For Scotland’s technology hub to grow, export opportunities must be provided

But when it comes to new business opportunities, our tech companies in a small country will struggle to grow at the pace we’ve seen before without a concerted effort to boost exports and access international markets. Despite some government support, SMEs in Scotland are far from having the resources they need to explore new territory in a convenient and feasible manner. More needs to be done.

As the membership organization of the Scottish digital technology industry, we do our part. We recently sponsored a trip by some of our members to Bahrain to attend the first Arab International Cyber ​​Conference – the largest conference in the region focused on securing cyber and IT infrastructure. Being privy to discussions about the challenges companies face today and introducing their products to those looking for new solutions was an excellent opportunity for our members to engage with an open-minded audience. And after the conference – which for many was the first time they “dip their toe in the water” at an event like this – four even secured new business paperwork, giving them a significant financial and professional boost.

We could have a wealth of similar success stories if we realized the importance of providing experiences like this to growing businesses. Experiences that allow them to network and showcase their offerings outside of their home territory. And we shouldn’t wait for these companies to prove themselves at home before supporting them abroad. The truth is that many companies that thrive in Scotland often got their first business deals elsewhere.

Yes it is an investment. But relative to the success it can bring, we shouldn’t look at money as an obstacle. Unless we work harder to bring new opportunities to our startups and scale-ups, or to highlight the support we already have, we risk stifling the growth potential of brilliant companies – and with it, the growth of our entire economy.

As with math and music, the beauty of technology is that there are no language barriers. The skills that a cyber engineer or a software developer learns in Scotland are valuable in every corner of the world. But while the capabilities are global, so is the competition. Our talent factory gives us an advantage. But if we don’t support our talents to enter new markets, the value of this advantage may decrease.

Karen Meechan is CEO at ScotlandIS For Scotland’s technology hub to grow, export opportunities must be provided

Adam Bradshaw

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