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Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund has now closed. Find out about the application and assessment process.

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What is the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund?

The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was launched by Scottish Government, and managed through Scotland's enterprise agencies, to provide grants to SMEs which are vital to Scotland’s local or national economy but have been made vulnerable by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund is now closed. Read about the:

How were applications assessed for the Highlands and Islands region?

As detailed within the guidance applications were assessed against a consistent set of criteria and in line with HIE’s appraisal process for the fund. This process looked at four key areas: 

1. Local economic importance, place and inclusive growth

  • The importance of the organisation to the local economy in terms of turnover, spend, employment, training and development of staff and young people, wages, and delivery of essential services.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the organisation in terms of key markets, domestic and international sales, and employment.
  • Assessment of the socio-economic value of the organisation to the local community including the uniqueness of what they do and where they are, their irreplaceability due to market forces and failure.

2. Leverage on wider business community and impact on economic recovery 

  • The strategic importance of the business to the economy at regional or national scale; the impact of the business on supply chains at a local, regional and national level.
  • Consideration was given to the interdependencies on all parts of the supply chain which are critical to business survival and success in the wider business community. 
  • Organisations will have more impact in the economic recovery if they are critical to high value supply chains and sectors.

3. Geographic location

  • An organisation’s vulnerability to the COVID-19 crisis due to their geographic location, e.g. distance from main markets and difficulty in accessing labour.

4. Financial Assessment

This section looked at the application data, audited accounts, management accounts and cash flow to asses:  

  • Current trading status of the business – e.g. operating fully, operating partially, in hibernation. And adaption to the COVID-19 emergency e.g. furloughed staff or diversification.
  • Constraints the business and sector will face in recovery. Ease and likelihood of full recovery.
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the cash flow position since the UK Lockdown on 23 March 2020, and projected cash flow position over the next 6-12 months and specifically if there is a cash flow gap identified which aligns with the amount of grant applied for.
  • The viability of the forward plans of organisations from the cash flow.
  • Assessment of undertaking in difficulty.

The assessment of the above criteria was not a pass or fail. If your application was unsuccessful it does not necessarily mean you did not to meet any of the criteria. The Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund was set up as a needs-based, competitive fund and partners are committed to ensuring the support goes to those who need it most and are pivotal to our local, regional and national economies. 


Applications were appraised by local teams across the region, experienced in assessing grant applications. The appraisers were fully briefed on the criteria and appraisal process for the fund. 

The appraisal process was overseen and endorsed by HIE's local Area Manager, who has a wide knowledge of the area and regional priorities. 

The recommendation from the appraisal was then presented to an investment committee which is chaired by a HIE Director and includes members of HIE’s leadership team and other senior staff. This process is to ensure calibration and consistency. 


HIE was allocated a portion of funding from the overall fund, based on the relative business base in our region and demand.

Why have some businesses been unsuccessful when competitors of similar size/scale/challenge/opportunity have been successful?

We would emphasise that every application was bespoke but assessed across a consistent set of criteria by trained assessors. Whilst we are not able to provide detailed feedback on each application, we would like to emphasise that our overriding priority was to ensure that only those businesses who could demonstrate a real need and were pivotal to our future economy were funded.

If similar businesses in a similar area have had different outcomes, that is a result of how their applications were assessed against the criteria and the strength of evidence provided.

Why have I been offered less than I applied for?

Demand for this fund has been extremely high, and unfortunately it has not been possible to provide the full amount of funding requested by every applicant.

When did the fund close?

The fund closed at 5pm on Monday 18 May 2020.

Will you be publishing a list of which companies were successful?

A full list of companies to be awarded a grant as part of this funding programmes has now been published on the Scottish Enterprise website.

The appeals process

I don’t agree with the decision. Can I speak to someone/appeal?

We understand businesses who have not been successful through this fund will be disappointed, but we had to prioritise applications according to the published criteria

Should you wish to appeal, please complete this contact form. Please ensure that you do this within 10 working days of receiving the outcome of your application. The final date to submit an appeal is 03 July 2020.

Please note that appeals will only be progressed where applicants have met the basic validation criteria.

Can I speak to someone about why my application was unsuccessful?

Yes you can. Please email and we will arrange for someone from one of our area teams to speak to you. 

Available funds

We encourage businesses to continue to visit to keep informed about other funding opportunities or see our latest funding updates here.