Supporting Scotland’s Entrepreneurs

An economy thrives on the formation of new businesses, which generate vital employment, turnover and create new products and services for introduction into local and national markets.

Latest figures show that, although business births are increasing in Scotland – with 40 births per 10,000 population in 2014, up from 30 in 2010 – the nation still lags behind that of the UK (54 per 10,000) and Great Britain (55 per 10,000). In addition to this, over half of businesses typically fail within the first four years. Therefore, supporting budding entrepreneurs to get their ideas to market and grow their businesses, while at the same time creating jobs and generating GVA, is therefore a priority for growing Scotland’s economy.

The 2013-2016 Entrepreneurship Support Programme (ESP) is a high profile programme of entrepreneurial support delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and Scottish Enterprise (SE), designed to support high growth start-up businesses and to encourage an entrepreneurial culture in Scotland.

The programme drew on HIE’s strategic partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to deliver entrepreneurial masterclasses, courses teaching high-impact entrepreneurial skills, and access to MIT research and resources. Our research found the total impact for each participant company over to be 5 direct FTE jobs and £524,000 direct GVA, when anticipated impacts are included.

The programme has generated £4.57 to the Scottish economy for every £1 of public money spent to date, with much higher forecasts for the future. The delivery of the new 2017-2020 ESP has recently been decided, and it remains to be seen if the programme will continue to play an important role in the upskilling of Scotland’s top entrepreneurs.

To find out more click here for our ESP Evaluation Report and Executive Summary