Entrepreneur quits job to take over Aberdeen Business Network, seeing 'huge opportunities'

An Aberdeen business networking organisation with thousands of online members and estimated to have a multi-million-pound track record in facilitating deals has changed hands.

Entrepreneur Leigh Reid has quit her job and acquired ABN (Aberdeen Business Network) from director Andrew Smith, who launched the company in 2008.It has six different networking services to help local companies build relationships and pursue their growth ambitions, and it’s estimated that in the past six years clients have secured deals worth more than £25 million. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The organisation also runs 16 face-to-face networking events a year and its online networking service known as ABN Community has more than 7,000 members. In addition, ABN offers one-to-one networking services and networking training, and is holding its annual awards on December 14.

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Ms Reid says her career has spanned 18 years, including business-development, sales, recruitment and logistics, and ABN has been part of her growth strategy with firms with which she has worked since she joined the networking organisation in January 2019.

Andrew Smith with Aberdeen Business Network's new owner Leigh Reid. Picture: Graham Dargie.Andrew Smith with Aberdeen Business Network's new owner Leigh Reid. Picture: Graham Dargie.
Andrew Smith with Aberdeen Business Network's new owner Leigh Reid. Picture: Graham Dargie.

ABN members come from sectors including energy, finance, legal, technology, leisure and hospitality, property and start-ups. Ms Reid previously worked in the energy industry and is now helping relevant companies build relationships to win more business and grow.

She said she “had to” seize the opportunity to own and run ABN. “It is a challenge, but one I’m very much looking forward to. I’ve seen the value of ABN services in recent times as it has helped businesses to develop and prosper, even during Covid-19. I really enjoy networking and seeing people grow their business. There are huge opportunities at ABN.”

Mr Smith said: “I’m thrilled someone with Leigh’s energy and enthusiasm for ABN and networking is going to take the business on the next stage of its journey. We had a great deal of interest from people looking to acquire the business, but I’m pleased that it’s Leigh. We have distinct services which proved to be extremely resilient during the pandemic. Everyone associated with ABN will undoubtedly wish Leigh every success and will support her going forward.”

The ABN founder, who was named Entrepreneurial Supporter of the Year at the 2019 Elevator Awards in Aberdeen, is taking a short break over the festive period before considering a number of business opportunities.

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