Innovation and entrepreneurship
We want to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will help to grow and diversify Scotland's business base, while also helping people of all backgrounds to fulfil their potential.
We are working with public, private and third-sector partners to achieve the goals of Scotland CAN DO: our shared statement of intent to become a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation.
This includes supporting and promoting a wide range of activities designed to promote a 'CAN DO' culture at all levels of society.
Youth and education
We are developing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among Scotland's young people and students by:
- encouraging teachers to introduce enterprise and entrepreneurial thinking to students through engagement with Scotland's Enterprising Schools
- supporting the youth enterprise activities of Prince's Trust Scotland
- helping students into enterprise by investing in Bridge 2 Business, giving the initiative £300,000 from 2016 to 2017
- working with the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE), Converge Challenge and Young Enterprise Scotland to promote collaboration across tertiary education and provide Scotland's college and university students with a more unified and impactful offering
We are encouraging and helping businesses to start up, grow and innovate by:
- investing up to £120 million, through the Scottish Funding Council, in a network of Innovation Centres to support collaboration between universities and businesses
- running the Scotland CAN DO Innovation Forum to agree actions in support of a more innovative business culture
- investing £1.5 million in the Scottish EDGE Fund competition for Scotland's most talented and ambitious early-stage entrepreneurs
- working with Co-operative Development Scotland to promote alternative and progressive business models
- supporting the implementation of Business Improvement Districts, where businesses work together to invest in local improvements
We are strengthening the social and economic impact of CAN DO across Scotland by:
- supporting implementation of the Women in Enterprise Action Framework. This includes £60,000 towards the Women's Enterprise Ambassadors role-model project and £52,000 for a programme of workshops delivered by Investing Women
- nurturing the enterprising potential of Scotland's town centres and city neighbourhoods through our continuing support for the CAN DO Places initiative, amounting to £150,000 from 2016 to 2017
- promoting a more innovative mindset in Third Sector organisations through our support for The Lens initiative, giving it £100,000 from 2016 to 2017
In addition to providing funding ourselves, we also assist Scottish organisations to access innovation-related funding from the European Union (EU).
One prominent source of EU funding is the Horizon 2020 programme for research and innovation. Between 2014 and 2020, Horizon 2020 aims to provide funding to help the best ideas and discoveries to reach the market quickly, so that their results may help drive social and economic growth in Europe.