Investment can help create more high quality start-ups.
Work to create the best opportunities for entrepreneurs is helping transform Scotland into one of Europe’s leading economies to start or grow a technology business.
Building on the entrepreneurial ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation, Economy Secretary Kate Forbes said work is underway – backed by £45 million of investment – to help transform Scotland’s tech sector.
During a parliamentary statement Ms Forbes highlighted progress made to date to implement the Logan Review. Actions include:
- finalising arrangements for five new Tech Scaler hubs, with the potential to create more than 300 high quality start-ups, that will offer mentorship support to budding entrepreneurs. These new hubs, located around the country, will help to ensure new and existing tech innovators have access to high quality commercial education
- establishing a £1 million Scottish Tech Ecosystem Fund providing support for organisations to deliver meet ups and events which create the best environment for entrepreneurs to succeed
- investing more than £1 million in new devices and equipment to support teaching of computing science
- appointing teachers who will drive improvements in equipment and training while sharing best practice
- allocating £1.5 million for reskilling – including support for those on low incomes to gain digital skills
A Chief Entrepreneur Officer will also soon be appointed in the Scottish Government to help ensure entrepreneurship ambitions are embedded in policy development.
Ms Forbes said:
“The Scottish Government is committed to the most radical reforms of the Scottish entrepreneurial system since devolution. Our ambition is to establish Scotland as one of Europe’s leading start-up economies.
“These game changing tech scalers will deliver one of the most sophisticated and comprehensive state-funded environments in Europe for the creation and growth of start-ups.
“Tech scalers will put Scotland on the global start-up map and we will promote their services relentlessly to attract the world’s best talent to scale up their businesses in Scotland.
“A key ambition in our strategy to transform the economy is to help establish Scotland as a world-class entrepreneurial country, founded on a culture that encourages, promotes and celebrates entrepreneurial activity.”
Mark Logan said:
“These coordinated initiatives are part of the most significant strategic investment in Scotland’s high-technology industry ever seen in Scotland. Together, they create the perfect environment for starting and scaling technology-based businesses, with the many opportunities for our people that will result from that. It’s a very exciting time for the sector.”
Work is underway to finalise arrangements for the new Tech Scaler Hubs, with locations and contractor expected to be confirmed in the coming months.
Since it was established in October, the Ecosystem Fund has made 34 awards to deliver meet ups, events and other projects.
Awarding the contract to establish the tech scalers will implement a key recommendation from Mr Logan’s Scottish Tech Ecosystem Review (STER) and meet a commitment of the Programme for Government 2021-22.
The Scottish Government will soon, together with a local authority, launch a teacher upskilling pilot scheme.
The £1 million Digital Start Fund supports people on benefits or low income to undertake courses which could lead to a well-paid career in tech. A further £500,000 has been invested in Digital Skills Pipeline; a set of modular courses from beginner level to advanced coding.
Together with the University of Glasgow, the Scottish Government has established the Scottish Teachers Advancing Computing Science organisation. It is led by two teachers and will drive improvements.
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