New perspectives on productivity: scale deep, crowdfunding & purposeful business

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

New perspectives on productivity: scale deep, crowdfunding & purposeful business

Thursday, November 30, 2023
Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom

What you need to know

This event is part of the 'Regenerating Scottish productivity for prosperity for all' programme of events for National Productivity Week, funded by the ESRC - check out the full programme below:

Regenerating Scottish productivity for prosperity for all

29th Nov - The Triple Bottom Line and AI - new ways of thinking about productivity

29th Nov - Journey to Prosperity: Productivity and Innovation with Dr Anna Valero

30th Nov - New perspectives on productivity: scale deep, crowdfunding and purposeful business

30th Nov - Customers, consumers and end-users as FinTech innovators? Reflections on the Consumer Duty

1st Dec - Innovation, place and communities:  innovation districts, partnerships and communities of innovation


To celebrate the National Productivity Week, join The Productivity Institute Scotland Forum and the IRT Digital Society and Economy at the University of Glasgow for an illuminating and insightful conference event: “New Perspectives on Productivity: Scale Deep, Crowdfunding and Purposeful Business”.

This event promises a deep dive into these three key areas pertaining to solving Scotland’s productivity puzzle, the ongoing shift in socioeconomic and environmental context within Scotland are prompting new approaches to productivity that challenge conventional neoclassical thinking on what productivity means, how it is quantified, and how it can be utilised to drive positive economic, societal, and environmental changes.

The three key areas are as follows:

  1. Scale Deep: “Scale Deep” refers to the exploration of strategies and methodologies that extend beyond surface-level approaches to growth. Scaling a business involves more than just expansion; it encompasses a profound understanding of how to penetrate markets, streamline operations, and crucially, achieve sustainable growth. “Scaling deep” presents various benefits, from enhanced resilience through building more resilient foundations that are better equipped to weather market fluctuations to improved customer relations through deeper understanding of needs and preferences and optimised operations. However, there are challenges to scaling deep, with issues around resource intensity, market adaptation and the complexity of initialising scale-deep initiatives.
  2. Crowdfunding: Crowdfunding has emerged as a game-changing alternative method for raising capital for SMEs, with success being seen in the U.S and Canada. Bringing similar approaches to the Scottish context will leverage the power and potential of crowdfunding as both a tool for financial and capital support, but also for market validation, community engagement, and fostering innovation. However, issues around the uncertainty of crowdfunding campaign successes and the intensive marketing and promotion required for the success of these campaigns may provide challenges in developing crowdfunding approaches.
  3. Purposeful Business: Purposeful business goes beyond profit-making. It involves a commitment to creating positive impacts on society and the environment through a triple/quadruple bottom line approach building holistic practices into the core of a business’ model and purpose. Being a purposeful business can create enhanced brand loyalty, greater employee engagement, long-term sustainability / viability, and a positive societal impact through advanced corporate social responsibility. However, balancing profit and purpose – particularly for SMEs – can be challenging, and measuring the societal impacts of purposeful business can be complex and subjective

The three discussion topics will be covered by insights from talks by influential members of Scottish business across various sectors, detailing their experiences with scaling deep, crowdfunding, and purposeful business.


11:00 – 11:30 

  • Registration and welcome introduction to New Perspectives on Productivity – Prof. Bridgette Wessels, Professor of Social Inequalities at University of Glasgow

11:30 – 12:00 

  • Scale-Deep from a business perspective – John Housego, Partner, and Managing Director of AquaScot 
  • Scale-Deep - Iain Scott, Director of Be Enterprising


  • Crowdfunding, women-led business initiatives and alternative routes to financing – Carolyn Currie, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland 

12:15 – 13:00

  • Purposeful business – Clare Reid, Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Prosper
  • Purposeful business as a Scottish SME – Jo Chidley, Founder, Beauty Kitchen

This event is funded by the ESRC.


John Housego – Managing Director of AquaScot

John is Managing Director of AquaScot, a 100% employee-owned seafood business based in the Scottish Highlands committed to creating health enhancing, responsibly sourced seafood, with respect for the environment at the heart of its company ethos. John has over 30 years of experience in various leadership positions within a diverse array of global businesses from medical products, textiles & plastics, and graphics arts film. John is a passionate champion for engagement at work, especially in the Employee-Owned sector, and sits on the board if Scotland for Employee Ownership Industry Leadership Group.

Iain Scott – Director of Be Enterprising

Iain is Director of Be Enterprising, an institute specialising in the research, design, and delivery of entrepreneurship programmes to help people, communities and organisations develop an ‘enterprise mindset’ and behaviours since 1995. Iain has worked with over 1,600 people, guiding them on their journey and destination of starting, owning and growing their own business. Iain’s ‘Enterprise Iain Show’ takes a different tack to entrepreneurship, considering the positives and negatives of running your own business through a comedic style.

Carolyn Currie – CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland

Carolyn has enjoyed an extensive career working in executive and non-executive roles across different sectors with a variety of client groups, from large corporates to the SME and not-for-profit sector. In 2007, Carolyn co-founded the Women in Business programme with NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland, guidin the development of global-leading standards for gender-equality in business advisor training and digital platform content. Most recently, WES have set up a pilot crowdfunding platform for women-led businesses, aimed at improving access to finance for women-led SMEs across Scotland.

Clare Reid – Director of Policy and Public Affairs, Prosper

Clare is an experienced head of research and innovation, with over 20 years of experience in consulting, business services and built environment sectors. Clare has worked as both a consultant and in-house researcher, growing and developing research teams in a variety of sectors from PLCs, family-owned businesses, and SMEs. Clare heads Prospers’ Policy team, leading on government and stakeholder engagement, Productivity Clubs and Young Engineers and Science Clubs. Clare is also a commissioner on the Scottish Business Purpose Commission and Chair of the Edinburgh Bio-Quarter Sustainability Sub-Board, specialising in purposeful and environmentally forward business practices.

Jo-Anne Chidley – Founder of Re & Beauty Kitchen UK

As founder of Beauty Kitchen UK, Jo has cultivated years of experience in promoting and operationalising sustainability and purposeful business. Beauty Kitchen is the highest scoring B-Corp company in the UK beauty industry, changing the face of the industry by creating effective, natural, and sustainable beauty products. Pioneering in sustainable beauty, Jo has accelerated the transition to Reuse through sustainable innovation, implementing Cradle-to-Cradle design philosophies into Beauty Kitchen’s circular approach. Through this, Jo has also been instrumental in developing the world’s first closed-loop solution for beauty packaging and powered the service behind the ground-breaking ‘Re’ programme for reusable packaging for FMCG brands & retailers.

Chair: Bridgette Wessels, Professor of Social Inequalities at University of Glasgow

Bridgette's research focuses on social exclusion and digital divides, financial exclusion and the e-economy, social media and political inequality, health inequalities and telehealth, welfare services and (digital) identity, local journalism and inclusion and e-policing, ethnicity and communities. She is also addressing the developing uses of open and big data in open services and data-driven science.

How To Get Here

The ARC (Advanced Research Centre) is located at 11 Chapel Lane, Glasgow, G11 6EW.

The event will take place on the Ground Floor in Seminar Room 237. Signage will be present to direct you once you enter the venue.

You can find directions to the ARC on Google Maps or please use this link which will provide directional videos from three nearby locations.

For more information on how to get to the University of Glasgow can be found on this page. You may also find this link helpful.

Paid parking is available at Kelvin Hall and is just a short walk away from The ARC but spaces are limited; you should therefore make your way to UofG by public transport where possible.


Step – free access

The ARC building has step free access and all rooms participating in this event are on the ground floor.


Accessible and ambulant toilets are available throughout the building, as are gender neutral toilets. There is a Changing Places toilet located on Level 1, the lower ground floor. Please ask a member of the events team who will be happy to direct you.

Assistance dogs

Assistance dogs are welcome and water bowls can be provided at Reception.

Induction loops

All microphones in the building work in conjunction with an infrared hard of hearing system. Please ask a member of the events staff if you require assistance.

Blue Badge parking and drop off

The closest Blue Badge parking bay is located on University Place. Please contact the event organiser in advance if you need to arrange accessible drop off and parking immediately next to the ARC and we will be happy to assist you.



Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow
11 Chapel Ln, Glasgow, G11 6EW United Kingdom


  • Thursday, November 30, 2023 11:00 AM
  • Timezone: United Kingdom Time
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