Sir Tom Hunter launches search for entrepreneurs Scale Up Scotland


Ayrshire entrepreneur Sir Tom Hunter said the need for large-scale businesses has “never been greater” as the economy emerges from the coronavirus crisis.

Sir Tom highlighted the importance of these businesses for economic growth by inviting entrepreneurs looking to grow their businesses to apply for an 18-month program created by the Hunter Foundation, which he founded, and Entrepreneurial Scotland.

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The Scale Up Scotland program, which is free to successful applicants and has already supported 36 companies, is recruiting its third cohort, up to 20 companies. It supports companies with ‘the potential and desire to grow their sales beyond £ 20million to £ 30million’.

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Over the past year, the total turnover of companies in the second cohort has increased by more than 100% to reach £ 54million and job creation has increased by 80%, despite the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. The program offers a blend of ‘experiential, business and peer learning’, leading entrepreneurs through the ‘essential components of scaling a business’. Participants will learn from national and international business leaders.

Sir Tom said: “Start-ups are great, but scale-ups are the source of real economic growth for Scotland. It is essential that Scottish businesses that have the ambition to grow have the opportunity and the support to grow. And to evolve efficiently.

He added: “Designed to deliver high and dynamic growth, Scale Up Scotland was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Through the sharing of experiences, access and networks, the program helps business leaders build world-class, scalable businesses in 18 months. We have seen remarkable results from companies that have followed the program to date.

The Hunter Foundation and the Scottish Enterprise Economic Development Agency fund the program, with participants paying their own travel and accommodation costs.

Digitonic Managing Director Grant Fraser, who participated in the first Scale Up Scotland program, said: “I knew straight away that this initiative could significantly help accelerate growth within my business through the quality of stakeholders and planned training.

“What impressed me the most was the collaboration and bond that Scale Up Scotland helped facilitate between the highly respected business leaders of the large companies involved. It was fantastic to be surrounded by like-minded people who were going through the same growing challenges and to work as a team to find solutions based on sharing experiences. The course has also significantly improved my business network. ”

He noted that since joining Scale Up Scotland, Digitonic’s revenue has grown by 332% and net profit has seen double-digit percentage increases as headcount more than tripled.

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