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7 July 2023 |

Funding boost for productivity and innovation of Scottish businesses

Productivity Club Scotland (PCS) has received £200,000 of Scottish Government funding to continue to deliver its programme which helps boost productivity and innovation across Scotland.

Now in its fourth year, PCS, which is a successful scheme run by the Scottish Council for Development and Industry, is recognised by the Scottish Government as being a key partner in achieving its ambitions to transform Scotland’s economy. It was developed in response to SCDI’s earlier policy work which highlighted the pressing need to improve Scotland’s productivity levels. PCS helps small to medium sized businesses improve their productivity through learning from others, which in turn contributes to Scotland’s wellbeing economy and innovation ambitions.

In 2022, PCS was expanded to support the delivery of Scotland’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation to help upskill business, third and public sector leaders in the practical actions they can take to boost their organisation’s productivity. A National Productivity Programme is also one of the key proposals of the Scottish Government’s recently published Innovation Strategy, which highlights the role that the established PCS network can play to support peer-to-peer learning around productivity.

The funding will enable PCS to continue to expand the network and to deliver a calendar of free peer-to-peer learning events, where attendees learn how to do things better and smarter in their business or organisation, right across Scotland.

A recent evaluation of PCS highlighted the impact of the clubs and where they are meeting need – 52% of attendees hadn’t been anywhere else for support and 52% also indicated they took action to implement something they had learned at a club. This includes Women’s Enterprise Scotland who have estimated that by implementing improvements learned from attending the clubs, they have helped achieve an uplift in turnover of £600,000 for the businesses they support.

Carolyn Currie, Chief Executive of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, highlighted: “Many small and medium sized businesses lack the finances to pay for expert consultancy over a period of days or weeks and do not qualify for enterprise agency growth support. The Productivity Club provides support and harnesses the huge value in peer support on the practical application of investment and what works. As a result of attending the events we supported other businesses to engage with employees to support their wellbeing and involve them in the decision-making processes.”

Eleonora Vanello, Programme Manager, PCS said:

“Increasing productivity and innovation in Scotland is crucial to transforming the economy.  The continued support of PCS will help the Scottish Government deliver its ambitions and allows us to provide a programme which drives increased productivity across Scottish businesses. As demonstrated in our evaluation, there has been a tangible impact on those businesses who attend the clubs and we are happy to play our part in increasing Scotland’s productivity and achieving a more inclusive, wellbeing economy.”

Richard Lochhead, Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, added: “Our National Innovation Strategy sets out the ambition to develop a National Productivity Programme which will support companies in all parts of Scotland become more efficient by adopting new technologies, processes and leadership methods. Established and impactful initiatives, like Productivity Club Scotland will play a critical role in delivering this ambition, which is why I am pleased to be extending our partnership with the SCDI, enabling it to continue supporting smaller businesses and third sector organisations across the country.”

For more information about Productivity Club Scotland and upcoming events visit www.scdi.org.uk/events 

Since the launch of PCS in 2019, the Clubs have presented almost 200 case studies (businesses) on diverse topics including digital transformation, fair work and net zero at over 100 meetings, and hosted three regional conferences.

PCS has around 2,200 members from the private, third and public sectors.

Past speakers have included:

  • Jo-Anne Chidley, co-founder, Beauty Kitchen
  • Nico Simeone, founder Six by Nico
  • Anthony Burns, COO, ACS Clothing
  • Kirsty Thomson, CEO and Founder, The Circle
  • Judith Turbyne, CEO, Children in Scotland
  • Martin Murray, co-founder, Dunnet Bay Distillery