New Perspectives on Productivity: Scale Deep, Crowdfunding and Purposeful Business

Published: 30 October 2023

To celebrate the National Productivity Week, join The Productivity Institute 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”.

Date: Thursday 30 November, 2023 [in-person]

Time: 11am - 1:00pm

Location: Advanced Research Centre (ARC) 237 A/B (Exhibition Space)

Register here

New Perspectives on Productivity: Scale Deep, Crowdfunding and Purposeful Business

To celebrate the National Productivity Week, join The Productivity Institute 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


Regenerating Scottish productivity for prosperity for all

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


To celebrate the National Productivity Week, The Productivity Institute Forum, the IRT Digital Society and Economy at the University of Glasgow and Productivity Club teamed up to bring you a Gaitherin event packed with new thinking and new beginnings. In fact, on the day, Productivity Club will launch their new name!

Join us at this Gaitherin as we explore a growing trend that redefines productivity in today's ever-evolving economic, social, and environmental landscape.

Traditional measures of productivity no longer address the pressing questions facing businesses - how to cultivate sustainable growth.

About The Gaitherin: The Gaitherin brings together Scotland's most innovative academic and business minds for regular networking events. We start with a bite to eat and networking, then a short key note (details to be confirmed in following week), followed by a round of rapid fire pitches, where anybody has a chance to pitch an idea, discuss a new concept or project. At The Gaitherin we aim to find synergies between business and research, and look for areas where we can collaborate. Everyone is welcome, there's no limitation on areas of expertise.

First published: 30 October 2023

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