Inaugural business week is a success ‘beyond expectations’

Shetland’s first ever business week has been hailed a success “beyond expectations” by Rachel Hunter of the local Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) branch.

The free to attend event has brought together businesses, social enterprises and entrepreneurs for a series of workshops, seminars and networking events.

Beginning on Monday the week of business events is set to culminate tomorrow with a two-part workshop on how to put together an effective business plan before starting out in business.

Key themes explored throughout the week included the use of social media, Shetland dialect branding and digital marketing as well as industry specific sessions.

By Wednesday over 400 tickets had been snapped up by interested parties with an event by David Taylor, a leading expert on social media, proving to be an early success.

That event, where Mr Taylor delivered a seminar on challenges and opportunities for businesses around the use of social media, “went down a storm”, Ms Hunter said.

The Shetland area manager for HIE was also keen emphasise how pleased they were to secure Graeme Roy, director of the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) at the University of Strathclyde.

Prof Roy, former head of the First Minister’s policy unit, delivered a seminar on Wednesday afternoon where he discussed Scotland’s economic outlook from a Shetland context.

Ms Hunter said: “To have someone of Professor Graeme Roy’s calibre is a big boon for us.”

Other events included a discussion on the use of indigenous languages and dialects as a business asset, a workshop on how to establish a selling price for arts and crafts and nightly networking events.

As the week was about to hit the halfway mark Ms Hunter said: “It’s proving to be really popular. We’ve sold over 400 tickets already and packed launch event at the Shetland Hotel with around 60 to 80 people.

“And the businesses have been really engaged with participation and networking.”

The business week is hosted by HIE, Business Gateway Shetland and the Federation of Small Businesses, in conjunction with the council.


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