A comprehensive package of support for innovative early stage businesses whose routes to investment and growth have been impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) has been announced by Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP.
The £38 million package, managed by Scottish Enterprise, includes three levels of support to meet the needs of the most promising businesses at different stages of early growth:
£3 million allocated as grants of up to £50,000 plus advisor support for start-ups identified as having the most significant potential to grow and attract future investment.
A competitive £25 million Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund to provide successful applicants with a mix of grant and investment funding up to a maximum of £300,000. This support will help equity-backed businesses to continue innovating through the pandemic and bridge the gap to their next investment round. The fund will open to applications on Monday 20 July.
An additional £10 million for Scottish Enterprise’s existing Scottish Investment Bank co-investment funds to help stimulate private investment and support businesses that need more significant levels of funding to grow rapidly.
Ms Hyslop also announced a £2.2 million fund for grassroots venues, following ongoing discussions with the Music Venue Trust. The new fund follows on from last week’s targeted £10 million to support Scotland’s performing arts venues.
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP said:
“The economic impact of COVID-19 has been enormous, and the SNP Government has so far spent more than £2.3 billion in support. Early stage businesses are not immune to this and have been impacted by a challenging investment market which restricts their ability to grow, innovate and compete internationally.”
“This new package meets these challenges head-on, providing young and innovative businesses with the most comprehensive and generous package of support available anywhere in the UK.
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“The creation and growth of businesses in exciting emerging sectors such as life sciences, digital technologies and space create high value jobs and accelerate international investment in Scotland.
“There are also a number of areas where immediate support is required, including grassroots venues, and I hope this additional £2.2 million funding will provide much-needed stability to the music industry for the coming months.”
Steve Dunlop, CEO of Scottish Enterprise, said:
“We believe this additional funding will help remove the financial obstacles created by COVID-19 that threaten their growth. With our backing, we hope our early stage companies will fulfil their potential and bolster Scotland’s economic recovery while having a positive impact on businesses and individuals internationally.”
Further information is available on the FindBusinessSupport website. Applications open on Monday 20 July and close on Friday 31 July.
Full details of the fund for grassroots venues will be available shortly.