In a speech addressing the chamber, the Aberdeen Donside MSP commended local entrepreneurs and businesspeople for their innovation and position as positive role models for younger generations.
He said, “I have two examples to give of entrepreneurs in the north-east of Scotland who I think are exactly the kind of role models that we should be pushing. The first is Jamie Hutcheon. He established a company called Cocoa Ooze, which is a chocolatier that manufactures high-quality chocolate products, in 2008 at the age of just 17. He now employees a team of 25 people and has a coffee shop and a chocolate workshop in the city centre of Aberdeen, which provides opportunities for people to take part in chocolate-making workshops and parties. He recently won the young talent award at the Scotland Food & Drink excellence awards. Jamie decided to start his business while he was training to be a chef and working alongside a master chocolatier.
“Another individual, who is based in my constituency, is Dr Deborah O’Neil who established NovaBiotics in 2004. That was a spin-out company in the area of biotechnology, developing anti-infectives for difficult-to-treat, medically unmet diseases. NovaBiotics has been a big success story in north-east Scotland, and Deborah was given the award for entrepreneur of the year at the 2014 Grampian awards for business excellence.”
Commenting after the speech Mark said, “I am immensely proud of the achievements of all of Aberdeen’s talented entrepreneurs, who are actively contributing towards Scotland’s goal of becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.
“The Scotland Can Do approach sees us aim to achieve sustainable economic growth, and to create opportunities for everyone in Scotland to achieve their full potential. The diversity and accomplishments of North East entrepreneurs such as Jamie Hutcheon and Dr Deborah O’Neil are testament to our capability of achieving this.”
For more information on Cocoa Ooze visit: www.cocoa-ooze.co.uk
For more information on NovaBiotics visit: www.novabiotics.co.uk
Click here to watch Mark's parliamentary speech in full.