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Scale up progamme

Lawyers among six advisers to SME initiative

Paula Skinner

Paula Skinner: (photo by Terry Murden)

Six firms have been appointed to help SMEs scale up over the next three years as part of an innovative scheme by Glasgow City Council.  

Legal practices Harper MacLeod and Martin Aitken & Co are among those appointed to provide a range of services to more than 1,200 firms.

Matrix Business Growth Consultants, Connect Three Solutions, ID Resilience and Targeting Innovation are the others in the programme.

Paula Skinner, lead partner of the Harper Macleod team, said: “Rather than simply providing grants, this project will direct businesses to the professional advice they need and will significantly increase the assistance available to accelerate the growth of SMEs in the region.

“In Scotland as a whole, the focus is now on how to help our businesses achieve sustainable scale and reach their full potential. We need everyone working together to support the potential for growth at every stage of a business’ journey, which in turn should benefit the wider economy. 

“We believe this is a really forward thinking move by Glasgow City Council, to adopt this new model of supporting businesses. It’s a model we believe can be successful and it something that other authorities around the country will be watching with interest.”

Glasgow City Council launched the scheme as part of its strategy to make Glasgow the most business friendly city in the country and the most productive major city economy in the UK, through innovation and supporting enterprise.

The focus has moved from start up to sustainability, focusing on high quality advice and rather than short-term grant funding.

The scheme, a central part of Glasgow City Council’s Economic Strategy, utilises funding from the Glasgow City Region City Deal (GCRCD), European Regional Development Funding (ERDF) and The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). 

The strategy will also see growing businesses supported in the new high-growth innovation hub at the Tontine Building at Glasgow Cross, at the heart of the City Centre Innovation District 

Euan Ferries, corporate advisory manager at Martin Aitken & Co, said: “Getting a business ready for investment in terms of what a potential funder will look for are amongst the key areas we will be advising on.

“A lack of financial management skills has been identified as an area where SMEs can often be held back as the expertise and knowledge required to take the business to the next level is not present in the business. It’s our job to help the SMEs who approach GCC for support to bridge the knowledge gap and to lower the perceived barriers to securing external investment.

“Funding is available to those SMEs that have a good business plan, a clearly articulated proposition, supported by robust financial projections, and a management team equipped with the commercial and financial nous required to generate the return the directors of the business and the investors are seeking.”

 

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