Scottish Government pledges £17.5m in startup-focused funding

Scottish Government pledges £17.5m in startup-focused funding

In a move to strengthen Scotland’s position as a European hub for startups, the Scottish Government has announced it will deliver a funding package worth £17.5 million this year.

In a statement to Parliament, Neil Gray MSP, the Wellbeing Economy & Fair Work Secretary, outlined an array of actions and investments aimed at bolstering entrepreneurs and start-ups, which contribute nearly £1 billion to the Scottish economy.

He also announced that the Scottish Government will take forward the recommendations of the Pathways report on supporting women in entrepreneurship.

These include:

  • Developing pre-start centres and pop-ups focused on encouraging women to start businesses and providing best-in-class support to help them develop products and get early access to funding.
  • Relaunching the Scottish Government’s Ecosystem Fund with an explicit focus on supporting projects that address the report’s key themes.
  • Continuing funding for key partner organisations including Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Investing Women, Business Women Scotland and Scottish Edge.
  • Working with enterprise agencies, the Scottish National Investment Bank, and private sector investors to open up access to investment avenues for women-led businesses and other under-invested groups.

Additionally, the First Minister recently launched a ten-year strategy to develop world-class entrepreneurial campuses at 45 educational institutions across Scotland. A £5.5m increase in the 2023-24 University Innovation Fund will assist this endeavour and support the conversion of cutting-edge research into impactful innovations.

Mr Gray said: “We have all of the raw ingredients necessary to match the leading European exemplars: a proud tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship, a university system that is the envy of the world, and exceptional capability in emerging industries such as clean energy, life sciences and artificial intelligence.

“Over the last three years we have worked closely with Scotland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Logan to produce a series of publications that, together, form a sophisticated and comprehensive plan to make this vision a reality.

“I want to thank Ana Stewart for leading the Pathways review of Women in Entrepreneurship and am pleased to commit to take forward the recommendations of the report. We have a moral and economic duty to do more to support women to start and grow successful businesses.

“This is a package of vision and aspiration that sends a clear and powerful message to Scotland’s innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors – this government believes in you and we are prepared to back you.”

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