European Structural and Investment Funds

Making Scotland more competitive in business

There are three Strategic Interventions (SIs) intended to make Scotland more competitive in business:

  • Business Competitiveness
  • Business Innovation
  • SME Holding Fund

Business Competitiveness

The Business Competitiveness SI aims to:

  • make small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) more competitive
  • help SMEs to become more innovative and to grow in regional, national and international markets
  • help SMEs to operate internationally, particularly in Smart Specialisation sectors and regionally important sectors in disadvantaged areas

The lead partners for this SI are:

  • Scottish Enterprise
  • Highlands & Islands Enterprise
  • Business Gateway
  • the following local authorities: Aberdeenshire, Argyll and Bute, Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow City, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney Islands, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Highland, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Business Innovation

The Business Innovation SI aims to:

  • promote investment in research and innovation by creating links between businesses, research and development centres and Scotland's higher education sector
  • promote investment in developing products and services through Smart Specialisation
  • increase business commercialisation and investment in research, technological development and innovation (RTDI), particularly in sectors identified through Smart Specialisation

The lead partners for this SI are:

SME Holding Fund

The SME Holding Fund SI aims to:

  • provide access to financing for SMEs looking to enhance competitiveness and grow in regional, national and international markets
  • enable SMEs to access for research and development and provide finance to innovate start-ups other lenders would consider too high risk

The Scottish Government SME Holding Fund Unit are the sole lead partner for this SI.

The SME Holding Fund is delivered through DSL, LINC Scotland, Business Loans Scotland, Scottish Co-investment Fund and Scottish Venture Fund:

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