Scottish Enterprise programme helps entrepreneurs unlock £36m of investment and create 150 jobs

Scottish Enterprise has helped entrepreneurs unlock £36 million of investment and create 150 jobs via its business growth and leadership programme.

Unveiling an impact study for its Unlocking Ambition initiative, the economic development agency said that since the programme launched in 2018, it has helped 107 entrepreneurs from 79 companies across Scotland to generate £36m of new direct investment.

It has led to £7.4m in total revenue growth, including £3.9m in international turnover growth, and created almost 150 “good, new jobs” north of the Border.

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Additionally, over the next three years, participating companies are projected to cumulatively reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by up to 7,468 tonnes, which is equivalent to the annual electricity used to power almost 1,400 homes.

Some of the cohort for the Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition initiative.Some of the cohort for the Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition initiative.
Some of the cohort for the Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition initiative.

Now in its third year, Unlocking Ambition has recently welcomed a further 38 entrepreneurs to the community.

The programme supports companies ranging from start-ups to more established high growth businesses.

Kerry Sharp, director of growth investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “These are fantastic achievements that demonstrate what supporting entrepreneurs through a high value, tailored programme can produce.

“Scottish Enterprise is proud of its role in helping deliver such positive results which have an impact on people and regions across Scotland.

“A £5.6m commitment that has so far returned £36m of direct investment to date represents incredibly great value for taxpayers’ money, even before we see the results from the latest group of entrepreneurs.

“Last week I was delighted to help welcome the new cohort to the Unlocking Ambition community when Unlocking Ambition 3 kicked off. It was great to see the diversity in the cohort – across sectors, nationalities, gender and regions of Scotland.

“I very much look forward to seeing their continued success as they grow and scale up their businesses, creating even greater opportunities for green economy growth right across the country.”

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IndiNature, which is based in Edinburgh with a recently opened production manufacturing facility in the Borders, has secured £5.3m of investment since joining the programme.

Company co-founder Scott Simpson said: “Unlocking Ambition is not only a worthwhile programme but for Scotland's economy and social and environmental impacts, it is a necessary programme.”

The latest group of 38 entrepreneurs chosen to join up started their programme on September 1 and continue to represent a diverse range of business activity, as well as a focus on the green The group includes companies such as Dundee-based SolarisKit, creator of a thermal collector to harness solar energy, which recently secured a place on Amazon Launchpad, enabling it to sell its products to global markets.

Over the next seven months Unlocking Ambition will offer these businesses an “intensive programme of entrepreneurial leadership masterclasses and events to help them realise their ambitions”.

It includes an accredited module with Babson College in the US - seen as the global leader in entrepreneur education - and masterclass sessions led by a range of GlobalScots including venture capitalist Eric McAfee and Graeme Cook from Keller Group, as well as senior leaders from, among others, LinkedIn, Survey Monkey, Apple and Facebook.

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