Industry view: Look to the future with an eye on the past

By Carolyn Maniukiewicz, Ideas in Partnership

Scotland’s future has never been debated more prominently than in recent times. From a business perspective, there is a strong argument for looking to the past for clues as to what the months and years ahead could hold.

When you sit down to consider what it means to be Scottish, it is impossible to avoid the rich heritage the country has when it comes to invention and enterprise. The key to a prosperous future is rediscovering that spirit and empowering the next generation to flourish.

My career, from my days as a research economist with Scottish Enterprise through to my company’s work today in entrepreneurship and business mentoring, has been built on unlocking the potential of individuals and organisations.

Carolyn Maniukiewicz

I’m incredibly confident about the opportunities for companies and, in equal measure, about the drive and determination there is within the business community. The spirit of enterprise is very much alive and well.

Experience tells me that the best chance we have of realising the potential of our country’s young businesses is to embrace the natural energy these firms are all built upon and help them to channel it in the most effective way.

Ideas are wonderful, but putting those into practice is a very different story. The whole ethos of Ideas in Partnership revolves around working with individuals and companies to turn business dreams into reality – we want people to take off the blinkers and open up a whole world of opportunity.

The work we do in schools is in many ways the most inspiring facet for our team. There is so much creativity among primary school children and such fresh thinking – if we could bottle that, we could make millions.

On a practical level, the best thing any entrepreneur can do is to seek advice early and to soak up the experience of those around them. Every new business is fuelled by passion and everyone involved should share that drive and determination to succeed – both internally and externally. By working with people who share your vision and understand your goals, the chances of success are greatly enhanced.

Embracing opportunities to soak up the right advice is important, and by that I mean listening to those who have been over the course before. Our own Aberdeen Entrepreneurs networking group brings companies of all shapes and sizes together with leading figures in the business world, who are refreshingly willing to share their expertise and experience.

We have some tremendous success stories in Scotland and particularly in Aberdeen and the north-east. By taking heed of what has gone before us, there are wonderful prospects for a bright business future.

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