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Programme to build companies

Scale-up initiative aims to boost growth

Tom Hunter at Scottish Edge

Sir Tom Hunter: ‘we’ve cracked start-ups’


An initiative aimed at helping companies scale-up will launch next month at an annual gathering of entrepreneurs.

The Hunter Foundation and Entrepreneurial Scotland have joined forces to deliver the new programme in response to growing evidence that Scotland needs to increase the number of scale-up companies.

It is aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs and firms with a turnover of more than £1.5m, existing customer traction and a clear route to significant profitability.  

Sir Tom Hunter, of The Hunter Foundation, said: “I believe we’ve cracked the start-up nut in Scotland, now the real challenge is to convert far more to scale-up businesses, something that is pivotal to our competitive advantage, jobs and economic growth.

“By the last estimate if there were 1% more scale-ups in the UK this would yield 150,000 new jobs and add £225 billion to GDP by 2034 – Scotland needs to disproportionately lead in this.”

The 18-month programme will blend experiential, academic and peer learning, taking entrepreneurs through the critical components of business scale-up.

This includes: leadership, finance, building the right team, communications, sales and marketing, globalisation, crisis management and governance.

There will be optional add-ons for participants to visit some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and their businesses in the US, China and Africa and to participate in other world class programmes such as the CAN DO Scale Summer School.

Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said: “The scale-up challenge is the biggest issue facing Scotland’s economy right now.  Get it right and the prize is huge in terms of wealth and job creation.  The Scale-up Scotland programme is an example of how we must all work together across the public, private and third sectors to seize this prize.”

Ken Whipp, who previously worked for Entrepreneurial Spark, has been appointed programme manager to deliver the Scale-up programme and will join the team in May.

The programme will launch on 4 May at Entrepreneurial Scotland’s annual conference.

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