Forbes announces £5m extra support for start-ups

Kate Forbes

The Scottish Government has announced a £5 million package it said will help deliver “end-to-end support” for Scotland’s start-up companies.

“It forms part of an ongoing to commitment to deliver on the recommendations of the Logan report into developing a world-class technology sector, and the Pathways report which is focussed on expanding the number of women starting and scaling-up businesses,” said the Scottish Government.

The package includes funding to expand the business funding competition Scottish EDGE; the development of pre-start support, aimed at stimulating the earliest stages of business creation and product development for under-represented groups; support to maximise the economic impact of university spin-out firms; and investing in initiatives “that will attract the world’s top talent and showcase Scotland.”

The additional support coincides with an announcement that Codebase, delivery partners of the Scottish Government’s £42 million Techscaler programme, are to partner with Scottish EDGE to develop the end-to-end support offered to businesses and entrepreneurs.

Deputy First Minister and Economy Secretary Kate Forbes announced the new funding as she visited the National Robotarium, the UK’s centre for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence and home to a number of spin-out tech companies.

Forbes said: “Innovation is at the very heart of our economy. We have the talent, the skills and the facilities to make Scotland one of Europe’s fastest-growing start-up economies: an economy that is strong, successful and dynamic.

“This package of measures, which builds on the multi-million investment the Scottish Government is already making into our start-up business community, forms the next step in providing one of the most comprehensive government-backed support networks in Europe.

“The partnership between Codebase and Scottish EDGE also underlines our joined-up approach to fostering and nurturing Scotland’s young and vibrant business community.

“My message to Scotland’s innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors is simple but clear: this Government believes in you and we will back you.”

Founder of the Hunter Foundation Tom Hunter said: “Scottish EDGE is a proven, world class model of delivering finance to potential high growth early stage businesses and that has been independently verified.

“I am delighted the Deputy First Minister has recognised that and added significant additional resource to Scottish EDGE.

“When business and Government come together as they do in financing Scottish EDGE it can drive real economic growth by building the pipeline of entrepreneurial businesses, employment and the taxes that pay for public services.”

Scottish EDGE CEO Evelyn McDonald said: “I am delighted to see this commitment from the Scottish Government of funding to support businesses in Scotland.

“Scottish EDGE has supported over 600 businesses in the last ten years, many of which have gone on to create hundreds of jobs and develop innovative products and services.

“This funding will enable us to support many more and have a positive impact on the Scottish economy.”

Chief Entrepreneur Mark Logan said: “This is a very welcome additional investment into making Scotland one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

“It enables us to further strengthen the support environment for start-ups and to enfranchise more people into entrepreneurship. Every job that exists in Scotland today, does so because someone, at some time started something.

“We need more starters, and this extra investment directly drives that goal.”