The first Business in the Parliament Conference (BIPC) was held in 2004.
It was started by the Scottish Parliament’s then Enterprise & Culture Committee (now Economy and Fair Work Committee) with the aim of bringing the worlds of business and politics closer together.
That ethos of encouraging dialogue and greater understanding between the two communities remains at the heart of the event.
BIPC is jointly organised by the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government. Planning is overseen by a Working Group of business organisations:
- Confederation of British Industry Scotland
- Federation of Small Businesses Scotland
- Institute of Directors
- Scotland Food and Drink
- Scottish Council for Development Industry
- Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Scottish Financial Enterprise
- Scottish Retail Consortium
- Scottish Tourism Alliance
- Women’s Enterprise Scotland
- Young Enterprise Scotland
The conference is held in the multiple award-winning Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood in Edinburgh.
It is hosted by the Parliament’s Presiding Officer, with a networking dinner on a Thursday evening and a plenary session, including guest keynotes and a speech from the First Minister, on a Friday morning. Attendees attend one of six workshops then participate in a question and answer session with a cross-party panel of MSPs.
Some of the speakers who have addressed the conference over the years include:
- Award-winning young entrepreneurs from schools in Orkney and Aberdeen
- Jayne-Anne Gardia (Virgin Money)
- Edel Harris (Cornerstone)
- Sir Ian Wood (Wood Group)
- Leah Hutcheon (Appointedd).
- Mark Logan (former Skyscanner Chief Operating Officer)
Themes have covered leadership, growth, entrepreneurship, internationalisation, innovation, and the year of young people.