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Orkney Business Festival 2016

Let’s talk business

Four entrepreneurs will provide an insight into running a successful business when a new festival for Orkney gets underway next month.

The Orkney Business Festival will bring together a mix of business people, industry experts and advisers – who will be on hand to provide advice and inspiration for anyone looking to start or grow their own business.

Running from April 20 to 22 at the Pickaquoy Centre, the festival will kick off with a session called Let’s Talk Business.

This will provide the opportunity to take part in a question-and-answer session featuring keynote speaker Stephen Leckie, chief executive of Crieff Hydro Limited, which operates eight hotels and employs more than 600 people.

He will be joined by Neil Stevenson, from Grooves, Sheila Fleet, from Sheila Fleet Jewellery, and Lewis Hill, from the Swannay Brewery. The Q&A session will be hosted by Dave Gray, from BBC Radio Orkney.

The festival is being organised by Business Gateway Orkney, Orkney Islands Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Hugh Lightbody, chief officer of the Business Gateway National Unit, will introduce the Let’s Talk Business session.

He said: “I am delighted that Business Gateway is going to be involved in this new initiative, the very first Orkney Business Festival.

“The programme is engaging and informative with great opportunities for people from all kinds of businesses to share their experiences, learn from each other and from the excellent range of speakers.

“The first session, Let’s Talk Business, is shaping up to be a great scene setter with a talk from Steven Leckie of Crieff Hydro and a Q&A session which will see Steven and three experienced local business people discuss  the challenges and opportunities associated with growing a business."

Neil Stevenson said: “The motivation for me to get involved with the Orkney Business Festival was on a couple of levels - I am by no means a business expert but I am happy to share my experiences of starting from scratch in Orkney and the different hurdles I had to overcome to develop my own business.

“It is not as difficult to set up in business as some people might believe. Good planning is key, so it would be great if this festival can help encourage more folk to go for it.”

He added: “The other interesting aspect of the festival for me was the possibilities it could present for learning from other local and visiting businesses on their own experiences of success and failure.

“No matter what stage you are in your business career, you can still learn from others. In fact it can be even more important for existing businesses to look at different ways to help their business evolve in the current market."

A full programme for the Orkney Business Festival is available at the following link.

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