Programme offers boost for scaling-up business

MIT's Bill Aulet developed online tools for the Scotland Can Do Scale programme. Picture: Whyler Photos
MIT's Bill Aulet developed online tools for the Scotland Can Do Scale programme. Picture: Whyler Photos
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The shift in Scotland’s entrepreneurial agenda from start-ups to large-scale growth will be further underscored today with the launch of a new nation-wide programme based on training from two leading US business schools.

Billed as the first of its kind, Scotland Can Do Scale includes free online training in customer focus developed by Bill Aulet, head of the Martin Trust Center for entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Completing “Entrepreneurship 101 – Who is Your Customer?” is the first step in securing additional support opportunities, including qualification for summer school by leading educators from MIT and Harvard.

The programme is the latest from Scotland Can Do, the £3 million innovation framework unveiled last year by the Scottish Government. Its goal is to boost entrepreneurialism for the benefit of the wider Scottish economy.

READ MORE: Edinburgh software firm to scale up with UK’s best

Scale aims to build a community of businesses from across Scotland which have the ambition and potential for growth. It comes amid growing focus on the need to foster expansion as the next step up from new business creation.

First piloted last year, the online programme was developed by Aulet, a visiting professor at Strathclyde University and author of the 24 Steps to Disciplined Entrepreneurship.

Luke Johnston, chief executive of Edinburgh oil and gas consultancy Cognitive Geology, said his firm has made a number of advances since taking part in the pilot in August. The company has hired two new developers and two geoscientists in recent months, and is continuing to recruit.

“We have secured £100,000 in grant funding, been selected for the London Stock Exchange Elite programme and secured a funded place at the MIT Entrepreneurial Development Programme,” Johnston added. “We’re meeting some of the world’s largest oil companies this year in Houston and experiencing tremendous growth.”

Scale is being funded and delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.