A MENSTRIE businesswoman who launched an international business network linking companies between Scotland and Africa is now looking to establish an office in the Wee County.

Africa Scotland Business Network was founded in 2019 by Clacks-born Claire Alexander and Nicola Probyn, who hails from South Africa.

The pair formed their business to help other enterprises form relationships with each other, primarily between Scotland and Africa, but are now branching out into other parts of the world.

Claire, who was nominated as a Global Scot in 2020 for her work, told the Advertiser the idea came from looking to help business owners get a foothold in Africa.

She said: “We identified a gap in the market for a globally connected business network that could match Africa’s energetic potential with eager partners looking to expand into Africa.

“This would also give African businesses new markets for their products and services beyond the country’s borders.

“The core reason for building a dynamic, international network was to hold an exciting space for companies to access intelligence, opportunities and other businesses across borders, quickly and meaningfully.

“In an increasingly divided and digitised world, there is a need to build real, human communities and grow them through constant, innovative thinking.

“Our work in terms of the big picture is critical to business and human engagement.”

Over the last four years, ASBN has grown to include 105 active member companies across 14 countries, with most members concentrated in Scotland, London and Southern Africa.

ASBN produced a report which highlights 28 Scottish establishments who are all active in Africa, one of which included Forth Valley College.

Owing to the success of the business, Claire hopes to establish the first ever ASBN office in the Wee County, sticking firmly to her roots.

"We're currently managed in Cape Town," Claire added. "But the aim is to open an office in Alloa.

"We're building as much as we can here to start putting a plan in place to get our first office in Scotland.

"I'm from Menstrie and I'm a big believer in putting back into your locality, I want to put back into Clackmannanshire.

"I love Clackmannanshire, I love the people in Clackmannanshire and I think there is so much potential there.

"The aim is to appoint a Scottish manager in Alloa by 2025 and then go from there, which is exactly what we've done in Cape Town."

Anyone wishing to know more about ASBN can visit africascotland.network.