Outstanding Scottish small businesses receive awards for export success

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FOUR Scottish businesses have been recognised in the inaugural Made in the UK, Sold to the World awards, with Berwickshire-based ScotlandShop winning in the Consumer Goods category.

The first-ever recipients of the awards have been announced today (Wednesday 17 May), celebrating the exporting success of small businesses across the UK. Exporters support jobs, pay higher wages and help grow our economy, and these inaugural awards highlight the vital contribution small businesses make to the UK. 

Having been nominated in the Consumer Goods category, ScotlandShop were recognised for their high-quality tartan clothing, fabrics and home accessories, made to order. The business has grown from a start-up to £2.4m sales in 2022 and now employs 20 people in the UK and two in the USA.

Business and Trade Minister Kevin Hollinrake said: 

“Congratulations to ScotlandShop on their win – they’ve shown tremendous growth over the past few years and exporting has been right at the heart of their expansion.

“They’re taking advantage of the global opportunities that are out there by selling their amazing tartan clothing, fabrics and accessories around the world.

“Along with the other Scottish businesses that have been recognised they are an example to others as to the benefits of exporting, and I hope they can inspire others to consider selling their products abroad.”

Anna White, Managing Director of ScotlandShop, said:

“Celebrating our 20th year in business this year, as an exporter from day one it feels very fitting to win this award now.

“We are absolutely delighted! Sharing our fabulous Scottish tartans with customers around the world is our passion, celebrating Scottish culture and heritage with everyone we meet. We are very grateful to be recognised for our efforts.”

The winning businesses have been drawn from seven sectors: consumer goods, education, agriculture, food and drink, creative, financial and professional services, digital and manufacturing.  

Within each category three additional businesses were also awarded highly commended status for their inspiring business stories and exporting prowess.

Three Scottish companies were included in this, including The TEFL Org for their work in exporting their courses on teaching English as a foreign language across the globe, and inspiring hundreds of thousands of students.

Edinburgh-headquartered Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) and St Andrews based Xelect were both highly commended in the food and drink category. IGS were recognised for their work in designing, supplying, and supporting vertical farms for growers all around the world, and Xelect for being one of only a handful of specialised Agritech companies worldwide who can provide advanced genetic management services for the aquaculture industry.

UK Government Minister for Scotland and Exports Malcolm Offord said:

“It’s fantastic to see Scottish businesses recognised for their excellence in such a broad spectrum of sectors, from consumer goods, food and drink and education to vertical farming and aquaculture technology.

“The world-wide trading success of these small firms is testament to all the hard work they’ve put in growing their businesses on the global stage. I’d like to congratulate all the winners and wish them continued success for the future.”

A high number of winning and highly commended businesses are also DBT Export Champions, who help to promote the benefits of exporting and encourage other companies across the UK to consider selling to overseas markets. 

In 2021, DBT launched the ‘Made in the UK, Sold to the World’ campaign to celebrate exporting success from across the UK and tell businesses’ stories. The new awards programme will build on this to further recognise and celebrate the global trading success of SMEs from across the UK.  

Winning businesses will receive a digital badge and physical certificate and have promotional activity across DBT channels, including individual profiles to share their export success. They will also be visited by a DBT official and receive an Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) complimentary business membership for one year.

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