Scottish entrepreneurs forecast £12.4m new investment and support for 552 jobs

Scottish Enterprise has today unveiled the forecasted impact of its £1.3m package of support for the third cohort of its flagship business growth and leadership programme Unlocking Ambition.

Scottish entrepreneurs forecast £12.4m new investment and support for 552 jobs

Diane Drummond

The latest group of entrepreneurs, who joined the nationwide programme in September 2021 and will graduate at the end of March, has calculated that over the next three years it will:

  • Leverage £12.2m of R&D investment and £12.2m of capital investment
  • Experience revenue growth of £114m – including £47.3m from exports
  • Create 365 new real living wage jobs and safeguard 187 existing posts
  • Create £102m worth of new products and services
  • Support 60 days of real living wage internships for Saltire Scholars working to help the cohort expand their export sales

The latest crop of 36 entrepreneurs represents 30 early-stage companies with the ambition and potential to scale over the next few years. They span diverse sectors but share a focus on the green economy.

These include Dundee-based SolarisKit, creator of a flat-pack solar energy generator and recent winner of the top Net Zero prize at Scottish EDGE; and Edinburgh-based Waire Health which has developed wearable patient vital signs monitors, including new a Covid-19-specific product.

Modest estimates suggest that since it launched in 2018, companies across the three Unlocking Ambition cohorts to date have cumulatively generated £42m of new direct investment.

Now a thriving community of entrepreneurs, who continue to offer guidance and expertise to one another, the UA family has grown to 125 individuals representing 106 companies the length and breadth of Scotland, from 8 Doors Distillery in Thurso to Thistle Rocketry in Tweedbank. It is hoped many of them will gather in March for an annual showcase event to celebrate the companies’ successes and the collective impact that Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem can deliver.

Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, said: “There are so many incredible Unlocking Ambition success stories, including Talking Medicines who recently completed another £1.5m funding round to which SE has contributed; and The Future Forest Company which recently signed a $1.5m deal with a US firm.

“The sense of community across the three cohorts to date is something we’re especially proud of. Participants were chosen for their ambition, quality ideas, ability to scale and potential to make a huge contribution to the Scottish economy – and many of their companies continue to receive our support at every stage in their growth journey.”

Unlocking Ambition 3 participant Diane Drummond, MD and owner of Glasgow heating and ventilation company B-DACS, added: “I was delighted to be chosen for the programme. My confidence in dealing with our business day-to-day has reached a new level. The learning journey has been a great source of information that I will use for years to come. Being part of this programme gives business owners a sense of community and a place to speak openly and be supported.”

The programme is supported by partners including the Scottish Government, Entrepreneurial Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, GlobalScot, South of Scotland Enterprise and FutureX.

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