The November Debate: e-Commerce Skills for Scotland

Wednesday 10th November 2010, 6:30 pm.

Presenters: Sara Dodd (Net resources Ltd) and Wendy McDougall (MD, 9-20 recruitment).

University of Edinburgh Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AB - map (click on Informatics Forum in the list of buildings).

This event is free of charge. Refreshments available from 6:00 pm.


This debate, chaired by Tom McEwan (Edinburgh Napier University), is an annual event where BCS Edinburgh bring together two experts in the field to illuminate a topical area of IT professionalism. This year we investigate the availability of skills to allow Scottish companies to exploit the potential of e-Commerce and e-Business.

Five to ten years ago Scottish Enterprise tried to foster e-Commerce and e-Business in Scotland, and universities offered degrees in these areas. Then the e-phenomenon waned, and businesses routinely used these technologies. However exploitation of this route to market (and to exports) in Scotland remains surprisingly low, especially by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Even if SMEs do commission e-business systems and e-commerce web-sites, they often lack the skilled staff to maintain and develop these, although there have been some notable local success stories. This evening’s debate explores:

  • How can we support SMEs to exploit e-commerce more effectively;
  • What courses, degrees and continuing professional development (CPD) would help;
  • What can the professional bodies do with e-Skills etc to get shared understanding of the scope and requirements for relevant job roles?

About the presenters


Sara Dodd

Sara Dodd is Director of Net Resources Ltd, a web design, development and training company based in Edinburgh. The company has been delivering web, internet & Cisco training to Scottish graduates and businesses since 1998. They have worked with 300+ businesses to upskill staff in new technologies and created a Graduate Internet Course training more than 700 unemployed people and helping them to find new work which won a National Training award in 2007.

A graduate of UC Berkeley, she brings a Californian perspective to her role notwithstanding the fact that she's been resident in Scotland some 20 years. She currently sits on the Board of ScotlandIS, works with the SQA’s Technology Curriculum Area Review Group and assists with Scottish Business in the Community schools programmes.

Her company, Net Resources Ltd works with micro-businesses, SMEs, PLCs, not-for-profit organizations and academic institutions throughout the UK to design and develop accessible, usable content managed sites to the highest standards of design, db development and SEO.


Wendy McDougall

Wendy McDougall is both the Managing Director of 9-20 recruitment ( and CEO of Firefish Software ( and has been embedded in the Scottish Technology Industry for the last 15 years.

Since launching IT recruitment specialist 9-20 recruitment in 2004 the company has since went on to receive various accolades for its efforts in digital innovation including last year’s ‘Best Recruiter’ award in the Digital Business Awards and ‘Most Innovative Recruitment Company’ at the 2010 Scottish Recruitment Awards.

Having utilised and built their own digital recruitment platform to help them ‘stand out from the crowd’ 9-20 were then able to maximize this initial investment by spinning the software out as a new software product – Firefish. Launched in January 2010 Firefish Software is already creating waves in the growing demand for web based recruitment solutions.

Recently appointed to the Board of Scotland’s technology governing body ScotlandIS Wendy was also herself recognised in the National Business Awards for Scotland as a finalist in the "Entrepreneur of the Year 2007".


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