In a glittering ceremony celebrating Women Entrepreneurs across the United Kingdom, Business Mentoring swept up the top awards at the “Excellence in Women’s Enterprise and Mentoring”.

Liz Cameron OBE, Director and Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“We are so proud of this exceptional business led peer-to-peer mentoring support.  We have developed our approach over the last 10 years, adapting it to suit the needs of Scottish business.  These awards are testament to the 8,500 businesses who have grown as a direct result of the army of voluntary business men and women across Scotland who have given up their time freely and are willing to pass on their experience, expertise and connections.   We must learn that sometimes the best is not always outside of Scotland, but home grown here and start looking in our own back yard for greatness for others to follow.  We are pleased that this unique connection programme is recognised and supported by the Scottish Government and their economic development agencies who have continued to support us.  Scotland’s entrepreneurial flair remains strong and business to business mentoring is in a league of its own.”

Jeanette Forbes, Founder and CEO of PCL Group, based in Aberdeen picked up the coveted Best Mentor Award beating off more than 100 other applicants picked up her award in London.  Jeanette commented:

Women's Enterprise Scotland (WES): WES Ambassador Jeanette Forbes of PCL Group. For more information please contact Fiona Fraser (WES) on 07960 178961, . Pic free for first use relating to WES, 2014. © Malcolm Cochrane Photography +44 (0)7971 835 065 No syndication No reproduction without permission

“Business Mentoring is about putting something back.  In 2002, I obtained my own business mentor. Without him, I would not be in business today.  He makes me think outside the box and in a world which is rapidly changing economically we sometimes need someone with a different perspective to put us back on track and continue on our journey”

Claire Murray, Founder and Owner of Dunnet Bay Distillers, Caithness, was awarded the UK’s “Excellence in Export & Innovation” award for their most recent product innovation “Rock Rose Gin”.

In picking up this prestigious award she credited both her family and her mentor James Knowles.

“I cannot express in words how great having James as a mentor was for me and for the business.  James has been full of ideas which he shared with us, he asked fundamental questions on issues which would and could have seemed obvious but we did not think on at the time as we are all so close to running the day to day operations.  Business Mentoring Scotland has been truly and absolutely invaluable, the best thing I’ve done!  I would encourage as many businesses as possible who want to expand to get a mentor through the Scottish Chambers of Commerce”

James Knowles, Claire Murray’s Mentor also picked up an award for his support to the company.

James Knowles has more than 40 years business experience driving economic development for Aberdeenshire Council.  His input directly affected areas such as marketing, social media in particular, leading to over 6,000 views and terrific sales contacts.

James said:

“What an honour to be part of this exciting new business and we are not finished yet …this is just the beginning!  I did not volunteer to help businesses for the accolade, but it was a great feeling to watch Claire pick up the award in London”.

Laura Gunn from Highlands and Islands Enterprise, said:

“Business mentoring aims to match ambitious business leaders with a suitable mentor to help their business develop and grow. Claire and Martin have already enjoyed huge success in their first year running Dunnet Bay Distillery, the most northerly distillery on mainland Britain.  The business mentoring service has added an extra level of support to ensure any issues they have are brought up and discussed in a supportive and secure environment. We wish Claire and Martin every success for the future and congratulate Claire on winning this excellent award.”


Claire Murray, Dunnet Bay Distillers with Mentor James Knowles