Scottish Edge support
Tycoons inject £1m into young growth firms
Sir Tom Hunter: ‘We all need to step up’ (pic: Terry Murden)
A group of Scotland’s entrepreneurs have together injected £1 million in grants and loans into an initiative supporting young high growth firms.
Sir Tom Hunter, Kevin Dorren, Sir Brian Souter, James Watt, Lord and Lady Haughey, Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns have given their backing to Scottish Edge, already the UK’s biggest funding competition of its type.
They are each committing between £100,000 to £500,000 primarily in the form of loans.
The fundraising comes after a report published by Oxford Economics, commissioned by The Hunter Foundation, indicated that radical and ambitious policy changes are required if Scotland’s economic performance is to be transformed and significantly boosted within the next 15 years.
The aim of the report was to address issues such as low productivity, poor business birth rate and lack of success with scale-ups within Scotland that help to explain why Scotland’s GDP per head is a mere 44% of Singapore’s level, 48% of Ireland’s, 68% of Norway’s and 75% of Denmark’s.
The new funding will be awarded in the next four rounds of the scheme which currently provides early-stage businesses with up to £150,000. Successful entrants receive a business support package that include mentoring, support and signposting to alternative finance.
Sir Tom Hunter is providing £300,000 in grants and £200,000 in loans while the others are each providing £100,000 loans.
Sir Tom Hunter, founder, The Hunter Foundation, said: “This is a classic case of high quality demand outstripping funding supply – we all need to step up, as entrepreneurs and Government.
“As we look for ways to help solve the problem of poor economic growth in Scotland, it’s clear that early stage, high growth businesses will play a key role in driving this change – both in rebuilding the economy and providing employment opportunities.
“Scottish Edge offers pivotal help in giving these businesses an opportunity to scale up and fulfil their potential.
“Start-ups are good, but scale-ups are great – they move the economic dial. Scottish Edge’s track record speaks for itself and scaling it up is, in common parlance, a no brainer!”
Scottish Edge chairman David Shearer, said: “This is an unequivocal testament to the impact Scottish Edge continues to generate in supporting the next wave of high growth potential businesses.
“It shows Scotland’s entrepreneurs are willing to commit where they know the outcomes impact positively on Scotland’s future.
“This commitment is very welcome and I hope stimulates further constructive debate within Scottish Government as to where and how it focuses its financial resources to maximise impacts for Scotland’s economic growth.”
Scottish Edge is supported by the Hunter Foundation, Royal Bank of Scotland, the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise, plus award-specific partners in each round.