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10 uplifting business stories from Tayside and Fife including apprentices and Dundee font

The Courier's weekly round up of positive business stories from Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.
The Courier's weekly round up of positive business stories from Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.

Welcome to Business Bites – a weekly round-up of positive business stories from Tayside and Fife.

For news, story ideas and tips, please contact The Courier’s business team at business@thecourier.co.uk.

And don’t forget to sign up to our new daily business newsletter (sign up link under the main picture on this page).

1. Dundee charity enables 50,000 operations in a year

KidsOR has had its most successful year, with its work facilitating 50,000 operations with an estimated economic benefit of £1.14 billion ($1.5bn).

The charity improves access to life-saving surgery for children in poorer countries.

Zainabu Haroub Said travelled 600km to Muhimbili, Tanzania, for skin grafts and operations to treat severe burns.

Last year, KidsOR installed a further 23 operating rooms in Africa, taking its total in low and middle income countries to 50.

It has plans to increase this to 75 by the end of this year.

The estimated economic benefit to African and South American countries where KidsOR has completed installations increased by almost £0.5 billion in the same period.

2. Angus pupils explore green jobs of the future

Dundee and Angus College helped Montrose Academy pupils explore hi-tech jobs of the future at ZeroFour.

Using virtual reality headsets and robotic devices, the pupils could better understand the range of job opportunities offered in the green sector.

They took part in practical activities including programming robotic arms, driving electric karts and learning about wind turbines and solar wind kits.

Crown Estate Scotland build development manager Jamie McFarlane, Dundee and Angus College principal Simon Hewitt, Montrose Academy students Paige Whyte, 16, and Daniel Walker, 17.

ZeroFour aims to become a national centre of excellence and help the development of clean energy industries. It is expected to create hundreds of jobs.

Montrose Academy deputy head Rebecca Robertson said: “This event has provided our pupils with a glimpse of the fantastic opportunities that ZeroFour brings, highlighting the variety of careers available to them following secondary education.”

3. Dundee man creates font inspired by city

David McLeish, artist and designer at Dundee firm Tradeprint, has created a font inspired by the Dens Road Market sign.

The Dresden K-Mart font is Mr McLeish’s way of transforming Dundee’s unique heritage for the digital age.

David McLeish’s inspiration for the Dresden K-Mart font.

Dundonian sign painter Ernest Gauld created the original Dens Road Market sign.

Dresden K-Mart can be downloaded for personal use from the artist’s website.

4. St Andrews apprentices honoured

Fairmont St Andrews celebrated four young hoteliers for completing their apprenticeships.

The hotel is one of the only five-star hotels in Scotland offering a wide-ranging hospitality scheme dedicated to the next generation of hospitality and tourism professionals.

Fairmont St Andrews general manager John Keating, Stewart Bristol, Victoria Hynes, Catherine Reid, Arianne Barnes, and chief operating officer for Luxury Brands Europe at Accor Marc Dardenne.

The scheme allows young people to gain recognised qualifications whilst earning a national living wage.

The graduates were presented with certificates of completion in front of their mentors, head of departments and more recently enrolled apprentices.

5. Voyager hemp shampoo wins national award

Perth cannabis oil firm Voyager‘s hemp seed oil shampoo was named best new product in the pet grooming category at PATS Sandown.

PATS Sandown is an annual event for retailers, distributors, manufacturers or other professionals in the pet supplies market.

Rachel Meyer and David Sands represented Voyager at PATS Sandown.

Voyager founder Nick Tulloch said: “To win this award ahead of far more established and larger brands is a huge accolade for Voyager.

“This award is a very significant validation of both our strategy and the hard work and commitment of the entire Voyager team.”

6. Dundee law firm takes on five apprentices

The Chamber Practice has taken on five trainee solicitors on their journey to qualify as solicitors.

Trainees will be offered a varied programme in wills, powers of attorney, immigration and residential, commercial and property conveyancing.

Trainee solicitors Kerri Trelfa, Humairaa Jamal, Gavin Michie, Kudzi Campbell and Denny Christison.

The law firm recently acquired Ferguson & Will in Brechin and Williams McRae in Cupar.

7. Five stars for Perth housebuilders

Housebuilder Stephen has once again been voted a five star builder by its customers, one of only three in Scotland to secure the accolade.

The family firm has earned the rating following a rigorous customer satisfaction survey backed by industry body Homes for Scotland.

Managing director John Stephen.

Managing director John Stephen said: “With our commitment to achieving quality craftsmanship and outstanding service with every home we build, it is fantastic to see this endorsement from our customers.

“We are proud to retain such a high accolade by the leading industry body and are very grateful to every Stephen customer who submitted feedback.”

Stephen is currently building across Scotland, with developments in Perthshire, Grampian and Inverness-shire.

8. Dundee tech firm strengthens leadership team

Nick Welch has been appointed chief technology officer at Dundee tech firm Vidatec.

The Dundee Technology Park-based business plans to provide wider software development services across key sectors including retail, travel, health, and finance.

As part of a leadership team restructure, Insights Group veteran Ross Wilson, is also named client and partnerships director.

Greig Johnston, Vidatec chief executive.

Vidatec chief executive officer Greig Johnston commented: “Vidatec’s strength is in our ability to form close relationships with our clients and to understand their digital vision.

“With Nick we’re able to raise our game even further in this regard.

“Our new role for Ross as client and partnerships director brings fresh thinking to how we will drive even greater value for all of our customers.”

9. Back a young entrepreneur challenge

A Perth community interest company has launched a crowdfunder to get young people started on their business journey.

SYMBL was founded by entrepreneur Lynn Erasmus who aims to give 100 youths in Scotland a year’s membership by May.

Perth entrepreneur Lynn Erasmus is behind community interest company SYMBL.

The organisation will teach entrepreneurship, mindset and offer a mentor.

10. Dundee and Angus Chamber event

Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce is hosting its first in-person Quarterly Economic Indicator report.

It started producing the region’s Quarterly Economic Indicator report in early 2020.

Dundee economy coronavirus
Alison Henderson, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce.

Working with Angus Economics, the reports help illustrate the health of the business landscape in Dundee and Angus.

The event will take place Tuesday April 19 at the Invercarse Hotel with director general of British Chambers of Commerce Shevaun Haviland as a special guest.

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