Elevator helps more than 1,300 people start their own business in 2016/17

Prof Gary McEwan
Prof Gary McEwan

Aberdeen City and Shire is once again the top region in Scotland for new business start-ups after breaking the record for a second year.

Elevator – a social enterprise dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurs, business leaders and employees of today and tomorrow – said more than 1,300 people have been helped in their mission to create their own business, an increase of almost 10 per cent from the previous year.

Delivering Business Gateway services across Aberdeen City and Shire, Elevator has helped a total of 1,302 start-ups in the last financial year, with a male to female split of 52 per cent to 48 per cent women.

Elevator has seen a raft of new innovators emerge from the oil and gas industry, with at least 70 new businesses having been set up by those who have faced redundancy from that sector in the last year.

The organisation has once again exceeded its start up targets in both Grampian and Tayside regions, most significantly in Grampian by an astonishing 32%.

Professor Gary McEwan, chief executive of Elevator, said: “It’s great to see so many new businesses flourish across the North-east and Tayside thanks to the support, advice and training we are able to deliver through Business Gateway services.

“Despite the turbulence in the wider and specifically North-east economy the fact that so many entrepreneurs are coming through our doors demonstrates that we are on-track with our delivery of a world-class centre of entrepreneurship.”

While the social enterprise recognises its success in supporting some of Scotland’s newest and most ambitious entrepreneurs, it is also celebrating how many existing SMEs have developed and grown.

To bolster the support available to local growing businesses, Elevator has also announced the inception of a new service through Business Gateway called Business Boost.

Business Boost is the result of new European Funding (ERDF) and will enable business leaders to access specialist support (at no cost) in areas such as sales, marketing, PR, finance and more.

Qualifying businesses will receive a dedicated Business Advisor to guide them through the process and help them realise their ambitions of increasing their turnover and growth plans in a short timescale.

Professor McEwan added: “Although Business Boost is a new service on offer for businesses across Grampian, we’re already seeing significant interest amongst the community.

“We’re fully committed to not only helping new businesses achieve their dreams but also existing ones to flourish and expand. Organisations that have been trading for at least six months can be considered to join the new programme and by providing dedicated support and assistance across numerous business areas we can help them go from strength to strength.”

In the past 16 years, Elevator has become a recognised support unit for enterprise, promoting and supporting entrepreneurship across the North-east and Tayside.

Delivered at its £1 million Centre for Entrepreneurship in Aberdeen, Elevator is perhaps best-known for its Accelerator Programme which is aimed at ambitious early-stage business owners and teams seeking to improve their business offering, growth and investment potential at an accelerated rate.

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