Twenty of Scotland’s most talented, innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs will start the first Unlocking Ambition Challenge to find Scotland’s next business success story.
Unlocking Ambition aims to follow the success and impact of Scottish companies such as Brewdog and SkyScanner - businesses that have grown to an international scale and whose leaders are committed to supporting other companies reach similar achievements.
The Unlocking Ambition Challenge is a £4 million fund created by the Scottish Government that will support entrepreneurs chosen for their individual potential, the quality of their ideas and the contribution they can make to the Scottish economy and wider society.
The first twenty candidates to receive Unlocking Ambition support were announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon while visiting Cumnock during a travelling cabinet to East Ayrshire. The group will receive support from Scottish Enterprise, a mentoring programme from Entrepreneurial Scotland, access to the GlobalScot network and help from the Scottish Investment Bank.
The challenge will link established and accomplished business people with the candidates, who have demonstrated their ideas can be successful, inclusive, create jobs and benefit society. This core will see Unlocking Ambition entrepreneurs supported to grow businesses that have a social conscience, through products, services or an inclusive recruitment commitment that can have a positive impact on the lives of its workers.
The businesses which will benefit from Unlocking Ambition support include game-changing innovations for football goalkeepers, pre-biotic drinks, clean and safe drinking water, contract bottling, craft chocolatier, digital patient services, environmentally friendly sanitary products, new fibres for textiles, omega-3 rich algae from industrial by-products, corporate donations from routine transactions, anti-maritime piracy barrier, speedy beverage delivery, bio-based construction systems, SME HR outsourcing and online travel agent and property management.
The first 20 entrepreneurs participating in the Unlocking Ambition Challenge are:
The challenge comprises two parts, a mainstream programme for 20 established entrepreneurs who are ready to scale their businesses led by Scottish Enterprise, and an academic programme for 20 early-stage entrepreneurs led by The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE).