Scottish Business Network Opens First International Office in the United States

Scottish Business Network set up office in the US

TO increase the support provided to Scottish companies and organisations in North America, promote trade and overall linkages between Scotland and the United States, and strengthen ties between Scottish and American universities, SBN has today opened its first International Office in the United States. The opening of this office and US trade association has been achieved through the support of active members of the Scottish diaspora in the US.

The company has been established as a nonprofit organisation with the goals of supporting Scottish companies and organisations access opportunities in North America and to bring together the Scottish diaspora across the continent. It will also advocate for American entities, investors, and policy decision-makers to consider deeper engagement with Scotland.

The activities of SBN Inc. will be led by Ian Houston who assumes the position of President, supported by Fraser Grier as Vice President.  Ian and Fraser have been prominent supporters of Scotland and have been fundamental in driving this next stage in SBN growth. The board includes Lynn McCloghry, SBN Ambassador to Los Angeles and Lorraine Bell a seasoned director of non-profit organisations.

The US is the largest international export market for Scottish products and services, estimated at £5.5bn in 2017. Members of the Scottish diaspora can be found at senior levels within the largest corporations and as founders of businesses across all sectors. SBN has mapped members of the diaspora in all 50 states and over 2021 will appoint local Ambassadors in each state capital to coordinate support for SBN Members.

Upon his appointment Ian Houston stated “This is a key moment for Scotland to be bold in engaging with global markets and expanding international relationships. The United States is Scotland’s largest international trading partner and the cultural ties run deep. With this historic step SBN is expanding a footprint in the US. This will enable us to make even stronger contributions to the goal of furthering Scottish business and engagement in the US alongside our many partners and friends.”

SBN CEO Christine Esson added “The USA is a key export market for Scottish Businesses and by establishing our offices in New York and increasing our USA Ambassadors presence, SBN is cementing our ambition to provide on the ground support for Scottish based businesses who have the ambition, passion and commitment to export and grow in the USA.” 

The SBN US office will coordinate activity with various Scottish organisations and entities in the US and Canada and this week will assist in the delivery of the inaugural “Business and Burns” conference on Thursday January 28th in partnership with the Scottish Government Office in Washington and Scottish Development International.

This event which has attracted large number of senior execs amongst the Scottish diaspora in the US will hear from the likes of Martin Valenti on Climate Enterprise and COP26, Jenny Gilruth, MSP, Minister for Europe and International Development on the route to achieving equality and SBN Chair Russell Dalgleish on the role of the diaspora in supporting Scotland.

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