University, investment bank start ESG scale-up school

John Anderson, David Ritchie and Gillian Docherty

A new executive education programme to address the growth barriers faced by impact-oriented businesses in Scotland has been launched.

Strathclyde Business School is to deliver the Scottish Impact Investor Readiness Programme in partnership with Scottish National Investment Bank.

This was developed following extensive research into the challenges that businesses with a focus on environmental and societal impact face when looking to scale.

The programme aims to help business owners grow their businesses responsibly, with a focus on helping them develop a better understanding of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations and measure impact.

This new executive education programme is the latest addition to Strathclyde’s portfolio of programmes for the leaders of companies looking to grow and scale and will be delivered by experts from across the University — including the ScaleUp Insititute-endorsed Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and the Centre for Sustainable Development.

David Ritchie, Executive Director of Partnerships & Engagement at the Scottish National Investment Bank, said: “As an impact investor, we can see first-hand how focusing on critical impact measures can drive long-term societal and economic benefits for Scotland, for generations to come.

“We have a portfolio of 31 businesses, all of whom set out clear and measurable impact targets as part of our commercial investment process, and we monitor their progress with them annually.

“Investors demand more than commercial returns, they also want to see the positive human impact that their funding enables.

“It’s never been more pressing for businesses to understand and embed the principles of impact investing in their business plans.

“We’re delighted to partner with the University of Strathclyde with their proven track record in supporting the SME community.

“We encourage business owners and leaders who are focused on long-term success and transformative innovation to sign up.”

Gillian Docherty, Chief Commercial Officer at the University of Strathclyde, said: “As a socially progressive University and the place of useful learning, we have a responsibility not only to our students but to society as a whole in making a positive difference to the world.

“This programme offers an opportunity for business leaders to add value to their existing experiences, and encourage new, responsible ways of growing businesses in Scotland”.

John Anderson, Director of Growth Programmes, Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship added, “Having supported over 450 SMEs since 2015, across multiple practical programmes, we’re delighted to partner with Scottish National Investment Bank to continue our mission in supporting leaders of ambitious, growth-oriented businesses.”

Thanks to the partnership arrangement, the programme has been made as accessible as possible, with fees heavily subsidised, reducing the usual cost of £7,500 down to £500 per participant.

Applications are now open and the programme begins on August 27, 2024.

For further details and application information, visit the Scottish Impact Investor Readiness Programme webpage.