Supporting a start-up nation

£1.5 million to open up entrepreneurial opportunities.

The first phase of a new initiative to identify and nurture new entrepreneurial talent has been launched.

Funding of up to £1.5 million will be delivered through the Pathways Pre-Start Fund this financial year to provide support, mentoring and advice services for people thinking about taking the first steps towards creating a start-up company. It will have a particular focus on closing the gender gap and widening participation in entrepreneurship, and is the first step to developing a pre-start network to bring more people into the entrepreneurship pipeline.

This week’s Programme for Government has committed to a further £15 million of investment in Scotland’s start-up community, encouraging entrepreneurs from all walks of life to start and scale their business.

To launch the Pathways Pre-Start Fund, Wellbeing Economy & Fair Work Secretary Neil Gray visited the offices of PwC UK in Glasgow to meet with members of the Black Social Entrepreneurship Programme, run by The School for Social Entrepreneurs in collaboration with PwC.

He said:

“Through the jobs they provide and problems they solve, new businesses play a fundamental role in growing our economy while creating better futures for our people and communities. That is why we must inspire more Scots to view starting a business as a viable path.

“We want to cultivate a thriving, world-leading entrepreneurial ecosystem and our Programme for Government 2023/24 sets out a very clear vision and tangible actions to help this and future generations of entrepreneurs succeed.

“There is a moral and economic duty to do more to ensure women – indeed, every under-represented group - have the support and opportunities they need to start and grow successful businesses. Kick-started by immediate funding this year, our Pre-Start programme will play an important role in breaking down barriers and ensuring Scotland’s start-up community continues to flourish.”    


The Programme for Government 2023/24

Details on the Pathways Pre-Start Fund

The Scottish Government confirmed in June that it would take forward all the recommendations of the Pathways report on under-representation of women in entrepreneurship as part of a multi-million funding package being delivered this year to help establish Scotland as one of Europe’s leading start-up economies. The Scottish Government’s full response to Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship is available on the Scottish Government website.

Encouraging entrepreneurship is a key action in the Scottish Government’s National Strategy for Economic Transformation.

The Scottish Government is increasing the number of start-ups through the national £42 million TechScaler network which offers mentoring and incubation space for new tech businesses.


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