spoke to us about winning the Prize:  “We are thrilled to have been selected as one of the winners and are looking forward to working together to develop programmes which will have a wide-reaching benefit for both employees and their employers. The generous prize will help us brand, package and promote our offering to get it in front of the right people, as well as enable us to develop new resources and tools to boost the services we can deliver, both face to face and online.

“Working together in this manner is beneficial for many reasons – not only does it allow us to access more opportunities and secure larger scale contracts, it also gives us all an excellent degree of professional satisfaction. Delivering a truly comprehensive service that reflects the many intricate aspects of an individual’s health and wellbeing requires a tailored approach incorporating expert knowledge and experience across a range of disciplines. We believe collaboration is the most effective way of providing this, and are hopeful that we can continue to develop our offering as we are joined by members in further areas of expertise.”

Healthworks Consortium, L-R Kevin Dewar, Karen Davidson, Niall Gosman, Marney Ackroyd

The member businesses in Healthworks are:

  • Dovetail Partnerships (North) Ltd, East Lothian
  • First for Fitness, East Lothian
  • Midlothian Physiotherapy LLP, Midlothian
  • Marney Ackroyd, Edinburgh

The Collaboration Prize is now open for entries


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Scottish Enterprise director Sarah Deas discusses the Collaboration Prize and why businesses should enter.

We are pleased to announce that the Collaboration Prize 2016/17 in partnership with Business Gateway and Scottish Chamber of Commerce is now open for entries.

We want to encourage firms to think collaboratively and pitch an idea for a new enterprise that will help them to access new markets. This could be a new sector or a geographical market including international markets. With the winning entrants receiving £5,000 cash and up to £5,000 business support to bring their idea to life.

To be eligible to win businesses must be based in Scotland, have an innovative idea they would like to implement by setting up a consortium co-operative and have identified other like-minded members for the consortium.

Consortia are established when businesses come together for a shared purpose; to buy or sell in scale, market more effectively, share facilities or jointly bid for contracts.  By collaborating businesses can reduce costs, share risks and create new platforms for growth.  Members could be businesses, partnerships or individuals, and the co-operative may be for any purpose which supports the members.

The competition this year has a particular focus on consortia accessing new and international markets. Two of the five prizes will be awarded to those consortia who demonstrate strong international ambitions to be delivered using collaboration. As part of their prize the winners will be able to access export advisor support where appropriate.

At CDS we think the Prize offers a great opportunity for businesses to harness the benefits that emerge through collaboration. Working with others can help businesses grow, and reduce the costs and risks of tackling new markets or investing in new processes.

In our experience collaboration can make a company better at what it does. Whether it’s about sharing resources or finding new markets, collaboration can bring efficiency and lead to increased profits.

For more information about the Scottish Enterprise Collaboration Prize visit the website.

 

Collaboration: A step-by-step guide

Jaye Martin 03

Collaboration brings a number of benefits – including business growth, reduced costs and extra resources –but when should a business join or form a consortium? How does it go about doing so? And what specific benefits can it deliver?

Here, CDS specialist advisor Jaye Martin shares a brief step-by-step guide to consortium working.

Step 1: Identify barriers to growth
For many small and micro-enterprises, lack of scale, time, finance or resources can be a barrier to accessing new markets, tendering for larger contracts or simply marketing services. These challenges will be familiar to many businesses, particularly those with small teams or those who provide unique or niche products and services.

Step 2: Look for a potential solution
Teaming up with other like-minded businesses and forming a consortium is an excellent way to break down these barriers. Suitable for businesses of all sizes operating in any sector, this model can help businesses grow by reducing the costs and risks associated with tackling new markets and investing in new products and services. It can also enable businesses to share resources such as back office functions and premises. Meanwhile, member businesses are able to retain their own brands, independence and control. You can find out more here.

Step 3: Find collaborators
Carefully identifying like-minded businesses to work with is crucial. Trust is a key factor. It can help if the businesses have worked together informally before. In most cases, member businesses operate in similar or complementary fields, although a lot will depend on the rationale for collaboration. You can read about the experience of a number of successful consortia here.

Step 4: Choose the right structure
The consortium co-operative model is an effective collaborative business structure. In simple terms it is an organisation run in a shared and equal way by and for the benefit of its members. Members are independent businesses and the consortium can be for any purpose which supports them, for example marketing, tendering, innovating or exporting. Co-operative Development Scotland has a track record in helping businesses and we’d be happy to help you explore the options. You can contact us here.

Step 5: Benefit from your collaboration
Collaborating can be a real game-changer for businesses. Collaborating can be a real game-changer for businesses. For example, through collaboration, Adventures in Light – an Edinburgh-based consortium which brings together a 3D artist, a film-maker and a carpenter – have been able to invest in essential new kit which has supported them to keep experimenting and inventing. This, in turn, has helped them work on bigger projects such as the International Science Festival and the Kelburn Garden Party.

As well as supporting businesses to access new markets, share risks and costs and develop new products or services, many businesses involved in consortium working also report increased confidence, better business connections, improved knowledge-sharing and an enhanced profile.

The benefits are tangible and numerous – and definitely worth exploring when considering the future of your business.

CDS can help you to explore the options, structure the consortium, and get more members involved. 

If you would like to find out more about collaborative business models, or if you would like to get in touch, visit here.

 

The Wee Agency hopes collaboration will bring big results

Eilidh Marshall headshotLast year, for a second consecutive year, CDS ran the Collaboration Prize – an opportunity for three businesses from across Scotland to each win £10,000 worth of cash and support to get their consortium business idea off the ground.

Working with Creative Scotland, CDS crowned Highland-based The Wee Agency with the creative sector prize. Eilidh Marshall from Muckle Media talks through the benefits of being part of a Scottish consortium.

It’s an exciting time to be part of The Wee Agency. Having just launched, we are delighted to have won the Co-operative Development Scotland Collaboration Prize.

According to Co-operative Development Scotland, there are 578 registered co-operative businesses in Scotland, and no doubt many more businesses collaborating behind the scenes. These businesses play a major role in driving economic growth with a combined turnover of £4bn and providing employment to 28,600 people.

Collaboration can have significant benefits – increased productivity, creativity and greater influence are just some. Working with different people outside your own agency can spark new ideas and give insight into the other specialities. All the while, individual businesses can retain their own brands; collaboration simply allows them to be part of something with greater impact.

Collaborating and combining skills makes things a lot simpler for clients too. There’s no need to brief different agencies or companies, no more juggling projects, reading through multiple proposals or duplication of tasks or costs. Clients are reassured that everything is taken care of by one company.

Compare it to say, building a house. Imagine one project manager presenting you with the options on how to achieve your ideal home – you don’t need to find an architect, builder, decorator, bathroom fitter, electrician or spend your time coordinating how they work together. You choose the end result you want and the team does the rest. 

And that’s how we work.

In an increasingly digital world, it’s important that companies have accessible and interesting websites that are marketed effectively – therefore increasing their chances of being seen by consumers. At The Wee Agency, we bring this together with 2bcreative providing the design, Alchemy+  bringing the IT and Muckle Media providing PR and marketing.

David Massey, managing director of Alchemy+, Nathalie Agnew MCIPR, director of Muckle Media and John Young, director of 2bcreative, represent the three firms that have formed The Wee Agency.

David Massey, managing director of Alchemy+, Nathalie Agnew MCIPR, director of Muckle Media and John Young, director of 2bcreative, represent the three firms that have formed The Wee Agency.

So how do projects with The Wee Agency work? 

  • After being briefed by the client on their needs and wants, we brainstorm to find the best creative idea that will sit at the centre of the campaign
  • We plan the project utilising the best channels to reach the audience
  • The design team then produce the creative material
  • Once approved, the web developers and IT team build the website
  • During this process, the PR and marketing team plan for the launch
  • The PR and marketing team reach out to media and run social media to drive people to engage

When working in the creative industries it’s important to be able to bounce ideas off each other which can then spark bigger and better solutions. The consortium approach enables us to do this efficiently.

Our multi-channel team condenses the workload for our clients and working together allows us to provide big results. Without the need to liaise between different agencies, our clients are able to concentrate on other aspects of their business. So whether it’s a start-up or an established organisation we’re working with, we can help make it a success.

Find out more about The Wee Agency at www.theweeagency.co.uk or follow us on Twitter to keep posted on the latest trends and news in the digital world @theweeagency

2014: An exciting time to collaborate

Marc Crothall picture

The Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) is an independent trade body comprising trade associations, individual businesses, marketing and local area tourism groups who earn their living from tourism or have an active interest in tourism.

Marc Crothall, CEO of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, explains why the organisation has partnered with this year’s Collaboration Prize at an exciting time for the Scottish Tourism industry.

The STA’s primary role is to lead, facilitate, co-ordinate and provide support to industry to help enable the successful delivery of the national strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) objectives and vision. Other activities undertaken by the STA on behalf of its members are to collaborate with and represent industry views to government and agencies, offer advice and information to its members and enable strong networking opportunities across industry sectors.

We are recognised by government and public agencies as a credible and fully representative ‘voice of the Scottish industry,’ which Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has also acknowledged, and we are pleased to have been asked to work in partnership with them as a representative of the Scottish Tourism Industry.

The STA is delighted to support CDS’s Collaboration Prize as it focus’ on one of the key elements that underpins the National Strategy (Tourism Scotland 2020) “Collaboration”.

With the hook of a great £10,000 prize, the competition creates market opportunities, facilitates collaboration, endorses sustainable tourism and helps drive economic growth in the tourism sector. All of this contributes towards the Tourism Scotland vision in: “Making Scotland a destination of first choice for a high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience, delivered by skilled and passionate people.”

Tourism is one of the most important industries in the Scottish economy, generating £4.3bn from overnight visitors, employing 185,900 within the tourism growth sector and attracting 15 million visitors in last year alone.

Now is an exciting time to be a part of the Scottish Tourism sector which will grow exponentially in the coming years with three landmark events taking place next year when Scotland “Welcomes the World” in 2014 with our second year of homecoming and two of the world’s biggest sporting events: the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup.

These events are key to the tourism industry as they will not only give us the opportunity to showcase Scotland to the world, but will provide the stepping stones to delivering the growth ambition set out in Tourism 2020. Many opportunities will also be generated for our home grown talent to work together to succeed on the world stage and compete in the world market.

With these vast opportunities on the horizon the STA is looking forward to seeing the calibre of entrants that emerge from the Collaboration Prize this year and how they plan on taking advantage of these forthcoming key events. Fundamental elements we will be looking for in the proposals are: 

  • Innovative and creative concepts
  • Collaborative opportunities identified
  • Sustainable plans and projects
  • Valuable contribution to the Scottish Tourism sector
  • And most importantly, vision for future expansion and growth

The STA is looking forward to seeing what the future stars of the Scottish Tourism Industry have to offer.

If you are not yet a member of the Scottish Tourism Alliance for more information on membership please visit www.scottishtourismalliance.co.uk or email jean.kilpatrick@stalliance.co.uk

Come together to make this a summer of success for your business

Gillian Kirton 02What do three farmers from Dumfriesshire, 51 musicians from Scottish Opera and 12 Scottish Screen facilities companies have in common? Answer they all won funds through last year’s launch of the Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) new Collaboration Prize.  Now the search is well underway to find 2013’s winning ideas. With less than one month to go until the competition closes, CDS Collaboration Prize project manager Gillian Kirton gives us the latest update. 

What do three Dumfriesshire farmers, 51 musicians from Scottish Opera and 12 Scottish screen facilities companies have in common? Answer: A desire to grow their business through collaboration.

As CDS Collaboration Prize project manager, it’s an exciting time for me.  With less than one month to application deadline, I’m waiting with baited breath to see the exciting and innovative ideas to come in this year.

Last year our competition was such a success that more than a dozen new business collaborations were established, often with different aims and objectives.  So here’s a wee taster of the sort of consortium co-operative that our prize has created:

  1. Scottish Woodlot Association was set up to enable individual foresters to rent small forest lots for timber production while helping landowners maximise their forestry potential.  It also gave them a way to share often expensive specialist equipment.
  2. iMAPcc offers dedicated team of drug discovery scientists, consultants and associates with complementary backgrounds and experience in small molecule and biopharmaceutical drug discovery.
  3. Burns Country Larder sees six Ayrshire producers of fine foods including haggis, cheesecakes, beers, deserts, chocolates and ice-creams collaborate to access events and shows all around the country.

But what about the farmers, musicians and screen facilities…our three worthy winners from 2012?

With the help of colleagues in Scottish Enterprise and Business Gateway, I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with these three groups over the last year or so, joining them on their exciting journey as they form themselves as a consortium co-operative and reap the benefits of their £10k prize.  Do view the short videos of our winners – it’s great to hear it from the horse’s mouth as they say. Hopefully it will give you the incentive to consider how collaboration can help your business.

Screen Facilities Scotland brings together the best that Scotland has to offer in screen facilities.  Over 12 companies, with more to come on board, are now collaborating to secure contracts that may otherwise have been awarded to those south of the border or further afield.  I just love that one of the members created the Fatboy Slim Octopus of the London 2012 Olympics, and another filmed the James Bond and the Queen footage!

Screen Facilities Scotland video

Three farmers from the south west of Scotland (Castle Loch Foods Ltd) have come together to produce a range of luxury charcuterie products, using their individual high quality meats. This will see them access new markets, and hopefully export overseas in due course.

DG Farmers Cooperative video

Music Co-operative Scotland now gives us all an easy way to hire professional musicians for any occasion, offering any style of music you desire. All made possible through the formation of a consortium co-operative.

Musicians Cooperative Scotland video

This year we have increased our prize fund to £40,000 – up to four winners will each receive £5,000 consultancy support, and £5,000 cash to help implement their idea.  Even those that don’t win a prize can still access a comprehensive package of free support.

We are delighted to be working with our partners from Creative Scotland, Scotland Food and Drink and Scottish Tourism Alliance, and aim to attract really good entries from creative, food & drink and tourism businesses. In other words sectors that really lend themselves to collaboration.

However – our competition is of course open to all Scottish based companies regardless of sector.

So what are you waiting for?  The deadline for applications is 3rd August.  I personally can’t wait to see what comes our way this year…

Good luck.

Gillian

One prize – One giant boost for collaboration

 Screen Facilities Scotland 08

After the success of the inaugural awards in 2012, Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) has today launched this year’s Collaboration Prize.

Screen Facilities Scotland was one of the three winners from last summer and Joanna Dewar Gibb, business manager at ARTEM LTD explains how the initiative has had an amazing effect on the consortium’s activities.

 

In the first instance, quite simply, being one of the winners gave us a boost of confidence to the Screen Facilities Scotland (SFS) working group that professional peers also deemed what we were doing as worthy of support.  The double layers of the CDS Collaboration Prize – the practical professional support and the hard cash – gave the working group a solid underpinning for the next steps in the evolution of SFS. 

SFS is now a fully established representative trade body with members and is, in itself, a full member of UK Screen Association.  This forged link between the two entities is a valuable membership benefit of SFS and our thanks go to Creative Scotland for their support with this.

As a recognisable and formal entity, SFS has been able to work effectively with Creative Scotland in a number of other areas as well.  Working as partners, SFS and Creative Scotland set up an eye-catching “Film in Scotland” space at the London Trade Show, BVE 2013. The stand was staffed by Creative Scotland and different SFS members and affiliates.  Each of us on the stand had different knowledge and expertise to share with visitors and the result was a collaborative Scottish presence at this media expo. 

Mini FilmBang directory

Mini FilmBang directory

Alongside this, each of the SFS members, Creative Scotland and other stakeholders took the opportunity to organise a networking event in Central London whilst we were all there.  With combined guest lists and again, many of us on hand to mingle with our guests, this was a valuable opportunity to connect with key clients in London, the media production hub of the UK. 

Copies of a revised Mini FilmBang directory were handed out at BVE 2013 and subsequently at the Cannes Film Festival.  This reference book lists the facilities companies in Scotland all in one place in a handy format. 

Circulating information and contact details of all the facilities and service companies in Scotland is a key focus of SFS as part of our combined collaborative marketing efforts. 

We have produced our logo (that graces the front of Mini FilmBang) and the development of both our website and Members’ Agreement are on-going, thanks again to combined efforts both of SFS members and the business consultancy element of CDS’s Collaboration Prize. 

Across our membership, we have companies that are direct competitors but even so, we find we are able to put those aspects aside to work together in areas of mutual support and benefit to everyone’s advantage. SFS members have been sharing even administrative tasks, like chasing potential member to make sure anyone who wants to be part of SFS is a part of it.

The publicity from winning the Collaboration Prize gave SFS a further boost with articles on SFS appearing in Screen International and Broadcast magazine, two key trade journals in our business.  The £10,000 prize win was the “hook” for the bigger story of the aims of SFS. 

The £5,000 cash prize is being allocated in part to our launch networking event that will include members, clients and key industry figures.  Alongside this, SFS is also planning to have a presence at this year’s Edinburgh Festival and Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival. 

Business consultancy from Co-operative Development Scotland worth £5,000 was also given as part of the prize and has been incredibly worthwhile.  The different experts made available to SFS have each helped focus the working group to achieve key milestones in establishing SFS in a more straight-forward and professional streamlined way. 

SFS photo

On a strategic level, there is an industry-wide period of examination and evolution going on in our core business of film and television production. SFS is now established as a point of reference for those consultants and others charged with reviewing the health of the production sector in Scotland, including the current considerations about building a Scottish Studio facility. 

This is exactly where we wanted to get to. 

It means hard-pressed business managers/owners do not have to be approached separately on every matter but rather, with one point of contact under the banner of SFS, views of busy people can be amalgamated and submitted collaboratively.

In due course SFS plans to have a part-time administrator to manage its business. In the meantime, what is clear on a daily basis is that within SFS there really is strength in numbers and tasks – when tackled co-operatively – become so much more efficient and effective as a result. 

Being one of the CDS Collaboration Prize-winners gave SFS a most incredible boost at the outset of its evolution and we moved forward so much more quickly and efficiently than would have been possible without it. 

This article also appears in the latest edition of 3RDi magazine. Click here to view.

You can follow Screen Facilities Scotland on Twitter @ScotFacilities

Co-operative Development Scotland is a Scottish Enterprise subsidiary, established to help companies grow by setting up consortium, employee-owned and community businesses. It works in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.