Hunter, SNIB in bid to create £100m Scots firms

Tom Hunter

The Hunter Foundation, in partnership with the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB), has opened up applications for its second ScaleupScotland2.0 programme for highly ambitious, scaling businesses to join their next cohort.

The programme sees 12 scaling businesses work collaboratively with fellow CEOs and leadership teams to supercharge growth over a one-year period beginning January 2024.

During that year they attend quarterly overnight events for inspiration and action including masterclasses, focussed dinners and peer-to-peer learning.

This year’s cohort have been supported and inspired by a talent pool including: Professor Chris Evans, Theo Paphitis, Kim Perdikou, Carolyn Jamieson, Ruth Chandler, Kristian Tapaninaho, Willie Watt, Lisa McPherson, Mike Reid, Yvette Hopkins, Bob Keiller, Mark Logan. Mark Beaumont and Calum Paterson.

The programme is hosted by Tom Hunter at the foundation’s headquarters and leadership home at Blair Estate.

Developed after extensive analysis of the challenges facing businesses as they scale up, ScaleupScotland2.0 addresses the lack of strategic support available to high growth businesses and aims to grow the turnover of each business to over £100 million.

Participant companies must be headquartered in Scotland with current revenues typically in excess of £20 million, a record of strong year-on-year growth with the potential and matching ambition to achieve £100 million-plus revenues within the next five years.

The programme is open to the CEO and executive leadership teams of up to 12 businesses, is cohort based and places a strong emphasis on peer-to-peer learning.

On joining the programme, the foundation undertakes a deep dive into each business to identify and align the team on the specific challenges and opportunities facing the entrepreneurial leader, the collective executive team, and the individual functional leaders.

One of the existing scaleup2.0 cohort, Richard Madden of WeConnect Energy, said: “The ScaleupScotland2.0 program has been a pivotal catalyst in our business growth journey, elevating our aspirations with an unparalleled network of trusted advisors and motivational speakers, forging invaluable links with fellow CEOs, and providing a gateway into the flourishing landscape of scalable Scottish businesses.”

Another existing participant, Scott Smyth, founder and CEO of Soben, added: “StartupScotland2.0 has provided access to a new network of world leading entrepreneurs and business advisors that are already positively impacting the growth of my business.

“In addition, I have got to work with and learn from an amazing cohort of other ambitious entrepreneurs each with a shared vision of scaling their business to £100m+”

Tom Hunter said: “This programme is by and for entrepreneurs, a learning journey of unparalleled opportunity in my view that truly accelerates growth through knowledge and peer-to-peer support.

“The only way to move the economic dial in Scotland is to deliver far more scaling businesses and our portfolio of pre-scaler, scaleup core and scaleup2.0 joins the dots up to deliver some of that ambition so I’m delighted to host and sponsor 2.0.”

Scottish National Investment Bank chair Willie Watt said: “The ScaleUpScotland2.0 programme aligns with The Bank’s missions.

“We believe that a healthy scale-up support landscape is critical to enable growing businesses to thrive.

“Ensuring that scaling businesses can access the support and guidance they need to sustain their growth brings productivity gains, high-value job creation and the power to transform our economy.”

To apply, CEOs should email

The programme is subsidised by The Hunter Foundation and the Scottish National Investment Bank with an additional fee for participants of £11,ooo including all overnight accommodation and subsistence at Blair Castle and Estate.

Applications close at midnight on October 31, 2023.