at the 3rd

Scottish SME Conference


with business leaders,

market leading suppliers

and service providers

your place

and book today!



Scottish Business Insider in partnership with Scotland Can Do are hosting the 3rd annual Scottish SME Conference. The half day event will focus on what is a vital part of the Scottish business community. This years event is an official Feeder Event for VentureFest Scotland 2019.

We will bring together SMEs from across Scotland and give them the opportunity to engage with business leaders and companies who can offer an insight in to successful growth and diversity.

There will also be an exhibition that will give delegates an opportunity to engage with market leading suppliers and service providers who will discuss and demonstrate products and services.

This year we are bringing together both the Scottish SME Conference and Scottish SME Awards and they will both take place on Wednesday 30th October at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Glasgow Central.

We will be announcing our speakers and discussion topics soon!

Wednesday 30th October 2019
8.30am - 1.30pm
Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, Glasgow Central


Picture of the Host, Jackie Bird

Jackie Bird
Journalist, Broadcaster and Writer

Jackie Bird is one of Scotland’s most experienced broadcast journalists. She presented the BBC’s flagship nightly news, Reporting Scotland, for thirty years as well as other key programmes. She's reported from Helmand to Hollywood; Washington to Wimbledon.

Jackie writes and produces documentaries and is a newspaper and magazine columnist. She began her career in print working on the Evening Times and The Sun before moving to TV as a journalist and presenter.

Jackie also works extensively on radio, writing and presenting current affairs output. She has written and produced a sit-com series, sketch shows, music programmes and an acclaimed series on the history of the Scottish suffragette movement.

On the Day

  • Dress Code / Business attire
  • 8.30am / Breakfast reception & exhibition
  • 9.00am / Welcome
  • 9.15am / Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Q & A session
  • 9.45am / Neil Francis: Seeing yourself right - building the right mindset and resilience to take your business forward
  • 10.15am / Vicky Brock: Seeing and managing your way through setbacks
  • 10.45am / Break
  • 11.00am / Rachel Jones: Seeing, seething and seizing the opportunity
  • 11.30am / Panel discussion
  • 12pm / Q&A
  • 12.30pm / Lunch & exhibition
  • 1.30pm / Scottish SME Conference concludes


Picture of one of the speakers, Vicky Brock

Vicky Brock

Vicky Brock is a serial entrepreneur who recently co-founder her 5th technology company, the consumer protection software startup Vistalworks. She has developed data technology that helps consumers and their families stay safe from the risk of dangerous, fake and illegal products as they shop online. Previously she founded Clear Returns, named Top Tech Startup In Europe by the European Commission, which produced software to understand and reduce the return rates of large retailer.

Vicky was named Scotland’s Most Inspiring Business Person at the 2017 Entrepreneurial Scotland Awards, won Innovator of the Year at the 2014 FDM Everywoman in Technology Awards, was named by as one of the 9 top female tech CEOs to watch, and by Computer Weekly as one of their Top 50 Women in IT. She is an Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland and regularly talks about technology and startups on TV and Radio.

Picture of one of the speakers, Neil Francis

Neil Francis

Neil Francis is the author of 'Positive Thinking', 'The Entrepreneur’s Book', and 'Changing Course' which were inspired by the stroke he suffered at age 41. He is currently the Chairman of a digital agency, Director of an internet company, Director of a consultancy practice, and a Trustee of a social enterprise

Picture of one of the speakers, Rachel Jones

Rachel Jones, Head Dragon/CEO SnapDragon Monitoring Ltd

An optimistic, resilient entrepreneur Rachel founded SnapDragon as ‘a bit of a pivot’ after the baby product she had created, and was exporting to 40 countries, was counterfeited. Horrified by potential dangers which could ensue, and frustrated by the complexity and cost of traditional, legal solutions, Rachel was ‘mission driven’ to develop and deliver affordable, effective brand protection software for SMEs anywhere in the world.

SnapDragon now delivers online protection to some of the world’s most respected brands with a team of Dragons between Edinburgh and Lerwick.


Picture of one of the panelists, Jazz Bains

Jazz Bains – Head of SME Services, SSE Business Energy

Jazz joined SSE in 2004 and is currently responsible for leading teams within the SME business area of SSE Business Energy. The vision for the business is to drive business growth by creating additional value as a trusted business energy partner that is easy to do business with and who delivers consistently brilliant experiences for our customers and partners. Jazz plays a leading role in the delivery of that vision in relation to SME customers, engaging with and serving them through the whole customer lifecycle.

Picture of one of the panelists, Alan Mahon

Alan Mahon - Founder of Brewgooder

Alan is the Founder of Brewgooder, the craft beer brand on a mission to bring 1,000,000 people clean drinking water. Brewgooder became the first social enterprise brand to gain a national listing with Asda in October 2016 just 3 months after launching their flagship style Clean Water Lager with a successful £60,000 crowdfund. Brewgooder has grown in just 36 months to over 3000 stockists in the UK, and has delivered clean water projects for 64,784 people to date in Malawi.

Alan was recognised as a Big Issue Top 100 Changemaker in 2018, and is an Obama Foundation European Young Leader, and was the Great British Entrepreneur for Good 2018.

As a social entrepreneur he has been integral to the growth of Social Bite in Scotland, the high street sandwich chain which employs, trains and houses homeless and vulnerable people. He has welcomed Hollywood stars such as George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio to the Scottish Business Awards, raising over £3m for good causes at home and abroad and helped raise £7.4m and release 800 mainstream houses for rough sleepers in Scotland by the end of 2020 with Sleep In the Park. In 2019 he became Executive Trustee of the World’s Big Sleep Out, a campaign to end global homelessness, which aims to bring together 50,000 people across 50 cities globally to sleep out on December 7th 2019.

Picture of one of the panelists, Scott Weir

Scott Weir - Founder and CEO of Pillow

Scott is the founder and CEO of Pillow, an online travel agent and property management company that match holiday homeowners with quality guests about the world. Scott and his business are multi award winning, with various accolades such as: Entrepreneur of the Year 2017, Startup Business of the Year 2018, Startup Summit winner 2018, Scale up Business of the Year 2019 and Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year 2019.

Pillow is passionate about using the business for good and aim to donate 14,000 nights a year in their properties to local community charities that support society’s most vulnerable groups: child poverty, mental health, domestic violence, child poverty and homelessness.

He is passionate about Scottish entrepreneurship and supporting young people to get into business. His current projects includes securing a £70m overseas investment into Scotland’s tourism sector.

His other passion is teaching Krav Maga (reality-based self-defense system) where he an Expert Level 1 instructor and takes regular classes and female self seminars. In his spare time he enjoys fitness, martial arts and self-development.


Booking Tickets

You can purchase individual tickets or tables of ten/twelve for this event. Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis.

Table of 10: £760.00 plus VAT
Table of 12: £890.00 plus VAT
Single tickets: £85.00 plus VAT


Single tickets will be seated at the discretion of Insider Events (single ticket holders from the same organisation will be seated at the same table unless otherwise advised). For those organisations that book more than one table, Insider Events will try to ensure that their tables will be situated together.

Payment Options

Credit & debit cards/Invoicing
We accept all major credit and debit cards and if you are a registered company we can invoice you directly for tables.
Please contact Aileen Turnbull, on 07825 899 187 or email [email protected].

NB - Tickets will not be dispatched until full payment for an invoice has been received.

Please make cheques payable to Reach Scotland and send to:
Aileen Turnbull
Scottish SME Conference 
Insider Events
1 Central Quay
G3 8DA