Further backing for start-up scheme

Swinney backs ‘best decision’ with more Edge funding

John Swinney Moya Greene Cally RussellDeputy First Minister, John Swinney has announced a further £1.5 million in grant funding to support the next rounds of key start-up initiative which he described as his “best decision in government.”

He has pledged the money to Scottish EDGE, a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.

The £1.5 million of funding breaks down to £425,000 of grant funding for Scottish EDGE – aimed at all sectors – and £125,000 for a new category, the Higgs EDGE, which is a special technology award aimed at entrepreneurs who have an engineering, science or technology based business and have a product, or product under development, which is scalable and capable of globalisation. There is also £100,000 for Young EDGE and £100,000 for Wild Card EDGE.

Mr Swinney said, “We’ve given relatively small sums of money to the Scottish EDGE Fund but I consider them to have been some of the most impactful sums of money that I’ve ever allocated.”

When he opened the new head office of the shopping app company Mallzee in December (pictured) he said:

“One of the things I learned was how £10,000 or £20,000 is a lottery win and utterly transformational for those people.

“It is the best decision I have taken as a government minister.”

Since the first Scottish EDGE awards were made in February 2013 a total of 479 Scottish jobs have been created, £21.6million of turnover has been generated together with £18.7m of external funding.

Scottish EDGE was initially run by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise alongside various partners.

However, in August 2014 serial entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter and Royal Bank of Scotland agreed to extend the success of the fund and lead in its delivery, creating a £5m+ fund along with the Scottish Government. The majority of the funding is now from the private sector.

David Shearer chairs the Scottish EDGE board with directors from The Hunter Foundation and RBS alongside an advisory board drawn from our partners in Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Business Gateway, Entrepreneurial Scotland, Social Investment Scotland and Prince’s Trust.

Scottish EDGE delivers two funding competitions each year, bringing together support and engagement with a wide range of Scotland’s entrepreneurial eco-system stakeholders and providers.

Winners of Scottish EDGE benefit from:

·       ·Funding of up to £100,000 with Scottish EDGE.  50% of this is a pure prize and 50% is a loan which will be used to support the next entrepreneur in line for support

·       Up to £10,000 grant with Young EDGE for 18-30 year olds

·       Up to £10,000 grant with Wild Card EDGE for pre-trading

·       Two prizes (£150,000 and £100,000) for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics businesses (STEM)

·       Signposting to alternate funding and funders where appropriate.

·       Mentoring and support from a mature entrepreneur accessed through the new Entrepreneurial Scotland mentoring programme.

·       Access to support via our partners Business Gateway, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Social Investment Scotland and the Prince’s Trust

·       Pitch training delivered by Entrepreneurial Spark, Business Gateway and Elevator in Dundee and Aberdeen.

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