Carina Contini keeps it in the family to champion small business

Edinburgh restaurateur Carina Contini has been selected to champion Scottish family businesses at the Great British Family Business conference in London.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 2:42 pm
Updated Friday, 18th January 2019, 2:43 pm
Edinburgh restaurateur Carina Contini.

Carina will be the keynote speaker next month at the annual flagship event of Family Business United, the award-winning magazine, and advocates for the family business sector.

As part of the full day conference, Carina will share her thoughts on the importance of family firms, what makes family firms special and a personal insight on her journey as a Scottish family business owner.

In Scotland, small and medium-sized firms account for 99.3 per cent of all private sector enterprises and 63 per cent are family businesses. One hundred of the most profitable family-owned companies in Scotland generate a combined £1 billion of pre-tax profits and have a collective annual turnover of £16.6 billion. The sector also employs more than 100,000 staff and contributes 11 per cent to Scotland’s onshore gross domestic product.

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Carina and her husband, Victor, opened their first restaurant in Edinburgh in 2004. They have since gone on to establish three of Edinburgh’s top restaurants, including Contini George Street, Cannonball Restaurant & Bar on Castlehill and The Scottish Cafe & Restaurant at the Scottish National Gallery.

In 2019, Carina and Victor will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of their family’s arrival in Edinburgh from Picinisco in Lazio. Since arriving from Italy in 1919, the family has built up a century of experience running successful food and drink businesses in Scotland.As third generation Italian Scots, Carina and Victor have been championing independent family businesses in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Carina said: “This is a great opportunity to represent Scotland’s family business sector in front of a UK-wide audience.

“Family firms are the backbone of the Scottish economy and the sector is a significant employer, revenue generator and contributor.

“2019 is a milestone year for our business as we celebrate my family’s centenary year in Scotland. In the year ahead and beyond, we will continue to campaign for independent family businesses and offer personal insights from our own journey.

“We’re committed to supporting over 70 family-owned local producers and artisan suppliers from the Lothians and the rest of Scotland across our three Edinburgh venues.”

The 2019 Great British Family Business conference is expected to attract more than 200 delegates with a line-up of speakers including Carina, John Stevenson, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Family Business at Westminster, and Leo Johnson, co-presenter of BBC Radio 4’s FutureProofing.