Sir Tom Hunter among big names backing new business scale-up programme

High-profile entrepreneurs including Sir Tom Hunter are behind a new initiative to increase the number of scale-up businesses in Scotland and boost the nation’s prosperity.

ScaleupScotland2.0 will provide strategic support to high growth, scaling companies. Aimed at businesses with the potential to achieve turnover in excess of £100 million, the programme aims to raise ambition and support the development of high growth businesses as they scale up.

Alongside advice and mentoring from some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, including Sir Tom, Lord Haughey and Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, participants will also receive strategic consultancy support.

This will initially provide a “deep dive” into each business to identify and align the team on the specific challenges and opportunities facing the entrepreneurial leader, the collective executive team and the individual functional leaders.

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The programme looks to build on the success of scaleupscotland.co.uk and will provide “intensive, strategic support” to an initial cohort of a dozen Scottish businesses.

Willie Watt, chairman of the Scottish National Investment Bank, which is partnering with The Hunter Foundation to launch the programme, said: “The ScaleUpScotland2.0 programme aligns with the bank’s missions and a key strategic priority for the bank is to support businesses looking to scale.

“The bank is committed to investing in innovation and industries of the future with the aim of supporting a more resilient and productive economy.

“We know that the success of high growth business is critical to boosting Scotland’s productivity and this programme not only looks to address the financing gap for scale-up businesses but will provide future business leaders with mentoring and expert advice to support their growth ambitions. This will enable CEOs to take a longer-term approach to value creation and help Scotland to build more home-grown businesses.”

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Sir Tom Hunter, founder of The Hunter Foundation: 'Through our existing ScaleUpScotland programme we recognised we needed to deliver a programme for the next level up.'

Sir Tom said: “Through our existing ScaleUpScotland programme we recognised we needed to deliver a programme for the next level up and that’s what we are doing with the 2.0 version offering far more tailored, one to one sectoral growth support.

“Multiple studies, including our own commissioned by Oxford Economics, detail precisely why Scotland needs more scale-ups - this programme will provide precise, laser focussed support to high growth businesses with massive ambition.

“Scotland fundamentally needs far more ambitious scale-ups and to enable them we have to offer the right support - our economy depends on scale-ups, they are the engine of growth and prosperity so if we want to deliver a ten-year growth strategy this is one starting point.”

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In addition to individually tailored consultancy and sector specific support, company bosses will participate in quarterly retreats to focus on common challenges through a mixture of specialist and peer to peer learning experiences as well as access to top entrepreneurs.

Wider leadership teams will benefit from retreats specific to functional heads where they can access specialist and interactive learning.

Entrepreneurs undertaking masterclasses and dinners as part of the programme will include Mark Beaumont, Chris van der Kuyl, Sir Jackie Stewart and Calum Paterson, managing partner of Scottish Equity Partners.

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