THE last two candidates in the Evening Times' Favourite Business Award are the city's airport - and a digital creative agency that was established just over three years ago.

LAST month, Glasgow Airport witnessed the busiest week in its history.

The schools had just broken up and countless thousands of families took the opportunity to fly abroad for their summer holidays.

In all, 221,000 passengers made their way through the airport's doors in the week beginning June 22.

"It was amazing to see so many families pass through our doors in such a short space of time," says Amanda McMillan OBE, the airport's managing director.

The airport's Twitter page, which has amassed nearly 40,000 followers, has been full of upbeat news lately, reflecting its growth.

Two days ago it tweeted the news that it was one of Europe's fastest-growing airports in May. There was also the recent news that easyJet had announced direct flights to Milan Malpensa airport. The low-cost carrier had earlier expanded its Scottish network with the launch of flights from Glasgow to Bordeaux.

The airport was officially crowned Scottish Airport of Year at the 2015 Scottish Transport Awards, too.

"The stand-out fact this year so far as we are concerned has been the expansion of our route network and the growth in passenger numbers," said Amanda.

"We've announced no fewer than 22 new routes for 2015. That's the big message: we've improved the choice for passengers in Scotland.

"The new routes that have captured passengers' imaginations have been the new direct flights to Las Vegas, with Thomas Cook, and Canadian airline WestJet's daily, direct service to Halifax, in Nova Scotia.

"Thomas Cook are to fly to Barbados from Glasgow in November and to Cuba in December. We're extremely proud to be Scotland's leading long-haul airport - we now have 17 long-haul destinations.

"We've made extra efforts to expand our European network as well, Milan and Bordeaux have been added, as has Munich, and we have widened our east European network - we've added Budapest and have even extended the airports in Poland that we fly to.

"Other destinations in eastern Europe have been interesting. Vilnius, which Wizz Air is flying to, is the Lithuanian capital, which turns out to be as big as Glasgow, if not bigger. We've also added Prague.

"I think all of this reflects the magic of eastern Europe, that we now fly to all these big cities there.

The airport has enjoyed double-digit passenger growth since last November. June's figures will follow that pattern.

Amanda praised her airport team "for responding so strongly against a backdrop of steady growth. We could not have done this without them. We went into this summer determined that we would not drop the ball."

So far as the title of Glasgow's Favourite Business is concerned, this is not exactly the airport's first nomination.

"We've been here before," laughs Amanda. "But it's always hugely flattering to be put forward for an award that is voted for by readers of the Evening Times. I think it shows we must be doing something right."

** Website:

THE first question when you learn that a company is called MadeBrave is: why the name?

"Well," says founder Andrew Dobbie. "I was working as a creative director but I left that role when I had a two-week-old baby boy, and set up my new business with £1,000 of my own money.

"People would ask me if this was the right move, and I always said it was a brave move and that everything would turn out all right."

In the three years since MadeBrave was founded, it has become a thriving, full-service digital creative agency.

From its base at The Albus, in Bridgeton it offers digital, design, social, photography, video and campaign services.

It has 20 employees who, in Andrew's words, "spend their days coming up with ideas, concepts and creations to help brands become bigger, better and stronger."

MadeBrave, which started out from a small desk, and meetings that took place in coffee shops, now has a strong portfolio of clients, including Air Space, Vango, Sky, Muller and Springbank Whisky.

What's more, it is estimating a turnover of £1.2million for the next year-end.

Last year, at Glasgow's Inspiring City awards, Andrew received the accolade of Outstanding Contribution by a Young Business Leader, for his success in founding MadeBrave and developing it into a recognised, creative brand.

On its website is a tribute from Chris Harvey, Area General Manager for Scotland & Ireland at Aggreko, praising MadeBrave for its campaign for Aggreko that captured the essence of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Adds Andrew: "Our manifesto to inspire creativity in everyone and, with that in mind, we have a social media following of over 19,000 fans on platforms such as Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook, who exchange banter with us on a daily basis.

It also achieves this mission by engaging young talent through internships and work experience schemes, and using their creative skills to support various enterprises and charities such as TEDxGlasgow, Mary’s Meals, Pedal for Scotland and

Its website also carries a lively regular blog, which touches on such subjects as '10 Characteristics of a MadeBraver' and advertises for new recruits.

It was only a few months ago that MadeBrave relocated to Bridgeton. The first tenants in the building, they were excited by the prospect of being part of the regeneration and success of the east end.

Adds Andrew Dobbie: “We’re a professional business, but at the end of the day we’re people – we all like a chat and laugh with our clients, partners and honorary MadeBravers (our social media followers), so it was amazing to hear that we had been nominated for Glasgow’s Favourite Business, because it must mean that’s working!”

The company is about to take another step forward by launching a lifestyle brand.

Those doubters who wondered whether Andrew was making the right move, just a few years ago, have now been answered in full. It has been a brave venture.

** Website:

How to vote

THIS week we've highlighted the six contenders for the title of Glasgow's Favourite Business 2015.

Glasgow Airport. MadeBrave. Pets 'n' Vets. La Bonne Auberge. The Language Hub. The SFN Expo.

You can now vote for your favourite business.

* Email us at, with the name of your favourite business in the subject field.

* Write to us at Glasgow's Favourite Business, News Desk, Evening Times, 195 Renfield Street, Glasgow G2 3QB, telling us which of the six companies has your vote.

The deadline for all votes is August 7.