LendingCrowd, the fast-growing fintech lending platform based in Edinburgh, has been crowned one of the winners in the Scottish heat of the Chamber Business Awards 2019. Now in their 16th year, the Awards are a highlight of the business calendar, recognising the key role that local businesses play in driving the UK economy.

As Scotland’s High Growth Business of the Year, LendingCrowd will now go forward to the national finals, which take place in London in November.

Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said:

“The Chamber Business Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the best of British business. Across the country, there are firms of all sizes and sectors thriving and showing their innovation and adaptability, even in the midst of turbulent times.

“Our businesses communities continue to generate prosperity and opportunity so it’s only right that we support and shout about the fantastic things they are doing.

“Each year the calibre of applicants impresses our judges, and this pool of entrants was no different. All our finalists should be proud of their success in reaching this stage and we wish them the very best of luck.”

LendingCrowd, which was founded in 2014, matches individual and institutional investors with businesses seeking finance to grow. Since its launch, the platform has facilitated over 740 loans, totalling more than £65 million, to businesses the length and breadth of Britain.

Stuart Lunn, founder and CEO of LendingCrowd, said:

“We’re honoured to be named Scotland’s High Growth Business of the Year. This award is testament to the efforts of our entire team in helping to alleviate the funding gap facing the small business community.”


  • Company shortlisted for Excellence in Health and Safety, Sustainable Development and Outstanding Contribution to Development and Skills
  • Managing Director Paul McGowan shortlisted in Director of the Year category


Local bus operator First Scotland East has been shortlisted in four categories at the prestigious Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce 2017 Business Awards.

The company has been nominated for Excellence in Health and Safety, Sustainable Development, and Outstanding Contribution to Development and Skills. Managing Director, Paul McGowan, who has been shortlisted in the Director of the Year category, said his team are committed to improving services and encouraging more passengers on to bus travel.

First Scotland East – which operates under the brands First Midland Bluebird, First West Lothian and First Borders – will hear the outcome of the judging at a special awards ceremony at the end of this month.

Paul McGowan, said: “It’s a great honour and hugely exciting to be part of an impressive list of companies and individuals shortlisted in this year’s Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Awards.

“We have a great team who are working hard to transform the company and deliver consistent improvement in all areas, and we are very proud to have reached the final stage of judging.

“It is particularly gratifying to be shortlisted in key areas of business activity. My team place great emphasis on health and safety, learning and skills, sustainable development and improving overall performance.”

The winners will be announced at a ceremony at the Sheraton Grand Hotel and Spa, Edinburgh, on Monday, 27 February.


We received over 130 submissions for this year’s Business Awards and our events team have been busy looking through each application, in order to pull together the shortlist for 2017!

We’re thrilled to announce the following businesses have been shortlisted in each of the following categories:

Best Performing Business

“Best Performing Business” awards shall go to businesses which have demonstrated a clearly defined strategy for developing and growing their business. The winners will show entrepreneurial characteristics, have a dynamic team and have shown innovative ways to nurture and develop their practice throughout 2016.

1-10 staff

The following businesses have been shortlisted in the 1-10 staff category for ‘Best Performing Business’:

  • Tanami
  • Digital Impact
  • LUX
  • AWS Recruitment
  • One Accounting
  • HeeHaw

11-50 staff

The following businesses have been shortlisted in the 11-15 staff category for ‘Best Performing Business’:

  • Lateral City
  • Can You Escape?
  • LS Productions
  • The Yard
  • Geckotech

51+ staff

The following businesses have been shortlisted in the 50+ staff category for ‘Best Performing Business’:

  • Dacoll Ltd
  • Vittoria Group
  • Sanderson
  • Lothian Buses
  • Edinburgh Airport
  • Edinburgh Trams

Sustainable Development

Open to any size/sector, this award will go to a business that has made active improvements to their efficiency and sustainable products.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Central Taxis
  • First Scotland East
  • Lothian Buses
  • Sandemans
  • Essential Edinburgh and Changeworks Recycling
  • Fairmont St Andrews

Innovation In Business

This award will go to a business of any size/sector which has shown a high degree of creativity and dynamism in successfully developing innovative products.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • The East India Company
  • Central Taxis
  • Bluebird Care
  • ESPC
  • Appointedd
  • Brewin Dolphin

Creative Marketing

This award will be presented to a business with an innovative marketing campaign. The campaign will have been clearly expressed and articulated and will have effectively improved business performance.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • St Columbas Hospice
  • AKA Scotland
  • Westend Design
  • Lothian Buses
  • Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland
  • Edinburgh Trams
  • Marketing Edinburgh

High Growth

Open to businesses that are profitable and growing fast. You will have a successful development plan in place to build on success and demonstrate high growth in your sector.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Royal College of Surgeons
  • Smart PA
  • LS Productions
  • AM Bid Services
  • Edinburgh Trams

International Trade

Presented to a business of any size/sector which has successfully expanded their business into international markets. The expansion will have a clearly defined strategy for growing and developing the business.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Smart PA
  • Sykes
  • Heehaw
  • Grassmarket Community
  • Edinburgh Airport

Director of the Year

This award honours a company Director who has excelled in their business over the past 12 months. This person will be pioneering in their field, demonstrate excellent leadership skills and be inspirational to their colleagues.

The shortlisted individuals are:

  • Kirstee Macbeth – AKA Scotland
  • Paul McGowan – First Scotland East
  • Paul Hilton – ESPC
  • Celine Sinclair – The Yard
  • Andrew Morrison – AM Bid Services
  • Roslyn Neely – The Sick Kids Friends Foundation
  • John Watson – Edinburgh Airport

Developing the Young Workforce

This award will go to companies and organisations who are supporting young people into positive destinations, either by delivering programmes of support, offering work placements and vocational training to young people or engaging with schools and colleges to provide career guidance and insights for work readiness.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Edinburgh International Science Festival
  • Doig & Smith
  • Inspiring Scotland
  • Dacoll Ltd


This award identifies a business with a diverse workforce who is an advocate for inclusion and equality in the workplace. You will serve to reassure and encourage individuals to excel in your business.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Mott MacDonald
  • Holiday Inn Corstorphine
  • University of Edinburgh Business School

Young Leader of the Year

Awarded to a Chamber member under the age of 35 who has demonstrated excellent career progression, leadership and management skills.

The shortlisted individuals are:

  • Jemma Goba – Tanami
  • Lindsay Fyffe Jardine – Edinburgh Dog & Cat Home
  • Keith Liddle – Changeworks Recycling
  • Alan Surgeon – AWS Recruitment
  • Scott Whyte – Watermans
  • Jonathan Rayner – Edinburgh Airport
  • Dean Anderson – Edinburgh Trams

Excellent in Health and Safety

In recognition of an organisation that has demonstrated its commitment to employee health, safety and wellbeing.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • SP Energy Networks
  • First Scotland East
  • Geckotech
  • Edinburgh Trams

Outstanding Contribution to Development and Skills

This award will honour businesses that have made an exceptional contribution to employee skills development through training, HR support and excellent management.

The shortlisted businesses are:

  • Dacoll Ltd
  • Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems
  • First Scotland East
  • Smart PA
  • Dermal Clinic
  • Partnership with: Cyrenians, Fort Kinnaird, Capital City Partnership, City of Edinburgh Council

How to book your place at the Awards

Ticket Prices

£800 + VAT for a table of ten

£100 + VAT per person

To book your place, head to our website and book!

Contact Details

For more information or if you have a query about our Awards, please contact Roxy Nicol at events@edinburghchamber.co.uk


The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce are delighted that Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, and Calum Paterson, Managing Partner for Scottish Equity Partners are the keynote speakers for their 6th Annual Business Awards taking place on 27th February.

Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Liz McAreavey, commented:

“Our Awards dinner is the highlight event of the year as it showcases and recognises the achievements and endeavours of our members.

This year we have chosen ‘Values’ as our theme and both our speakers represent this in their ethical and responsible approach to business.”

Whilst Josh said:

“I’m delighted to be speaking at the ECC Business Awards this year, particularly as the theme for the evening will be ‘values’, something that is crucially important to how Social Bite is run. It’s heartening that the wider business community is recognising this subject and I look forward to hearing how the capital’s leading business people are approaching this.”

Calum added:

“I am very much looking forward to the ECC Annual Awards and to meeting some of Edinburgh’s most exciting companies.  I am sure the theme of responsible business is one that will resonate with all of those attending.”

Liz further commented:

“We are very much looking forward to celebrating the inspirational achievements of individuals and businesses in Edinburgh over the last 12 months.”

The awards will take place on Monday 27th February at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa. Tickets are available to buy here.

Ken Buchanan has been getting ready to receive the prestigious Edinburgh Award 2016.

Impressions of the retired boxer’s famous fighting hands have been cast in clay, pictured, by Leigh Bradley of the Colin Braid Stone Workshop, ready to be carved into stone.

The handprints will be gilded and laid outside the City Chambers next to the prints of previous Edinburgh Award recipients including Sir Tom Farmer, Sir Chris Hoy, J.K Rowling and Elizabeth Blackadder.

Once voted ‘Britain’s Greatest Ever Boxer’ by the Boxing News, Leith-born Ken Buchanan joined the Sparta club aged eight and turned professional in 1965. He famously fought on the same bill as Muhammad Ali in Madison Square Garden twice.

Ken’s name will be inscribed on to an Edinburgh Award plaque and he will be presented with an engraved Loving Cup by the Lord Provost at a ceremony on 3 March.

Lord Provost Donald Wilson said: “In many ways, a lasting tribute for Ken Buchanan in his home city is long overdue. It seems right to me that those famous fighting hands will be immortalised in stone and given pride of place along our very own Edinburgh Award ‘walk of fame’.”

Ken Buchanan said: “I am absolutely overwhelmed that this prestigious honour will be presented to me. The fact that I’ll have everlasting handprints cast in stone at the Royal mile is just amazing and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me.”

Ken Buchanan is the only living British fighter in the International Boxing Hall of Fame which he was inducted into in 2000 as a Boxing Undisputed World Lightweight Champion.

securing the nation

The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce have added two new categories in their awards line-up to recognise ‘Diversity’ and ‘Contribution to Skills and Development’.


Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Liz McAreavey, said:

“Creating a culture which values individual difference and variety contributes to a positive work environment. It broadens skills, views and experiences in our businesses making us all more innovative and competitive. This award recognises those who continually embrace and celebrate individuality, inclusion and equality.”

City Of Edinburgh Council (Sponsors of Contribution to Skills and Development category), Chief Executive, Andrew Kerr commented:

“Growth and improved productivity leads to greater success for our businesses and our city. Investing in people, particularly our young people throughout their career paths, is critical to ensuring we have a skilled and inspired workforce, embracing leading technology and new ideas. We are delighted to support this award recognising those organisations who value and develop their talent”.

The awards will take place on Monday 27th February at the Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa.

With 6 weeks to go until we host our 6th Annual Business Awards, we thought we’d update you on how you can nominate a business for this year’s awards, in time for the deadline of 6th February!


What Are The Awards?

We held our first Business Awards in 2012 as a way of formally recognising the fantastic work that is undertaken every day by both individuals and businesses across Edinburgh in everything from performance, leadership, sustainability, innovation and creativity. The awards have grown significantly during this time and in 2016 we welcomed over 450 guests to our awards dinner and celebrated the achievements of Edinburgh Airport, Cyrenians, Queen Margaret University, Heehaw and many more!

The awards are a fantastic opportunity to connect with a wide range of businesses from all sectors and size and collectively celebrate the achievements of those who truly make Edinburgh UK Entrepreneurial City of the Year.

Why Should I Apply?

To give you an idea as to why you might like to apply, we looked back to some of last year’s winners to find out exactly what they thought on winning an award.

“It’s great to see SMEs celebrated in Edinburgh and winning this award really shows what can be achieved by a small business. Being recognised by the Chamber in this way is a great platform for our continued growth and expansion into new markets as well as continuing to deliver a great service”.

Alastair Watson, Director of ‘Can You Escape?’ (Winner, 2016 – Best Performing Business 1-10)

“We’re extremely proud to have won the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce ‘Innovation in Business’ award 2016. This latest industry award for QMU is further evidence of how the university continues to demonstrate innovation in both how we operate ourselves and in the way in which we engage with the business community to drive growth, through being responsive, creative, relevant and practical in focus. The award recognises our work in food and drink development and innovation, in supporting graduate start-ups in the creative industries and the promotion of our aspirations for land across the campus.”

Professor Petra Wend, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Queen Margaret University (Winner, 2016 – Innovation In Business).

We all like to get a pat on a back for a job well done and our Business Awards are a way of formalising that in front of an audience of Edinburgh’s top businesses and leaders.

Ok, So I know why I should apply…how do I?

As it generally goes, you’ve got to be in it to win it. So you’ll be pleased to hear that applying for our awards literally couldn’t be easier. All you need to do is complete our entry form, available to download from our website here with the following information:

Award Category

Company/Entrant Name

Nominated by

Contact Details

No. of Employees

Date Founded

Why You’re Submitting in no more than 1000 words

Ok, so I’ve applied…what next?

The deadline for all submissions is Monday 06 February. Once submissions are received, they are sent to our expert panel of judges who will shortlist nominees for each category. Entries are judged at two stages and nominees will be notified as soon after the panel has come to a decision.

Then for the exciting part – winners won’t be announced until evening of the awards on Monday 27th February, so if you want to be the first to hear then make sure you book your seat! Tickets costs £100+VAT per person, or why not make a staff night out of it and book a table of ten for £800+VAT!

Last but not least…

We hope that we’ve made the process for applying as easy as possible BUT should you have any questions, we are here to help. You can get in touch by emailing Emma Reid or Roxy Nicol on events@edinburghchamber.co.uk or alternatively give us a ring on 0131 221 2999.

We can’t wait to see you there.

Awards logo 2017

This accolade recognises Edinburgh’s collaboration and strategic alliance with Shenzhen as well as the innovative incubator space provided for creative and tech investment from Shenzhen at the City of Edinburgh Council’s Creative Exchange incubator hub.

It also recognises the Memorandum of Understanding with Innovate Finance to help Edinburgh and London promote technology companies supplying new and innovative software products to the financial sector. The Council’s role establishing StartEDIN, to help attract additional skilled tech workers to Edinburgh as well as the Council’s digital ‘Edinburgh Hotel Prospectus’, highlighting Edinburgh’s hotel market and key opportunities for hotel operators and developers were also acknowledged.

The award is further great news for the city as last month Edinburgh was awarded British Entrepreneurial City of the Year, ranked third in the Good Growth for Cities Report and voted best city to locate your tech business. The Council also announced last month that Edinburgh is to host EUROCITIES in 2018, welcoming all Europe’s major city leaders to the Capital.

Cllr Gavin Barrie, Economy Convener, said: “This is yet another fantastic result for Edinburgh and welcome confirmation that our strategy is driving investment to Edinburgh and creating thousands of new jobs. Due to its excellent quality of life and vibrant economy Edinburgh provides an excellent environment for companies of all sizes, both home grown and international, to succeed.

“The city’s rapid growth in the tech sector and start-up scene and increased international reputation coupled with long-standing expertise in finance mean that Edinburgh is well positioned to attract investment.

“In the past 12 months we’ve welcomed over 25 new foreign investors to the city and this award recognises that Edinburgh is regarded as a truly global player.”

Dexcom, San Diego-headquartered continuous glucose monitoring market leader, recently expanded into Europe with the opening of a new product support and research and development office in Edinburgh. Benefitting from soft landing support provided by The City of Edinburgh Council’s Investor Support Team, Dexcom utilised temporary soft landing office space in the Creative Exchange while their new European HQ in the Tanfield tech hub was prepared.

John Lister, general manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Dexcom said: “The first reason we selected Edinburgh as the base for our EMEA HQ was talent. There is a huge talent pool in Edinburgh from a medical, commercial and technical access, which is a pull to companies looking to expand into the UK and Europe. Edinburgh also has a rich history of innovations in the medical field, which, we hope, Dexcom will continue to be a part of.”

Other recent FDI to the city

  • Janssen Pharmaceutica, a provider of medicines and therapeutic solutions and a subsidiary of US-based Johnson & Johnson, has established a new centre for dementia prevention in Edinburgh. The £2.5m centre is located in the city’s BioQuarter.
  • China-based iRes Geo Technology, an oil and gas research company, has opened a new office in Edinburgh. The office will allow the company to expand its operations both in the North Sea and globally. It will create five new jobs in 2016 with this number expected to rise to 10 in the near future.
  • Red Rock Power, a company which invests in renewable energy projects and is a subsidiary of China-based State Development and Investment, has opened a new office in Edinburgh. The office will serve as a platform to enable the company to invest further in renewable developments in Scotland.
  • Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle, a commercial airline, is set to open a new base in Edinburgh Airport, UK. The new base will allow the company to operate flights to the US and is expected to open in 2017.
  • US-based online retailer Amazon.com is expanding operations in Edinburgh. The company has announced plans to create 35 new jobs in its research and development facility, bringing its headcount to around 135. The new roles will include software engineers, scientists and managers


An Edinburgh designer has been selected to create the Awards objects for the Arts & Business Scotland (A&BS) 30th Annual Awards. Oliver F. Conway who has previously redesigned the coveted statuette for the Scottish BAFTAs will fabricate 20 pieces based on the theme of ‘One Hundred Cogs’ to be presented to winners at a ceremony in March 2017.

A former student from Glasgow School of Art, Oliver has a background in architecture but during his time at college worked as an apprentice to a master sculptor before taking over the business, making awards to his original designs. As well as redesigning the BAFTAs Oliver has also created awards objects for the Herald Angels and Scottish Politician of the Year. The A&BS project will be Oliver’s most significant venture using his own designs.

Oliver F. Conway said: “I am delighted to be part of the esteemed list of 30 Arts & Business Scotland artists and I am hoping to continue the variety illustrated by the back catalogue of award objects. At the core of this year’s award designs are themes of continuity and connectivity, as well as a sense of fun”.

The Awards objects will be made from precision-cut timber taking the form of ‘One Hundred Cogs’. 20 similar but unique award pieces will then together form one single installation which will include many cogs of different sizes and shapes meshing together in unison to perform a single continuous hand-powered moving sculpture. ‘One Hundred Cogs’ is a way of illustrating the synergy between the many facets and individuals within the spheres of Art & Business Scotland.

The creation of the Awards Objects is sponsored by Atlantic Quay. Angela Higgins of Resonance Capital the joint venture partner with Moorfield Group in the multimillion pound refurbishment of Buildings 1, 2 and 3 Atlantic Quay added: “As we revitalise Atlantic Quay Buildings 1, 2 and 3 to create a contemporary business destination on Glasgow’s waterfront, we are proud to sponsor the Awards Objects and show our support for the arts and its significant contribution to Scotland’s creative and economic well-being.

The ethos behind Oliver Conway’s Awards Objects ‘One Hundred Cogs’ is beautifully considered and we see it as a rare opportunity to connect people in our business community with the arts and to be a part of a legacy project.”

The 30th Annual Awards party will take place at Glasgow Royal Concert Halls in the New Auditorium on Thursday 23 March 2017. The evening will include an address from the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop MSP, with a welcome party, drinks and hot buffet, interspersed with arts performances. The final design of the awards objects is being kept a closely guarded secret until the ceremony where they will be presented to the winners.