It's always a pleasure attending the Scottish EDGE final, and the competitions Round 15 showpiece had an extra special touch thanks to the Dragon in attendance.
Not only were we treated to an array of outstanding Scottish businesses (all with excellent pitches), we had the opportunity to hear Sir Tom Hunter in conversation with his long-time friend Theo Paphitis (retail entrepreneur and star of BBC One's Dragons' Den).
At Harper Macleod we are huge fans of Dragons' Den and have worked with a number of businesses who have appeared on the show. Theo had some incredible insights for young and growing businesses and Scottish EDGE had a record number of attendees as a result – there weren't even enough seats available at one point and even standing room was becoming extremely cramped!
Don't stop believing – words of wisdom
Like most entrepreneurs, Theo encountered setback after setback in a number of his businesses and he was told "no" time and time again. But he never took no for an answer, never gave up and he continued on relentlessly to get the stage he's at today. Here are some of our best takeaways from Theo:
- Always do more than your competitors - have more determination and do more work so you can tip the scales in your favour.
- Break your dreams down into bite size chunks to make them attainable, instead of attempting to leap to the top of the mountain straight away.
- Don't gamble, but take calculated risks.
- Don't start a business with the idea that everything is going to be brilliant from the start – be realistic, do your homework and know your cash flow down to a T.
- Make sure you have a Plan B and a Plan C just in case Plan A doesn't go to plan. It's going to make things a whole lot easier.
- If you're looking for investment, make sure you actually like your business partner and ensure that he/she is the right fit for your business.
- Finally, never stop dreaming and have the belief that you can and will make it, because otherwise, it's going to be 1000 times harder to make it.
The winners are …
From receiving over 200 applications in July 2019, EDGE managed to whittle the finalists down with the help of more than 100 different judges over the course of six months to 27 businesses. Each business pitched at the final for a slice the £1.25 million pie on offer, as well as access to sales and leadership training and a number of winners' packages (including our own).
Harper Macleod is delighted to be a Partner of Scottish EDGE, having supported the competition since it launched in 2012. We were absolutely delighted to see some of our clients take home top prize winnings and we are so excited to help them on their growth journeys. And although there were some businesses that missed out, EDGE ensures that every business in the final receives extensive feedback and signposting to opportunities that will help their business grow in the long run.
Scottish EDGE has been incredibly impactful on the Scottish economy, as businesses that have won EDGE across the years have created over 850 jobs in Scotland and for every £1 invested by EDGE, over £7 goes back into the economy. They've also gone on to take on significant funding (including from BBC's Dragons' Den) and the initial boost from EDGE has helped speed up their growth.
If you're an entrepreneur thinking about applying to EDGE, the next round kicks off in January. So get going with your application!
Get in touch
We often give our clients similar advice to that shared by Theo to ensure that they can reach their maximum potential and scale up their businesses as quickly and efficiently as possible. So if you're at that stage where you're not quite sure where to start or what to do, don't hesitate to get in touch with us and come along for a consultation.
We'd be more than happy to highlight any legal needs your business may have, as well as to introduce you to our trusted contacts who can help you out with a whole host of issues you might come across along your entrepreneurial journey.