A north-east business chief says the coronavirus pandemic could ignite new entrepreneurial spirit as smaller firms try to adapt to the ever changing climate.
Gary McEwan, CEO at Elevator, said shortly after lockdown was announced questions started to stir among those with new businesses and the effect it would have on their firms.
He said: “During more stable times, we create consumption chains.
“These start with basic, raw materials which then pass through many businesses before making their way to the consumer.
“A new business has the challenge of breaking into or disrupting existing and mature chains, which are normally reluctant to allow new entrants.
“What we are experiencing right now is multiple breaks in just about every consumption chain; we are living in a radical pattern interruption. One question which remains: will the pandemic come to be seen as a momentary interruption when consumption chains can reform exactly as before or will it create a moment of great opportunity for those entrepreneurs brave enough to elbow their way in to the new chains that are created?”
Mr McEwan said that among the downturn, it is imperative to remember on the other side of the crisis lies opportunity.
He said: “The stage has been set for unprecedented growth. As of March 2019, the Scottish Government reported an estimate of 354,125 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in Scotland, accounting for 99.3% of all private businesses, 55.4% of private sector employment and 41.5% of private sector turnover.
“Entrepreneurial spirit is certainly alive, and those SMEs who look for opportunities now will be long remembered. Elevator Founders, those who have been through our accelerator programmes, are grasping the opportunities Covid-19 has presented. Dr B of The Foot Expert in Tayside has taken her podiatrist service digital, offering online consultations to new and existing clients.
“Moray founder Jill Brown of Avva Gin has followed in the footsteps of north-east brewer, BrewDog and pivoted her distilling operations to make hand sanitiser to help with local shortages.
“Aberdeen founder, Glasgow Greens, is ramping up its aquaponics operations to grow common herbs and leafy greens to service Glasgow’s local grocers and market gardens.
“These individuals have shifted their mindset to spark new entrepreneurial spirit. They are working in different ways and fuelling creative businesses juices.
“The radical interruption has been turned into something tangible, and real, and possible to fathom.”