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The Scottish Business Network (SBN), founded at the beginning of 2016 to build networks for Scottish business leaders in London and accelerate growth opportunities, has plans to expand its activities to China and North America following the success of the venture last year.

Founded and run by Exolta Capital Partners managing partner and serial entrepreneur, Russell Dalgleish and economic development specialist, Christine Esson, who previously led Enterprise Ireland’s overseas team in the UK, SBN already numbers over 200 senior business figures in the city of London.

While entrepreneurial activity in Scotland has increased markedly in recent years, research indicates that relatively few Scottish businesses are fully exploiting the opportunities afforded by global markets. A 2014 report into the Scottish entrepreneurial ecosystem by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program found that a lack of “effective connections” is a critical issue for businesses looking to grow beyond indigenous markets.

While entrepreneurs pitch to senior business leaders for specific support at SBN events, ongoing business acceleration support comprises advice, instructions and guidance and participants are encouraged to continue dialogue post-event.

Russell Dalgleish, co-founder of SBN, said: “The traction gained in London last year was incredible and we quickly realised there was a strong demand for similar action-led, collaborative networks via the Scottish diaspora in China and North America. Our primary purpose remains to first strengthen the London Network and then to expand our scope by reaching out onto the global Scottish business diaspora.”

Christine Esson, co-founder of SBN, said “Our USP is to have senior Scots with global experience willing to share their knowledge and expertise to accelerate and support the global ambitions of Scotland-based companies.”

Bob Keiller, Chairman of Scottish Enterprise, said: “We have been impressed with what Russell, Christine and the SBN team have managed to achieve in such a short space of time and, partly through our shared belief in the power of international networks and how they translate to business successes, we look forward to working with SBN in 2017 and beyond to help them achieve their goals.”


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