Scotland has spent the last year in business doing what it does best. We’ve seen innovations and inward investments. We’ve seen Scottish food and drink dominate the world stage. We’ve welcomed people from all over the world to show why Scotland’s data and tech scenes are among the best on the planet. Above all, we’ve done so with a ‘can do’ attitude and Scotland’s famously kind spirit.

Continuing from last year’s successes, 2019 saw banking giants JPMorgan and Chase & Co announce plans to open a new office in Glasgow. On top of that, Spire Global created 260 new jobs and Scotland showcased the country’s prowess on the global innovation stage. We also boast three cities in the UK top ten locations for investment, so it’s no wonder that so many businesses choose to invest in bonny Scotland.

M8 at night

Scotland is Primed for Inward Investment

At the beginning of the year, Scottish Development International announced that Hong Kong FinTech, Actelligent Company Ltd – a financial services specialist which focuses on connecting investors with new opportunities in overseas investment markets – were to establish a new technology base in Edinburgh, with the investment creating 20 new fintech jobs.

Job creation seems to have been a major trend in 2019, with VeriCall, the customer engagement tech company, announcing in May that it would open a flagship UK Contact Centre in Kirkcaldy, Fife. This will provide a major boost to the local economy and create 209 jobs in the process.

There was more good news for the capital when, after acquiring Edinburgh software company Cultivate, Deliveroo announced the launch of its first tech base outside of London. With Edinburgh’s access to an excellent talent pool of highly skilled workers, it continues to be one of the UK’s fastest growing tech hubs.

Forth Rail Bridge

Coinciding with the firm’s twentieth anniversary in the city, JPMorgan and Chase & Co confirmed plans to build a new state of the art tech base in Glasgow. Located on the bustling Argyle Street in the heart of Glasgow’s International Financial Services District, the new investment from the banking giant will have space for up to 2,700 employees and is scheduled to open its doors in 2022.

Glasgow had more good news in September as Spire Global announced in September that it would be moving from its current Glasgow office into a new 40,000sq ft premises at Glasgow’s Skypark. The announcement means a major increase in the local workforce from 60 to 320 over the next 5 years. This is great news for Scotland’s blossoming space sector, with Scotland producing more satellites per year than any other country in Europe.

In November, a £60 million funding commitment to develop the Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc was announced. The investment means the creation of new economic and employment opportunities for the Dundee region, which is currently undergoing a major transformation with the development of the waterfront and the opening of the brand-new V&A museum in the city last year.

Calton Hill in the sunshine

Scotland Dazzles on the World Stage

As well as an impressive amount of inward investment this year, Scotland also took some time to do some self-promotion. The country showed it’s global business prowess through hosting events and travelling overseas to make important business connections and show that Scotland’s business scene is only just getting started.

In mid-December, Brewgooder announced the 200th sign up to their Global Gathering initiative. Glasgow’s clean water brewer launched the gathering by calling on hundreds of craft beer brewers around the world to join their collaborative brewing project. Their mission?  To provide clean water for 100,000 people in developing countries. The Clean Water initiative isn’t the only way that Brewgooder has transcended the Scottish stage and made their mark on a global scale. In April, Alan Mahon of Brewgooder went to represent Scotland at a ‘town hall’ by the Obama Foundation in Berlin with 300 other young European leaders.

In August global business leaders came to Scotland to speak, attend and exhibit at Edinburgh’s Turing Fest. The event saw some of the world’s leading technologists, company-builders and investors gather to share their expertise with a captive audience. Hosted at Edinburgh’s International Conference Centre, it encouraged attendees to find new and innovative ways to build, grow and lead in business. Having been held in Edinburgh since its inception in 2016, Turing Fest is a prime example of why Scotland is a forward thinking, innovative place to do business.

Tay Bridge Dundee

July and October also saw Scotland held up as an example to countries from across the globe, In July, Asian business leaders gathered in Edinburgh to learn about Scotland’s data economy and make important business connections. Similarly, in October, the Scottish FinTech sector was showcased as representatives of twelve leading firms in Canada arrived in Scotland to learn about Scotland’s own burgeoning sector.

All in all, Scotland’s year in business has certainly been one to write about. As well as everything included here, 2019 saw the Social Bite Trust who started out as a sandwich shop in Edinburgh’s Rose Street in 2012, morph into The World’s Big Sleepout which saw 50,000 people sleep outdoors across 52 cities around the world in a bid to raise £50,000,000 and end world homelessness.

It’s clear that Scotland isn’t just a pretty face. The investments in Scotland’s talent and opportunities speak for themselves. This country, with all it’s cities, innovations and kindness of spirit should be top of everyone’s list when it comes to living, working and investing in 2020 and beyond.

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