Deputy first minister John Swinney has been revealed as the keynote speaker at a leading business awards event for the Highlands.
Mr Swinney will address hundreds of regional business leaders at the annual SCDI Highlands & Islands Dinner and Business Excellence Awards in Inverness in September.
Mr Swinney said: “The annual SCDI Highlands & Islands Dinner & Business Excellence Awards is one the top events in the area’s business calendar and acts as an excellent showcase for thriving local businesses. I am pleased to be able to give the keynote address and am looking forward to meeting with friends and colleagues across the region during this important occasion.
“The Scottish Government shares the SCDI’s vision of a nation that is ambitious, enterprising and measures success in its ability to maximise its natural assets, potential and people. We have built upon the same themes in Scotland’s Economic Strategy.
“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate SCDI on its work, both across the Highlands and Islands and nationally, to foster an inclusive and connected economy that is underpinned by sustained investment in our physical and digital infrastructure.”
This year’s event marks a special occasion for the business group, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Scottish Council for Development and Industry’s presence in both Aberdeen and Inverness.
Fraser Grieve, SCDI’s Highlands & Islands Director said: “The Highlands and Islands are home to some of the country’s leading businesses and we have seen some tremendous successes over the years.
“These awards aim to recognise those that have made an outstanding contribution over the past year and who have found new innovative ways of working that have contributed to their success.
“From small exporters to global players, businesses of every size are encouraged to apply and be rightfully recognised for the valuable role they play in communities across the region.”
The deadline for submitting entries to the annual awards is 31 July. The event takes place Friday 11 September 2015 at The Drumossie Hotel, Inverness.
Award categories include:
Benromach Award for Excellence in International Business
Presented to the organisation, based in the Highlands and Islands, which can best demonstrate a track-record of outstanding achievement in the global marketplace.
Crown Estate Award for Excellence in a Marine Business
This award will be presented to the business, working in the Highlands and Islands, which can best demonstrate successful working in the region’s marine environment.
Business Direct Award for Excellence in Business Service & Engagement
This award will be presented to the business, in the Highlands and Islands, which has had the greatest impact on other businesses or their sector through innovative service or engagement.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise Award for Excellence in Research and Innovation
This award will be presented to the organisation, based in the Highlands and Islands, which can best demonstrate the application of Research and/or Innovation to improve their competitiveness.
Royal Bank of Scotland Award for Outstanding Business Ambassador
This Award for will be presented to the business leader who can best demonstrate having made an outstanding personal difference to a business and a significant positive contribution to the region’s economy. Innovation, community impact, overcoming barriers and the ability to act as an inspiration to others are as important as turnover.
Scottish Environment Protection Agency Award for Excellence in Environmental Sustainability
This award will be presented to the business or organisation, based in the Highlands and Islands, which can best demonstrate its commitment and overall approach to improving its environmental performance and resource efficiency.
SCDI Highlands & Islands Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Business Achievement
This award will be presented to the company, based in the Highlands and Islands, which best demonstrates having made a significant positive contribution to the regional economy.
University of the Highlands and Islands Award for Excellence in People Development
This award will be presented to the organisation, based in the Highlands and Islands, which can best demonstrate its commitment to developing the skills of its employees.
Mr Grieve added: “I would encourage businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes and from every sector to look at entering and being recognised for the good work they do.”