£38m package

New support to prevent loss of Scottish ‘innovators’

Fiona Hyslop: ‘meeting challenges head-on’

New measures have been announced by the Scottish Government to underpin innovative early stage businesses.

Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop described the new funding as the most comprehensive and generous package of support available anywhere in the UK.

Managed by Scottish Enterprise, the £38m being made available includes three levels of support:

  • £3m allocated as grants of up to £50k plus advisor support for start-ups identified as having the most significant potential to grow and attract future investment
  • a competitive £25m Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund to provide successful applicants with a mix of grant and investment funding up to a maximum of £300k. This support will help equity-backed businesses to continue innovating through the pandemic and bridge the gap to their next investment round. The fund will open to applications on Monday 20 July
  • an additional £10m for Scottish Enterprise’s existing Scottish Investment Bank co-investment funds to help stimulate private investment and support businesses that need more significant levels of funding to grow rapidly  

Ms Hyslop also announced a £2.2 million fund for grassroots venues, following ongoing discussions with the Music Venue Trust. The new fund follows on from last week’s targeted £10 million to support Scotland’s performing arts venues.

Ms Hyslop said: “Scotland’s entrepreneurs and innovators have always fuelled the nation’s economic growth so we must support them now to ensure that their energy and ideas can deliver good new jobs and help us plot a path to recovery.

“The creation and growth of businesses in exciting emerging sectors such as life sciences, digital technologies and space create high value jobs and accelerate international investment in Scotland.

Early stage businesses have been impacted by a challenging investment market which restricts their ability to grow

– Fiona Hyslop, Economy Secretary

“The economic impact of COVID-19 has been enormous, and the Scottish Government has so far spent more than £2.3 billion in support. Early stage businesses are not immune to this and have been impacted by a challenging investment market which restricts their ability to grow, innovate and compete internationally.

“This new package meets these challenges head-on, providing young and innovative businesses with the most comprehensive and generous package of support available anywhere in the UK.

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