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Support for start-up businesses

£5 million to unlock Scotland’s entrepreneurial talent.

Extra investment to grow and nurture high-growth businesses and entrepreneurs has been announced.

The £5 million package 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.

The package includes:

    • funding to expand the business funding competition Scottish EDGE, helping broaden and tailor the range of financial support available to fledgling businesses
    • 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 companies, and commercialise research
    • investing in initiatives that will attract the world’s top talent and showcase Scotland as a global destination for start-up founders and investors.

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.

She 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 Sir 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.”

Entrepreneur and Investor Ana Stewart, author of the Pathways report on under-representation of women in entrepreneurship, said:

“‘This  is a meaningful step forward in tackling the extreme gender imbalance which currently exists in entrepreneurship. I look forward to engaging and supporting the Government and other partners in enacting change whilst building on the existing momentum created since the publication of the Pathways report.

“Change will not happen overnight so I am also encouraged to see the adoption of a more strategic approach with a multi-year investment - a critical component if we are to tackle these persistent challenges.”


The Scottish Government confirmed in June 2023 that it would take forward all the recommendations of Ana Stewart’s Pathways report on under-representation of women in entrepreneurship as part of a multi-million funding package being delivered this year to help establish Scotland as one of Europe’s leading start-up economies. The Scottish Government’s full response to Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship is available on the Scottish Government website.

The Logan Report

Details on the Pathways Pre-Start Fund

Encouraging entrepreneurship is a key action in the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

The Scottish Government is increasing the number of start-ups through the national £42 million TechScaler network which offers mentoring and incubation space for new tech businesses.

Chief Executive Officer of Scottish EDGE 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.”

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