Entrepreneurial Exchange Special Event

Building at home

CVDK: Where is the entrepreneurs come into this?

Lord Smith: The big players can still dominate here. But why should they? Why build in China, and ship it here to get fitted. We have the companies here and the people with the expertise to build locally. Companies want this on our door step. The entrepreneurs can step in here.

CVDK: Do you see SSE as being a global leader in renewables?

Lord Smith: No. We took the decision to be a British company. We provide lots of utilities here and we are very much a UK based company. It would be unlikely if we moved abroad.

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New Energies

Lord Smith: We have lots of energies, renewable energies, in and around Scotland. We have to keep Scottish companies here. If we let other companies harvest it and sell it back to us, it will be a disaster.

We have the competitve advantage. We are already here. We have a lot of good engineers and skilled workers that are already here.

America is now totally self sufficient in natural gas. They are now moving onto oil In 25 years they can be self sufficient in oil. The whole business of energy is going to change. It is not here yet, but we have the skills and people to make it happen here.

We can’t let this opportunity go

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Woodgroup and SSE

CVDK: We know you most recently for your involvement in these companies. What have you done since?

Lord Smith: Lots of companies change. Lots are not there any more. You have to stay up to date. We got out of lots of companies that were not making money and got into oil and minerals. We leaned these down and started to make the profits. In the space of 5 years we went from struggling to make 50million, to this year, projected to make 450-500million pre tax.

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Moving Home

CVDK: After a successful career in the city why did you move back?

Lord Smith: I got to old! I had had my career there, and I wanted to move into investment in physical things.

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Still taken seriously

Scotland is still taken seriously in Westminister. Lots of investment banks are struggling to invest and loan long term. But there is still money there. Banks will come back and are looking at other ways to loan the money

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Investment banking and money

CVDK: You have been there before and after. How has your view of the city changed post 2007?

Lord Smith: Some people still haven’t quite got there. There is a lot of companies coming out of Scotland. Aberdeen Asset Management is the fastest growing investment firm in the UK

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Lord Smith

CVKD is introducing everyone to The Right Honourable The Lord Smith of Kelvin

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Chris van der Kuyl welcome everyone to the Tower Building at the University of Dundee for the special Entrepreneurial Exchange event.

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