Study guide firm to represent Capital at business awards

John MacPherson and Alan Grierson. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
John MacPherson and Alan Grierson. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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A FIRM which provides kids with stress-busting exam revision guides has earned top marks in an Evening News business challenge backed by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Edinburgh-based Bright Red Publishing has become a huge success thanks to its handy notes which help youngsters pass their National Five 
qualifications.

Now the fact-providing firm has been chosen to represent the Capital in the finalist of the prestigious Local Business Accelerator Awards.

Alan Grierson, who runs Bright Red Publishing alongside friends John MacPherson and Richard Bass, said taking part in the competition had helped them take their company to the next level.

The Local Business Accelerator Awards, which are supported by Mr Cameron, aims to identify and promote the most promising enterprises in their area, who then go on to compete for the national top spot.

Bright Red Publishing and fellow local finalists 
Greatbase and Shop Scotland have already received free advertising worth £10,000 after dazzling a Dragons’ Den-style panel of Edinburgh entrepreneurs including Kwik Fit founder Sir Tom Farmer.

But now overall winner Bright Red has another Dragon in its sights . . . as the winners of the national competition will be awarded with mentoring from LBA national ambassador, and real-life TV Dragon Deborah Meaden, a free ad campaign and £10k cash.

Alan said: “Since we started the process of the LBAs we’ve become emboldened to really get our brand and our business out there and we feel things are really going in a positive 
direction.”

As a result of participating in the awards Alan says their website saw traffic surge by just under 40 per cent while orders for forthcoming revision titles have doubled.

Runner-up Susan Elliott, who runs Shop Scotland, the only website showcasing independent online retailers and other small businesses north of the Border, said she wished Alan, John and Richard the best of luck.

She added: “They’re great guys and really deserve to do well. As for me, I’m just thrilled to have gotten so far in the competition.”

Katie Kerr, who runs Greatbase, a property management service making use of vacant homes around the Capital to attract discerning tourists, also felt the competition had helped her take her business forward.

She said: “It was a great experience. It helped me realise I’d fallen into the trap of getting too bogged down in the day-to-day details to spend enough time thinking about my overall strategy. Preparing for and making my presentations really helped me focus on where I wanted my business to go in the future.”

Bright Red Publishing now has to wait until September before finding out if it has made the national shortlist. The overall competition winners will be announced at the grand final event in October.