Last week we took to the road in Scotland as part of the #ScottishFamilyBizRoadTrip for 2022 in a car that was kindly provided by Arnold Clark, one of the largest private owned businesses in the UK. The purpose, as always, was to visit Scottish family firms, share their stories and to put the family business sector on the map. This innovative family business event was introduced by Family Business United over 8 years ago as a way to promote the sector and all that it stands for. The 2022 trip around Scotland enabled us to do just that – celebrate the depth and diversity of the Scottish family business sector and the contribution made by family firms.
The trip began in Glasgow and took in family firms in Edinburgh, Paisley, Johnston, Perth, Lunan Bay, Aberdeen, Elgin, Buckie, Fochabers, Aberlour and plenty of other stops in between. A long week but a fantastic one which gets us behind the scenes, meeting the owners and hearing about the challenges they face and their plans for the future. We heard from over 20 Scottish family businesses, toured their operations and listened to their stories.
Trips like this would not be possible without the belief in what we do of the family firms visited as well as our sponsors. Thank you to AAB, Gilson Gray, the University of Strathclyde, Western Pension Solutions, SME Capital and Vistage for your support.
One thing that was clear from the visits that the world is not an easy one in which to operate a business at the present time with uncertainty prevailing over the economy, staff, fuel and energy costs, sustainability and supply chains, most of which were mentioned by all of those visited. On the contrary, the sector remains positive and focused on what needs to be done in order to put measures in place to flourish going forward.
The tour came to a conclusion with our last visit of the week at The Victor Pizza Company in Glasgow where we heard from entrepreneurial owners Paul and Anne-Marie. Like many other businesses we encountered during the week the topics included the economic climate, staff and rising costs but family firms, just as embodied in the sentiment from Anne-Marie are “stoic, proud and determined to find a way forward.”
Check out the gallery of selected images from the Road Trip below (click on the first image and then you can simply scroll through the other images):
As Paul Andrews, Founder and CEO of Family Business United concludes, “The road trip is so much more than a trip from A to B as we get to hear first hand from family business owners from where they operate. Despite the challenges eyes sparkle, pride comes to the fore and it is a privilege to have the opportunity to gain such personal insights.”
“Family firms are the backbone of the economy, not just across Scotland but the UK as a whole, and are so much more than just businesses. They employ millions of people collectively and are the hub of communities, doing so much more than providing jobs, creating income and generating wealth. Stories abound and the people we met are evidence of the presence of family firms as a real force for good, doing things not to be recognised, and in many case not shouting about them, but simply because they care and want to do the right thing and just get on and do it.”
“There are obvious concerns about costs, people matters, living wage, energy and supply chains to name a few and there are undoubtedly challenges ahead. But, as they have done in many cases for generations they will find a way and as a community, help one another too.”
“It was a wonderful week, full of insights and a real privilege for me to get out and about once more, to champion the sector and the incredible contribution made by family businesses across Scotland each and every day.”
We are already planning our Road Trips across England (spring 2023) and Scotland (Autumn 2023) so if your family business is interested in being a part of the 2023 events, or you would like to find out more about sponsoring the car, please do not hesitate to get in touch.