Help­ing to grow busi­nesses

How to raise fund­ing and re­ceive sup­port from Scot­tish En­ter­prise

The Press and Journal (North-East) - - SPONSORED FEATURE -

With a fo­cus on ac­cel­er­at­ing growth and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion across the re­gion, com­pa­nies of all sizes are be­ing en­cour­aged to ex­plore their op­tions to di­ver­sify, in­no­vate, in­vest in their busi­nesses and ex­pand.

How­ever, for some am­bi­tious com­pa­nies, a crit­i­cal bar­rier to growth can be a lack of knowl­edge about how to raise fund­ing and where best to seek sup­port.

With an ar­ray of pri­vate and pub­lic-sec­tor fund­ing sources avail­able, it can be chal­leng­ing for busi­nesses to know who they should turn to and when.

That’s where Scot­tish En­ter­prise, the coun­try’s na­tional eco­nomic devel­op­ment agency, can help com­pa­nies achieve their growth am­bi­tions by sup­port­ing them with a va­ri­ety of flex­i­ble fund­ing op­tions in­clud­ing grants, loans and eq­uity in­vest­ments.

Scot­tish En­ter­prise is al­ready work­ing with com­pa­nies across the north of Scot­land to help them re­alise am­bi­tions, and says sup­port is avail­able at all stages of growth.

Derek Shaw, head of in­vest­ment man­age­ment with the Scot­tish In­vest­ment Bank (SIB), the in­vest­ment arm of Scot­tish En­ter­prise, ex­plained: “We are keen to sup­port com­pa­nies with gen­uine ca­pac­ity to scale up, and we can help them find the right fund­ing to meet their busi­ness needs.

“For com­pa­nies who may find it dif­fi­cult to find fund­ing through tra­di­tional routes, we have the abil­ity to of­fer a diver­sity of sup­port, help them make sense of the op­tions out there and get the best match.”

This va­ri­ety of ad­vice and fi­nan­cial sup­port of­fered by Scot­tish En­ter­prise en­ables com­pa­nies to iden­tify the fund­ing that is right for them through­out their life cy­cle – from start-up, early-stage busi­nesses through to those re­quir­ing ad­di­tional cap­i­tal to scale and grow in­ter­na­tion­ally.

Derek added: “Eq­uity, loan and grant fund­ing are all avail­able to Scot­tish-based com­pa­nies with am­bi­tions to grow, and we can help them find the right sup­port to meet their busi­ness needs.

“Our mes­sage to these busi­nesses is to come and talk to us as soon as pos­si­ble about your plans, as our ex­pe­ri­ence has shown that the sooner we have those con­ver­sa­tions, the bet­ter the im­pact for both the com­pany and the econ­omy.

“Grants and loans are avail­able for a wide range of pur­poses. For ex­am­ple, an R&D grant could en­able a busi­ness to re­search an in­no­va­tive new prod­uct or ser­vice and, as it is nondi­lu­tive cap­i­tal, it can be at­trac­tive to com­pa­nies and in­vestors alike.

“A loan could be used for es­tab­lished vi­able busi­nesses that are seek­ing ad­di­tional work­ing cap­i­tal or fund­ing to in­vest in their fa­cil­i­ties or equip­ment that they can’t, for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, get from tra­di­tional lend­ing sources.

“The terms of our loans are flex­i­ble and can be tai­lored to the spe­cific needs of the com­pany. Eq­uity fund­ing, on the other hand, of­ten pro­vides vi­tal cap­i­tal in the early stages of a high-growth com­pany where al­ter­na­tive sources of fund­ing are not as ap­pro­pri­ate.

“Work­ing along­side pri­vate­sec­tor in­vestors, we pro­vide pa­tient cap­i­tal where we can take a long-term view on our in­vest­ments, thereby seek­ing to grow and scale com­pa­nies in the medium-to-longer term.”

Scot­tish En­ter­prise is work­ing with busi­nesses from the oil and gas sec­tor to sup­port di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion and en­sure com­pa­nies are ready to em­brace the op­por­tu­ni­ties at home and over­seas as the UK tran­si­tions to a lower-car­bon econ­omy.

Derek ex­plained: “Oil and gas has such an im­por­tant part to play in the wider en­ergy mix, and we see this as be­ing an ex­cit­ing time for the busi­ness in the re­gion.

“If we look at the wider sup­ply chain, we see real op­por­tu­ni­ties for com­pa­nies look­ing to di­ver­sify and ex­pand; that could be in the trans­fer of knowl­edge through a ser­vice of­fer­ing, or work­ing in dif­fer­ent en­ergy mar­kets.”

Scot­tish En­ter­prise works closely with key stake­hold­ers across the re­gion to help grow com­pa­nies, not only in the en­ergy mar­ket, but busi­nesses in a range of sec­tors that have growth po­ten­tial, in­clud­ing food and drink, life sciences and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, amongst oth­ers.

It also pro­vides ad­vice and help to busi­nesses to raise fund­ing, be­come more pro­duc­tive and com­pet­i­tive.

Derek said: “We al­ready have a num­ber of key glob­ally lead­ing busi­nesses such as No­vaBi­otics in the re­gion, and we are look­ing at how you can sup­port more com­pa­nies across a range of sec­tors so that the north­east has more of a di­verse econ­omy.”

Along with fund­ing, busi­nesses are also sup­ported with ad­vice on lead­er­ship, tech­nol­ogy, in­no­va­tion, re­search and devel­op­ment, and strategy.

Through the agency’s Glob­alS­cot net­work, com­pa­nies can also be linked to ex­per­tise and con­tacts in mar­kets around the world.

Derek added: “Whether you are look­ing to in­no­vate, in­vest in your fa­cil­i­ties for fur­ther growth, or ex­pand into in­ter­na­tional mar­kets, come and talk to us to see if we can help.”

Derek Shaw, head of in­vest­ment man­age­ment with the Scot­tish In­vest­ment Bank

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