The Hunter Foundation and Entrepreneurial Scotland have joined forces to deliver a new scale-up leadership programme. This new initiative aims to respond to the growing body of evidence that Scotland needs to increase the number of scale-up companies as a means to create more high quality jobs, improve productivity and drive overall economic growth.

Sir Tom Hunter, of The Hunter Foundation, said:
“I believe we’ve cracked the start-up nut in Scotland, now the real challenge is to convert far more to scale-up businesses, something that is pivotal to our competitive advantage, jobs and economic growth.

“By the last estimate if there was 1% more scale-ups in the UK this would yield 150,000 new jobs and add £225 billion to GDP by 2034 – Scotland needs to disproportionately lead in this.”

Ewan Hunter, CEO of The Hunter Foundation and Sandy Kennedy, Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland and the Chair of The Scotland CAN DO Assembly, have today (Tuesday 04 April) announced the new Scale-up Scotland leadership programme will be delivered by Entrepreneurial Scotland in partnership with The Hunter Foundation and Scotland CAN DO.

The MIT REAP Report and the Scale-up Report highlights that entrepreneurs need the right support to succeed and this new collaboration will help Scotland take a major step forward. There is growing momentum across the private, public and third sectors, to work together towards a shared aim, to support those entrepreneurs who are seeking to scale their businesses. Further collaborations will develop over the coming months, supported by the Scottish Government’s Enterprise and Skills Review, and will build on existing successes and new initiatives.

The Scale-up Scotland leadership programme is one example of this joined-up, entrepreneur focused approach. The 18-month programme is cohort based with a blend of experiential, academic and peer learning, taking entrepreneurs through the critical components of business scale-up. This includes: leadership, finance, building the right team, communications, sales and marketing, globalisation, crisis management and governance. In addition, there will be optional add-ons for participants to visit some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and their businesses in the US, China and Africa and to participate in other world class programmes such as the CAN DO Scale Summer School.

The Scale-up Scotland programme will be results oriented and delivered largely by entrepreneurs with strong peer-to-peer learning embedded and academic rigour to support it. Participants will need to demonstrate continual development both of themselves and their organisation throughout the programme. The new initiative is aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs and firms with a turnover of £1.5M+, existing customer traction and a clear line of sight to significant profitability. The programme will start in Autumn 2017 and is founded by The Hunter Foundation, Entrepreneurial Scotland and Scotland CAN DO.

Sandy Kennedy, said:

“Entrepreneurial Scotland’s vision is for Scotland to be the most entrepreneurial society in the world. The scale-up challenge is the biggest issue facing Scotland’s economy right now. Get it right and the prize is huge in terms of wealth and job creation. The Scale-up Scotland programme is an example of how we must all work together across the public, private and third sectors to seize this prize.

“At ES we are committed to helping our members grow and realise their ambitions. We now have a pathway of programmes from the start to the end of the entrepreneurial journey.

“Our annual ES Summit at Gleneagles Hotel next month will focus on the theme of scale-ups and we will hear first-hand from successful leaders that have made the scale-up leap.”

Entrepreneurial Scotland has appointed Ken Whipp as Programme Manager to deliver the Scale-up programme who will join the team in May. Ken is a business owner himself with experience in large corporates. He has spent the last ten years working with entrepreneurs, most recently as a member of the leadership team at the World’s largest free business accelerator Entrepreneurial Spark where he led the accelerator teams in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the new appointment, Ken Whipp, said:

“Scotland has a rich entrepreneurial heritage and a strong pipeline of new start-ups. Whilst many of these early stage ventures grow into profitable businesses too many then struggle to navigate the complexities that accompany the real challenge, scaling-up.

“Scale-up Scotland is a dynamic and ambitious new programme for high potential businesses designed to place them on the global stage. By entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs we combine real expertise with the benefits of peer-to-peer learning and world class thought leadership. I am tremendously excited to be working alongside Entrepreneurial Scotland and their partners as we launch this exciting and pioneering new initiative.”

The programme will launch on 4th May at Entrepreneurial Scotland’s annual conference which this year focuses on the theme of scale-ups and is appropriately described as ES Summit 2017. Businesses can register their interest now by emailing: