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Celebrating 20 years of GlobalScot

Celebrating 20 years of GlobalScot

Two decades of supporting Scottish business trade and exports and delivering global economic opportunities for Scotland.

A pioneering initiative

This year sees the celebration of the 20th anniversary of our prestigious international business network, GlobalScot.

Founded in July 2001, the GlobalScot network is a dynamic worldwide community of leading Scots and those with a strong connection to Scotland, who are outstanding in their industries and sectors. These highly influential business leaders give their time to provide us, and the ambitious Scottish businesses that we work with, support, advice and invaluable market insights.

Over the past 20 years, GlobalScot has helped a significant amount of new and growing Scottish companies realise their aspirations and make a mark on the international marketplace.

This pioneering network set out to harness Scottish expertise found in leading organisations around the globe and mobilise that knowledge. The World Bank acknowledged this initiative as a powerful example of how a diaspora can be used to support economic growth. Today, GlobalScot has an active membership based in strategically important markets and sectors across the world.

Julie Morrison, Head of Global Networks, says: "Scots are recognised the world over for their business acumen, their entrepreneurial spirit and their drive to succeed – and we are leveraging that for Scotland’s competitive advantage. Our members have been exceptional in terms of their contribution to making the GlobalScot network an invaluable source of support and aspiration for Scottish businesses."

The network’s impact and what customers say

"GlobalScot is recognised as a powerful national asset," says Scottish Enterprise’s interim CEO Linda Hanna.

"Over the last 20 years harnessing this network has helped to deliver millions of pounds of investment for Scotland," she explains. "It provides vital knowledge and connections to help Scottish companies enter markets overseas."

For example, GlobalScot was integral in the creation of the Isle of Harris Distillery, creating jobs for islanders, as well as a new and attractive destination for visitors.

"We made connections with a variety of people, which led to our single biggest pledge of investment, enabling us to complete the equity element of our funding requirements. Without that, I'm not sure this project would be going ahead."

Simon Erlanger, Managing Director of the Isle of Harris Distillery


GlobalScots play a key role in advising and supporting our most ambitious entrepreneurs with their direct involvement in programmes such as Unlocking Ambition. One of those companies was Novus Designs.

"Novus is a highly ambitious company and four GlobalScots from the network have all supported us to develop a robust, strategic plan to help make our goals a reality. While implementing this plan, GlobalScots have given us advice that we trust, provided great contacts and have opened doors to new markets which, frankly, we would have struggled to open ourselves."

Duncan Peters, Director of Novus Designs


Working in partnership with private sector organisations, including the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation and its hugely successful Saltire Scholar programme, GlobalScots continue to host Saltire Scholars in their own companies around the world. This provides young entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to experience and learn from some of the world’s leading businesses.

"Internships are a vital way to unlock potential," says Sandy Kennedy, CEO of the Entrepreneurial Scotland Foundation for the past 10 years. "It’s essential to give the next generation the opportunity to learn from experience and build their self-confidence," she explains.

"There is no other internship programme that identifies, connects and invests in Scotland’s potential in such a holistic way as the Saltire Scholar programme. This programme would not have been possible without GlobalScots, who have provided life-changing opportunities across the world to our young people."

Covid recovery

The impactful work of GlobalScot continues today. It’s been exacerbated by Covid-19’s effect on the economy with hundreds of Scottish companies receiving advice, guidance and support from GlobalScots over the past 16 months, via virtual trade missions and other digital communications.

Throughout the rest of the year, we'll be shining a spotlight on GlobalScot, highlighting some of its members and the companies in Scotland who have benefited from engaging with the network.

Join the network

Find out how GlobalScot can support your business grow in international markets.

Listen to the GlobalScot podcast series

Hear from individual GlobalScots from a range of industries, learn about their own career and their reflections on how the industry has changed and adapted to new opportunities and challenges over the years. They share their views on how today’s businesses can best prepare for future growth.

In this first episode, GlobalScot Rajiv Bhatia reflects on the whisky and drinks industries and his experiences taking Scotch whisky to international markets.