Two women managing directors who have carved out successful niches in Scotland’s male-dominated construction sector have been elected joint winners at the latest hub South West Building for Growth Programme awards event held last week in Glasgow’s 29 Club.
In a break with tradition, a panel of eminent construction sector judges concluded that of the eight participating companies on the Building for Growth programme, two businesses, one run by Claire Donnelly, MD of Hillington-based Aspire Industrial Services, and another by Caroline Barrett, MD of CVD Fire Protection from its base in Carluke, Lanarkshire, best demonstrated their vision, strategic planning and leadership.
Aspire Industrial Services, which was established only last year is a one-stop shop for the supply hire, testing and servicing for asbestos, construction and demolition activities, with an open trade counter where customers can buy their Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), Respiratory Protective Equipment (RPE), and branded work and corporate wear.
Claire said: “We are a young business, but we have already been fortunate enough to win a number of major contracts on construction sites throughout the UK by introducing innovative products which seek to make construction sites safer.
“The Building for Growth programme has been a brilliant opportunity to consider carefully how we can make our business bigger and better and capable of regularly winning work from Tier One construction sector contractors.”
CVD Fire Protection, which was established in 1997 is a 50-employee strong, £3m turnover business which provides fire protection, diamond concrete drilling and cutting services to the construction industry.
Caroline said: “I really enjoyed the hub’s Building for Growth programme. It was full of ideas on how to make your business better and focused our brains to think about “working on” our businesses rather than simply “working in” them. Above all, I think, it has taught me the importance of having a strategic approach, and I am delighted to have won this award.”
A public-private partnership funded by Scotland’s business development agencies and a clutch of Tier One contractors including Morisons, Ashleigh, Graham, Morgan Sindall and Keir, hub South West’s development programme is aimed at ambitious companies in construction and related sectors based in Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Dumfries and Galloway.
Now in its ninth cycle, its Building for Growth programme is targeted at ambitious local SMEs looking to grow in a sustainable manner by building upon the skills and internal capacity to take on increasing volumes of work. Over 90 delegates from 72 companies across the region have now graduated from the course.
Session workshops focus on topics such as smart tendering, team building, strategic growth and exit options, marketing planning, supplier development programmes, corporate social responsibility and pitching for business.
Gordon Hunter, Supply Chain Development Manager at hub South West, said: “Our Building for Growth programme, has already delivered success to the leaders of its participating companies by both broadening and deepening their grasp of the factors needed to win more new, bigger contracts from the Tier One contractors.
“We hope and trust that Claire and Caroline and the other participants in our ninth Building for Growth programme will follow in their footsteps.”