Ana scores with her Women in Enterprise Review - Nick Freer

Hyatt-EICC hotel and hotel school development at HaymarketHyatt-EICC hotel and hotel school development at Haymarket
Hyatt-EICC hotel and hotel school development at Haymarket
They came, they saw, they conquered. Chapeau to the Ukrainian football team.

As a Scotland supporter in the Tartan Army at Hampden, I didn’t really feel the team or the crowd got into the game. Ach well, win some, lose some, as they say.

Speaking earlier in the day to Ana Stewart about her Women in Enterprise Review, Ana was full of anticipation for the game and was looking forward to VIP hosting duties as a board member at the Scottish Football Association.

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Three months in, Stewart has just completed the discovery phase of the review, engaging with over one hundred individuals and groups from the business scene, and it was announced this week that Mark Logan will co-author the report due out later this year.

Nick Freer 
Picture by Stewart AttwoodNick Freer 
Picture by Stewart Attwood
Nick Freer Picture by Stewart Attwood

As an entrepreneur, Ana founded and floated IT company i-design, subsequently acquired by US-based ATM group Cardronics Inc. in 2013, a partner with investment firm Eos Advisory, and an adviser and non-executive director with a number of organisations, Stewart is well placed to lead the review into how lasting improvements can be made to the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Scotland.

I think it’s fair to say that everyone who meets Ana finds her to be an exceptionally nice person. What might be somewhat lesser known, is that Ana played competitive doubles tennis with Judy Murray, and has a Spanish mother, from Jerez in Spain.


The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) featured across global media this week, as Chicago-headquartered Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced plans for a hotel in Scotland’s capital in partnership with the conference venue. It will be Hyatt’s first hotel in this country, while representing a key piece of the EICC’s evolving business model.

Hyatt’s press release referenced Edinburgh as “one of the world’s most celebrated capital cities”, while picking out Edinburgh Castle, the National Museum of Scotland, the Old Town, St James’ Quarter, the New Town, and George Street as ‘must see’ spots around town.

Having hosted TED Summits and former US Presidents like Barack Obama in recent times, not many businesses were hit harder than the EICC when the pandemic struck, and in-person business events came to a grinding halt.

Pivoting to become Edinburgh’s main vaccination centre in 2021, while running virtual events until they could welcome conferences and delegates back into the building, the EICC found a way to adapt, underpinned by a tenacious and resilient team, and has come out stronger on the other side.

The hotel and hotel school based near Haymarket will address the delegate demand issues the EICC has historically faced, and provide a pipeline of qualified people for Scotland’s leisure and tourism sector.

Out of office

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Partly to celebrate a big birthday, we are jetting off to the warmer climes of the Mediterranean this weekend, our first time abroad since 2019. It will also be the first time I have switched on my out-of-office reply for what feels like about three years.

On the subject, it was interesting to read about a campaign by the Icelandic tourist board, where tourists flying into Iceland can get a local horse to trot over a large, custom-made keyboard mat to craft an out-of-office message. Yes folks, sometimes fact is indeed stranger than fiction.

Nick Freer is the founding director of strategic corporate communications agency the Freer Consultancy



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