AS THE urgent need to restart the economy and bring businesses back into operation highlights the challenges facing companies, Causeway: Scotland Ireland Business Exchange have continued their operations throughout lockdown.
The network has welcomed a member onto its board during this period of unprecedented restrictions and is set to continue to make its impact felt as normality returns and the challenges facing businesses are tackled head on.
Linda Scott, the former CEO of West Lothian Chamber of Commerce, has now joined the board of Causeway, and having led several trade missions from West Lothian to Ireland in her time there—before taking up her current position as Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Industry Engagement at CodeClan.
“Over the years, I have become very passionate about trade between Scotland and Ireland and the trading opportunities available to both countries,” she said of her interest in trade across the Irish Sea. “The main strengths between Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland are firstly how close we are—I can get to Dublin faster than I can get to London! Plus, the language and culture—it’s an obvious first choice for all first time exporters, and a ‘must’ for all experienced exporters.
“By becoming part of a business networking organisation like Causeway, it also allows opportunities for you to make and receive introductions—networking is far more effective if you have a contact who can introduce you to the right people. Joining a networking organisation also gives you vital insights to what is happening within your sector and in different countries, which is invaluable.
“By joining the Causeway board, I hope my past experience will support Causeway in making more of these trading opportunities and introductions between Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland available and contribute with the growth of the network on both sides of the Irish Sea.”
With the challenges arising from the coronavirus forcing new ways of doing business, Causeway have been at the forefront of such efforts in Scotland and Ireland—even launching a series of events to bring Celtic cities together to tackle climate change. Though the early events will take place as online ‘webinars,’ it is hoped that by Autumn 2020 face-to-face workshops will be held in Edinburgh before further events in Dublin in 2021.
This determination to overcome the challenges being faced in Scotland and Ireland was underlined by Linda Scott as she spoke about her future activities within Causeway.
“No one can deny the unprecedented upset and unrest this situation has caused, but I always like to look for the positives and what I have seen across our organisation, is how every team member has stepped up to the challenges they have had to face, and faced them with conviction and passion to turn our offering round to not just an offering that will keep us in business, but an offering that could help us come out of this stronger than ever,” she said. “For all businesses, times are changing, we will not just go back to normal. We need to be preparing to come out of this not just surviving, but ready to thrive. How will your company pivot with the change, can you move to more online, can you continue to work remote? These are all questions we should be asking ourselves.
“I look forward to working with Causeway and its business network, to help businesses build connections and opportunities.”