Supporting Growth in the Creative Sector – Business Mentoring
Marie Dorris of Scottish Enterprise’s Workplace Innovation Team highlights how the Business Mentoring service connects leaders in creative industries with experienced and enthusiastic mentors to help them to explore new opportunities and challenges.
Scottish creativity has long punched far above its weight on the global stage - with 60,000 Scottish jobs in the creative industries, ranging from film to architecture to design and games, the industry has a bright future ahead.
Operating within an exciting dimension of creativity, science and technology, the £5 billion creative industry is a critical element of Scotland's wider knowledge economy. The industry is not only driving innovation but is also producing positive intangible benefits by enriching the culture of cities and communities and attracting international interest and tourism. The Creative Economy is important to Scotland and touches every aspect of our society and communities.
The industry is naturally multi-disciplinary, helped by its higher than proportion employment of graduates, who combine technology, science and business skill sets in a fast moving, competitive and global marketplace. It's this very marketplace that is defining the rapid growth of the industry and the speed in which a creative business responds to the ever-changing demands of the customer. It is clear that whilst global demand in the creative industries is growing, so are the number of other nations looking to expand their own creative economies and leverage their own skill sets. That's why we need to build on our strengths and ambitions to make sure that Scotland remains a global player and stays ahead of the curve.
Investment in mobile connectivity, digital skills and infrastructure are all key enablers that will support creative businesses and increased support from both Scottish & UK Governments will act as strong indicators of confidence in the industry. Equally, it's important for creative businesses to recognise the need to scale, grow and expand. With the majority of creative businesses falling under the SME category, there is great potential within companies for growth opportunities.
Take Susan Anderson, MD of Eikon Design. Passionate about the creative sector and running her own business, Susan started out providing graphic design services and now offers a full suite of products from branding & website design to printed products and event materials. One of the key decisions that Susan made during the growth of her company was to join Business Mentoring. Recognising the challenges of running her own business, Susan wanted an independent and experienced business person who could act as a sounding board for her ideas, challenges and future growth. Susan's mentor had 30+ years of experience in a range of sectors including IT, sales and retail - ideal for Susan!
The key to mentoring is creating a motivated and confident business environment where big questions can be asked and ambitious decisions made. Susan was able to take a strategic look at her business and with some business expertise and guidance from her mentor, she re-branded her business, streamlined her service offering and most importantly re-ignited her passion with the business. As a result, Susan increased her profits by 50%+ and created a more sustainable and profitable business.
The service provides access to over 800 mentors across Scotland and by sharing the entrepreneurial experiences of mentors, the service gives businesses the confidence and knowhow to develop and grow and opens up a great network of contacts who can open doors and inspire new thinking.
Businesses that are generating a steady turnover with the potential to increase turnover growth by £200,000 or more over a 3 year period can apply for this fully funded service.
To find out more about this service, the mentors and how mentoring can help your business to grow, visit www.scottish-enterprise.com