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#SUS16 Exhibitor Blog: Enterprise Support

As we saw in the first of our #SUS16 Exhibitor Blogs, we've got some awesome startups attending the Startup Summit this year. This time round we're focussing the spotlight on some the organisations that have supported these startups - and countless others - throughout their business journey. Enterprise support agencies have a crucial part to play to the startup ecosystem, and their support is vital to the development and growth of new businesses. So, if you're looking for support in your new venture and you're not sure where to turn, come and check out some of the amazing enterprise support organisations exhibiting at #SUS16 and see how they can help you take your business to the next level!

Just Enterprise is a Scottish Government supported programme designed to help budding and established social entrepreneurs achieve their ambitions. It is delivered by several organisations across the country, who each lead on different aspects of the support, including: start up, business support, business recovery, procurement, leadership and learning services. Firstport, Scotland’s agency for social enterprise, delivers the start up support through free business support, resources and training to help individuals start something good.

The Princes Trust Enterprise Programme offers support to young people aged 18-30 to explore a business idea and develop the skills and confidence to achieve goals – with training, one-to-one support and grant and loan funding options. The Prince's Trust Scotland is a youth charity that helps young people aged 13 to 30 get into jobs, education and or start a business. Many of the young people it helps are in, or leaving care, facing issues such as homelessness or mental health problems, or have been in trouble with the law. Its free programmes give young people the practical and financial support they need to achieve success in work or business.

Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s innovative, up and coming, high growth potential entrepreneurial talent. Supported financially by RBS, the Scottish Government and the Hunter Foundation, Scottish EDGE helps over 80 businesses a year with grants and loans. In the three years since it started over £7 million has been awarded to over 200 businesses. Scottish EDGE winning businesses have created 641 new jobs, generated over £31 million in turnover and raised over £28 million in additional funding making a positive impact on the Scottish economy.

The Melting Pot first opened its doors in October 2007, after several years’ development by a grassroots group of like-minded folk in Edinburgh, lead by founder and managing director, Claire Carpenter.

‘Looking back, my dream was to create a special resource base – a shared working and learning environment, in my home city. I wanted to bring together interesting people who do interesting things, and to develop a dynamic and diverse community that shared a sense of collective purpose and reach. Ultimately it’s all about a place where the sum of the parts was greater than the whole’.

As a base for all sorts of resources, The Melting Pot harnesses the power of an unstructured collective – the power to ignite, support and effect social change by connecting resources to people, their ideas, passions and expertise. Every year, over 10,000 people visit The Melting Pot as we engage with and welcome delegations of social innovation practitioners, enablers and policy makers from all over the world. As Scotland’s Centre for Social Innovation and home of coworking in Edinburgh, we lead the way in ensuring creative, resilient and effective social innovation takes its essential place at the heart of a vibrant society. We do this by providing a range of resources and services, supporting and inspiring our pioneering coworking community and through our successful Social Innovation Incubation programme. In turn, we help Scotland fulfil its economic, social, cultural and environmental potential.

The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) creates opportunities for students to be innovative. SIE works with universities and colleges to transform students into innovative, entrepreneurial graduates ready to contribute to Scotland’s economy. SIE provides free one-to-one advice, enterprise workshops and business competitions supported by a national team of student interns and business advisors. SIE’s services are open to all students and graduates in Scotland, up to two years after graduation. SIE is supported by the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise and is part of the Scotland CAN DO network

Sporting Chance Initiative is Scotland’s hub for innovation in sport and, through our programmes, we’re creating and supporting Scotland’s next generation of sports entrepreneurs. We have two national competitions – The Sports Innovation Challenge and LoveYourIdea – and through these we’re looking for the most innovative and exciting new ideas for sports products, services and tech. Both competitions are open to students and recent graduates from Scotland’s colleges and universities and have cash prizes and a chance to work with exciting business mentors!

Bridge 2 Business is an interactive and engaging programme to inspire, connect and support college and university students into business.The Bridge 2 Business programme offers enterprising students first hand opportunities to engage with appropriate and relevant entrepreneurial role models. The programme is for any enterprising young students who might have an interest in setting up their own business now or in the future or for those who are looking to take enterprise skills to their workplace. Alongside the opportunity to meet and engage with inspiring role models the programme will help connect students with the entrepreneurial eco-system that exist in Scotland, to support our much needed start-up businesses. In addition to inspiring and connecting our students, we also offer the chance to access a small grant to help test out their business ideas, matching those successful with a mentor from the local business community who will be able to assist as they progress with their business plans.


The CivTech® pilot is harnessing new technologies to drive daring and innovation in the public sector. It brings together private sector innovation, public sector organisations and citizens to develop more efficient and effective products and services, which will translate to new, better, faster and easier experiences for everyone. Backed by the Scottish Government, it’s going to provide an unprecedented route for entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and other businesses to develop the benefits of digital transformation in the public sector. And crucially it’s going to create a swift, secure and practical pathway for those businesses to win public sector contracts.

Scotland is fortunate to have some of the best data in the world. Few other countries have the opportunity to link high quality, consistent data that has national coverage for public service improvement, economic growth and research. Scotland is well placed to be part of the data revolution, using data to deliver better outcomes for the people of Scotland. Established with an £11.3 million grant from the Scottish Funding Council, The Data Lab will enable industry, public sector and world-class university researchers to innovate and develop new data science capabilities in a collaborative environment. Its core mission is to generate significant economic, social and scientific value from data. The Data Lab aims to transform the way in which industry, public sector and academic institutions collaborate.

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