The Unlocking Ambition Challenge is a £4 million fund created by the Scottish Government that will support entrepreneurs chosen for their individual potential, the quality of their ideas and the contribution they can make to the Scottish economy and wider society.
The first group of 20 entrepreneurs, including five from Glasgow, will receive support from Scottish Enterprise, a mentoring programme from Entrepreneurial Scotland, access to the GlobalScot network and help from the Scottish Investment Bank.
The challenge will link established and accomplished business people with the candidates, who have demonstrated their ideas can be successful, inclusive, create jobs and benefit society. This core will see Unlocking Ambition entrepreneurs supported to grow businesses that have a social conscience, through products, services or an inclusive recruitment commitment that can have a positive impact on the lives of its workers.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland’s future as a progressive nation is built on creativity and innovation. Through the Unlocking Ambition Challenge, we will ensure these talented, enthusiastic entrepreneurs receive every support available to help them grow their businesses with the ultimate aim to benefit our communities, drive competitiveness and create jobs – this is exactly what we mean by inclusive economic growth.
“The programme will develop the commercial strength of these companies to ensure they are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in today’s fast-paced global business environment, and be part of the story that shows Scotland as a world-leading entrepreneurial country.”
Steve Dunlop, Scottish Enterprise chief executive, said: “Entrepreneurship can be contagious, and I believe this handpicked group of ambitious entrepreneurs has the potential to positively change lives with their innovative products and services. They also have a role to inspire other businesses to succeed and help drive Scotland’s future economic prosperity.
“The next year will no doubt be challenging for these entrepreneurs as they flex their businesses in pursuing opportunities to scale up. I’d encourage each of them to embrace their Unlocking Ambition Challenge journey, challenge themselves, try new things, make new connections and invest in their skills and experiences. I look forward to following their journeys closely and helping them unlock their full potential.”
Hannah Fisher – The Start-Up Drinks Lab
Ian Arbuckle – Linian Supply Co Ltd
Jo Halliday – Talking Medicines Limited
Paul Blackler – Drink Baotic
Scott Dickson – Phox Water