Business people: iMultiply | Razzmataz

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ONE of the more successful pitches on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, the Razzamataz Theatre Schools, will be offering Scots the chance to become franchisees.

The schools, run by Denise Hutton-Gosney, caught the eye of Scottish tycoon Duncan Bannatyne, who was persuaded to part with his money and back her business which now has some 40 franchises across Britain.

“As a successful businessman, I instinctively recognise an excellent opportunity,” said Bannatyne. “That’s why I chose to invest in Razzamataz Theatre Schools.”

Razzamataz is travelling around Britain to meet the most promising candidates and on 19 and 20 September, the team will be holding a “Discovery Den” in Glasgow and Edinburgh where franchisees will be on hand to discuss the business.

In both cities there is an opportunity to purchase an established school. This rarely comes up, except in circumstances such as the franchisee moving away from the area. Both Razzamataz schools are thriving.

The roadshows are free to attend, but because places are limited those interested must book a time slot. Email suzie@razzamataz.co.uk or call 01228 550129.

Cupcakes and CVs

Kirsty MacKenzie is celebrating the first birthday of her Leith-based recruitment firm, iMultiply Resourcing, but she is no stranger to cakes in the office.

The 29-year-old, who set up the firm after realising that some employers were unhappy with the recruitment sector, has been trying to provide a personalised service to both customers and candidates.

One touch that has proved particularly successful it the idea of offering a gift to congratulate workers on their new job.

MacKenzie said: “One of us will stop by the person’s office soon after their start date to deliver a box of cupcakes and a congratulations card.

“We’ve discovered it’s a great way for them to break the ice, sharing around the cakes with their team.

“When you work in recruitment, it’s easy to forget that getting someone a job is a life-changing thing. We want to let every one of our candidates know that we see them as a person, not just a CV.”

The company, whose backers include financier Paul Atkinson, was profitable in its first 12 months and is on track for turnover of £500,000 in its second year.

Aston opens doors on tour

Douglas McWilliams, executive chairman of the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR), let slip his secret method for gathering information in a note on America last week.

In what by his own admission was an unusual five-week fact-finding tour of the United States, McWilliams and wife Ianthe drove 7,000 miles through 20 states in their classic Aston Martin.

Although it might not seem the most obvious way to travel along the Rust Belt, the Aston turned out to be a useful way of catching attention.

McWilliams said: “The car opened doors that might never have been opened without it. We also visited Indian reservations because the car prefers alcohol-free fuel which can be obtained most easily in them!”

Tap water with a twist

Restaurant proprietor Andrew Radford has a lot of bottle. In fact, he has lots of reusable bottles, which he puts to good use in his Timberyard restaurant in Edinburgh, where he filters and chills tap water that he offers for free to his patrons.

Such steps have made Radford and his staff the new poster boys and girls for a new Zero Waste Scotland campaign to make businesses aware of a change in the law on 1 January, after which “all organisations, big or small, will have to recycle their plastic, metal glass, paper and card or risk a fine, while most food businesses will also have to recycle food waste”.

Radford is ahead of the game – his eatery recycles more than 95 per cent of its waste, with all vegetable waste being composted, providing the nutrients needed to grow salad leaves and herbs for the restaurant’s use in its own grounds.

• Contact Erikka Askeland on 0131 620 8586 or e-mail erikka.askeland@scotsman.com or Dominic Jeff on 0131 620 8464 or e-mail dominic.jeff@scotsman.com