Sarah DeasNext month, Scotland will play host to the inaugural Inspire EO Scotland conference, with influential business leaders and politicians coming together to discuss thebenefits of employee ownership.

 Here, SarahDeas of Co-operative Development Scotland gives a snapshot of theday and explains why Scottish business owners should mark October 26 in their diaries.

Throughout Scotland’s business community, the benefits of Employee Ownership (EO) as a driver for growth are becoming increasingly recognised. From higher productivity and profitability to greater resilience, EO offers an effective succession solution and is suited to companies of all sizes across a multitude of sectors.

And with figures showing that around 16,000 SME owners in Scotland will consider an exit strategy from their business over the next five years, it is essential that owners are aware of all the potential succession options – especially EO.

Given the growing appetite for deeper insight into this business model, next month will see around 150 delegates come together for the first Inspire EO Scotland conference. This half-day event in Edinburgh is being run in collaboration with the John Lewis Partnership, RBS and Scottish Enterprise (SE). Delegates will hear from an impressive programme of keynote speakers, including:

  • Sir Charlie Mayfield, Chairman, John Lewis Partnership
  • Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth
  • Dr Lena Wilson CBE, Chief Executive, Scottish Enterprise
  • Alison Rose, Chief Executive, Commercial and Private Banking, RBS

Each will bring a different perspective to the table. Sir Charlie will explain the John Lewis model and its contribution to driving innovation and engagement, whilst Mr Swinney will offer his insight into the role EO can play in boosting the Scottish economy. In addition, Dr Wilson will reference the model in the global context and describe the support available from Scottish Enterprise and Ms Rose’s presentation will focus on the assistance available for entrepreneurs from the financial sector.

Attendees will also gain an invaluable inside perspective by hearing from Scottish businesses which are already reaping the benefits of EO on a day-to-day basis. EO Ambassadors Dennis Overton of Aquascot and Dick Philbrick of Clansman Dynamics, for example, will lead presentations about their transition to EO and how the model works for their companies.

They will demonstrate how EO can be implemented not just as a succession solution for long-term stability, but as a catalyst for sustainable business growth.

I do hope that you will be able to join us on the day for what will be a truly insightful and inspiring event.

Inspire EO Scotland is being held at the RBS Conference Centre in Gogarburn, Edinburgh on October 26 from 8.30am until 2pm.

To register for this FREE event, visit the Inspire EO Scotland website.