An enhanced service to support more companies in Scotland with the potential to reach turnover upwards of £100 million has been launched today by Scottish Enterprise.
The Start2Scale service will target fast growing innovative start-up and early-stage companies as well as existing companies with ambitious plans to scale. It will provide an intensive, tailored service focussing on the key drivers of growth: international sales, investment and talent acquisition and development.
Making the announcement during his speech at Venturefest in Glasgow today, Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, said: “We know that stimulating the development of, and supporting, more high growth companies with the ambition and potential to grow their turnover to over £100 million is one of the most powerful drivers of growth. Evidence from Scotland, and benchmark economies such as Germany, shows these mid-sized businesses are the most dynamic group of companies which are most likely to boost innovation, increase productivity, exports, international competitiveness and to deliver sustainable, well paid new jobs.
“According to a UK scale-up report, boosting just one per cent of our scale-up business population could create 238,000 jobs and £38 billion of GVA across the UK within three years and we want to see Scotland pursue such an objective. That’s why our Programme for Government committed to working with our enterprise agencies and private sector partners to create an expanded and collaborative ‘scale-up’. Our enterprise agencies, Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, continue to enhance their assistance to businesses on their fast growth journey as part of the work on scale-up of ‘Scotland: CAN DO’, our Scotland-wide innovation forum, and today’s announcement marks a significant step forward in that journey.”
Managing director at Scottish Enterprise, Adrian Gillespie, added: “Regardless of whether a company is starting up or is already well established, if it has the ambition to quickly grow to scale, we want to help. Our enhanced Start2Scale service has been developed following customer feedback for a more distinct approach and support system for companies facing challenges impacted by rapid growth.
“Our team of experts and specialists, working together with our CAN DO Scale partners, will ensure companies get access to the right support at the right time to match their growth ambition. We already actively work with around 180 fast growing companies on this journey. This enhanced service aims to build on that support, recognising that these important group of companies have specific needs. We aim to increase the number of companies we work with to 250 during 2018.”
Welcoming the announcement, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, Sandy Kennedy, said: “Start2Scale” is part of the Scotland CAN DO Scale Movement. The Scotland CAN DO Movement is a collaboration of the key organisations across the private and public sector committed to support the leaders of innovative firms who have the ambition to grow significantly and with pace. By doing so together, the evidence suggests that we can generate material economic growth, improve productivity, create jobs and wealth across Scotland”.
The enhanced service was launched at Venturefest, an innovation summit held in Glasgow’s Science Centre, which attracted around 800 companies to hear about tools, advice, funding and contacts they need to take their business to the next level.