When our Group Managing Director, Steve Cook, isn’t busy here at LAW, he channels his time into giving back to the local community as Chairman of Elevator UK. This community driven social enterprise encourages individuals to run diverse and innovative organisations, and it provides support for initial setup, growth and acceleration of businesses across Scotland. Steve has a lot of experience working with fledgling businesses in the Aberdeenshire area, and our talented team in Aberdeen support a variety of local organisations, so Elevator is an organisation with goals close to our own hearts.
Last year, in both the Grampian and Tayside regions, Elevator delivered support through the Business Gateway Programme to over 2,000 new businesses and helped accelerate the growth of many hundreds more. It’s also interesting to note that Aberdeen City and Shire is home to 15% of Scotland’s’ Business Gateway supported start-ups, despite having only 8% of the population. We’re also thrilled to say that in the last year, more than 56% of new business start-ups in the City & Shire were female-led!
On Thursday 27th June, Steve donned his tartan trews and took to the stage to welcome over 400 guests who gathered together at the Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel & Spa to celebrate enterprising individuals in the North East of Scotland at the 20th annual Elevator Awards. In his joint opening speech with CEO Professor Gary McEwan, Steve highlighted some of this years’ achievements, such as the expansion of Elevator HQ at Bridge of Don to create TechX+ in partnership with the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, as well as their recently opened Centre for Entrepreneurship in the University of Dundee.
For the third year, the MC was none other than the politician, novelist, media commentator, One Show reporter and (more importantly) Gogglebox star Gyles Brandreth who kept the joyful vibe going for the entire evening. The final awards were the Lifetime Achievement Award, won by Stewart Milne of Stewart Milne Group and Aberdeen Football Club; and Entrepreneur of the Year, won by James Barrack of Knight Property.
Congratulations to all of the 24 finalists in the 8 categories – we’ll be expecting amazing things from you all!