Business accelerator Acorn Enterprise expands in Dundee

'Graduates' from Acorn Enterprise's sixth business accelerator programme. Picture: SJ
'Graduates' from Acorn Enterprise's sixth business accelerator programme. Picture: SJ
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A company accelerator that has already provided a leg-up for more than 100 businesses is looking to ramp up its activities by branching out to a new location in Dundee city centre.

Acorn Enterprise was launched about four years ago with a mission “to grow Scotland’s entrepreneurial culture”, through educating and accelerating new business owners and enterprising students.

We are looking for the most edgy, cool and disruptive start-ups in the Tayside area

Kallum Russell

Since inception, the initiative has successfully helped scores of business ventures, dubbed “acorns”, through a business accelerator programme. It is run by company owners who want to “give back to aspiring new business owners” and is not publicly funded.

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More than 70 per cent of the pre-trading and early-stage ventures that Acorn has worked with on its programmes have gone on to launch and develop their businesses. These “saplings” are continuing to grow and thrive, Acorn said.

It is now gearing up to roll out its latest business accelerator programme from Dundee at the start of September, with online applications now open.

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Kallum Russell, chief enterprise officer at Acorn Enterprise, said: “We are looking for the most edgy, cool and disruptive start-ups in the Tayside area to join our business accelerator programme.

“We are business owners ourselves, not another public sector organisation, so we know first-hand the harsh realities of running a business and what it really takes to get one started and grow it sustainably.

“Instead of spending all of our limited resources on marketing or excessive equipment, we focus our efforts on nurturing new business to grow in an uplifting yet-grounded environment. There will be no smoke and mirrors or political objectives here. It is all about the businesses.”

The accelerator will be run at the Flour Mill in the heart of Dundee.

Over the course of the free programme, the participants will cover topics such as “marketing in 2017 and beyond”, “goal setting in life and business” and “the entrepreneurial mindset”. They will also meet “like-minded others” and join an established community of business owners.

Jerry Alexander, a co-founder at Acorn Enterprise, added: “The best people to teach others how to run a business are those that do it successfully every day themselves.

“We have met many business leaders out there who want to give a hand up to new enterprising businesses and we are very grateful for their support.”

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