About us

Who we work with

Who we work with

Our partners are key to our delivery. At any given time, we'll be working with at least one other partner, at home and abroad, to ensure business support is accessible to all people in Scotland.

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government

We help the Scottish Government deliver on its Economic Strategy for Scotland which aims to create a more productive, cohesive and fairer society – nurturing Scottish businesses so they can flourish, compete and prosper in international markets. 

A key part of this is our support for the Strategic Board and our participation in working groups that will explore key interventions around four ‘missions’ that offer the greatest impact on economic growth in the short and long term.

The four mission themes are:

Business creation and growth

Exporting

Future skills needs

Business models/workplace innovation

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an agency of the Scottish Government that promotes the economic development of the Highland and Islands region. We work closely with HIE to deliver a range of support services to local businesses.

Since 1965, HIE has been instrumental in making the Highlands and Islands a successful and competitive region where increasing numbers of people choose to live, work, study and invest.

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is responsible for the delivery of careers, skills and training services in Scotland. It plays a central role in raising employment levels and productivity and is fundamental to ensuring Scotland's businesses have the capability to compete successfully now and in the future.

We work closely with SDS to support businesses in identifying and addressing any skills and training gaps that will help them manage change and grow their business.

 

Visit Scotland

Visit Scotland

We have strong links with Visit Scotland, Scotland’s national tourist board, to jointly promote Scotland as place to live, work and study. It’s essential to our ambition to attract and retain global business in Scotland and boost trade between Scottish companies and the rest of the world.

COSLA

Local authorities and convention of Scottish local councils (COSLA)

Local authorities take the lead role in delivering Business Gateway support to start-ups and growing businesses. We partner with Business Gateway across a range of services to take potential high growth businesses to the next level.

We’re active members of local community planning partnerships and other local economic development groups. We also work with individual local authorities on strategic infrastructure projects to help improve the business environment, including:

Energetica in the North East

Edinburgh BioQuarter

Dundee Central Waterfront

International Financial Services District in Glasgow

Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Funding Council

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is the national, strategic body responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in Scotland's 43 colleges and 19 universities and higher education institutions.

We work closely with the Council at a strategic level to help make Scotland the best place in the world to educate, to research and to innovate.

Screen Scotland logo

Creative Scotland/Screen Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here.

Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland and leads on the growth of the sector. It's responsible for increased funding and support for film and television production, an increase in specialist staff and further investment in skills, festivals, audiences and education.

We work closely with Screen Scotland alongside our partners at Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Funding Council, with funding from the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

 

Department for International Trade

Department for International Trade

Scottish companies can access Department for International Trade (DIT) support via Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

We help deliver its Exporting is GREAT initiative which aims to inspire and support 100,000 additional UK businesses to sell their goods and services overseas by 2020.

Launched in November 2015, the Exporting is GREAT initiative is designed to empower UK SMEs to take advantage of the global appetite for UK products, skills and expertise in markets around the world.

In partnership with major UK businesses, the programme supports companies at every stage of their exporting journey – from identifying opportunities to winning contracts overseas.

Scottish companies can search and register interest in real-time export opportunities on the DIT website The site contains over 1,000 export opportunities around the world open to UK companies.

Institute of Export

Institute of Export

The Institute of Export & International Trade, established in 1935, is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade.

The Institute offers a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training. It's the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally, working alongside partners such as ourselves.

Open to Export is a free online information service from The Institute of Export & International Trade, dedicated to helping small UK businesses get ready to export and expand internationally.

RaiSE Interreg Europe

RaiSE Interreg Europe

Scottish Enterprise is a partner in the Interreg Europe RaiSE project that brings together six pro-active regions (Spain, Scotland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Sweden) and one advisory partner (Austria) to address the common challenge of enhancing the competitiveness of social enterprises and to help fulfil the objectives of the European Commission’s Social Business Initiative (SBI).

The SBI initiative states that social enterprises are drivers of social change, operating on the basis of viable business models, by providing goods or services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion. As a result of the SBI publication, adopted in 2011, the need to support their growth and competitiveness is increasingly recognised as an important policy area within and across European partner regions.

The focus of this particular project is to encourage cooperation and interregional exchange with the other European partners. This will enhance regional support policies which foster social enterprise competitiveness, facilitate access to domestic and international markets, and support social investment and innovation. The overriding output is to unite efforts to understand and address common challenges for social enterprises. This will be done through an exchange of good practice across varied policy contexts which progress robust ecosystems and improved specialised training.

The project will run until 2021 and has a budget of 1.4 million Euros, of which 1.25 million Euros is financial support contributed by the Interreg Europe programme from the European Regional Development Fund.

Visit the RaiSE project website for more details.

Scottish Investment Bank

Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm. It aims to increase the supply of finance for businesses in Scotland and helps companies identify appropriate sources of finance, engage with funders and secure the investment they need to grow their business.

SIB works closely with companies to strengthen their management teams, make connections and accelerate growth. It also works with UK and international investors including business angels, angel syndicates, venture capital groups and corporate investors.

Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International

Our international trade services are backed by Scottish Development International (SDI), the international division of Scotland’s enterprise agencies - Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 

We have SDI staff in over 30 offices across the world supporting Scottish companies to grow their exports in those markets.

Scottish Development International is also responsible for delivering the Scottish Government’s inward investment targets - championing Scotland as a great place to visit, invest, study, work and live.

Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service

Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service

Through the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), we help Scottish manufacturers, large and small, to grow sales, reduce costs, maximise efficiency and become more successful.

We specialise in providing companies of all sizes throughout Scotland with expert advice, one-to-one support, training and events.

Our tailored manufacturing improvement support can help companies develop new products, services or processes and/or improve existing ones.

We aim to increase the overall competitiveness of the Scottish manufacturing base by encouraging companies to start and continue on a path to continuous improvement.

Co-operative Development Scotland

Co-operative Development Scotland

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is part of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise that supports company growth through collaboration and employee ownership business models.

It also works in partnership with other organisations to support the development of community co-operatives such as renewable energy and broadband.  

S34Growth Interreg Europe logo

S34Growth

Scottish Enterprise is one of 10 regions across eight countries (Finland, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK) that have come together to develop new approaches to encouraging and delivering inter-regional collaboration across structural fund policy instruments.

S34Growth has three overarching objectives:

  • develop and improve existing regional policy instruments in order to make inter-regional cooperation easier, more efficient and less bureaucratic
  • facilitate industrial innovation-related inter-regional collaboration, to support the renewal of Europe's industry and competitiveness
  • support inter-regional co-specialisation approaches to smart specialisation which can be easily replicated at any domain and anywhere in Europe

Led by the Baltic Institute of Finland, S34Growth is a 48 month project (1st April 2016 – 31st March 2020) with a budget of 2.2 million Euros and 1.8 million Euros in financial support contributed by Interreg Europe from the European Regional Development Fund.

User-Factor logo

User-Factor

User-Factor is a three-year project supported by the EU Interreg Atlantic Area Programme, financed by the European Regional Development Fund. It aims to strengthen innovation in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by supporting them to use design as a tool for user-driven innovation. Through knowledge exchange and service design methodology, the partners will develop a pilot programme each to support SMEs to use design and involve users in concept development and prototype testing.

We are one of eight European partners including Wales, France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Northern Ireland. The total project budget is 2 million Euros with European Regional Development Fund financial contribution of 1.5 million Euros via the Interreg Atlantic Area programme.

Interreg North Sea Region - Northern Connections logo

Northern Connections

Northern Connections is an EU Interreg North Sea Region Programme funded project. It has 21 partners across the north sea area, involving organisations representing government, research and industry bodies in Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway and Sweden. This project builds on European partnerships developed in an earlier European funded project – the European North Sea Energy Alliance (ENSEA) - which ran from 2012-2015.

As Scottish partners alongside Falkirk Council, we'll collate and share knowledge on innovation and sustainability in the energy sector. A 'living lab' challenge around carbon utilisation fits with our transition to a low carbon economy objective and longer term ambitions for the Grangemouth strategic site. Scottish companies will have the opportunity to participate in the seven 'living lab' projects.

The project will run until April 2020 and has a budget of 5.2 million Euros, of which 2.3 million Euros is financial support contributed by the Interreg North Sea Region programme from the European Regional Development Fund.

Co Innovate Logo and European Union Logo

Co-Innovate

We're a partner in the Co-Innovate project, a 23.6 million Euro project which is led by InterTradeIreland and includes Highlands & Island Enterprise, Enterprise Northern Ireland, plus the Local Enterprise Offices in the border counties of Ireland, and East Border Region Ltd. There is a financial contribution from the EU Interreg VA Northern Ireland, Border Regions and Western Scotland Cross Border Programme of up to €14,702,502.14.

This project is designed to support SMEs and micro-businesses to deliver success through innovation. Its aim is to develop the innovation capability of local businesses and increase the number actively participating in cross-border, transnational or inter-regional research. It targets manufacturing and tradeable services SMEs with export potential. It will also provide education and capability support tailored to meet the needs of all participating organisations.

Interreg North-West Europe logo

Ocean Power Innovation Network

We're a partner in the Ocean Power Innovation Network (OPIN). This is a three-year initiative, running from 2019 to 2021. The project has a total project budget of €2.6M, with €1.5M in financial support contributed by Interreg North West Europe Programme from the European Research and Development Fund (ERDF).

OPIN is a cross-sectoral collaborative network that aims to accelerate the growth of the ocean energy sector and its supply chains across the partner regions of Ireland, the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.

It will also create a forum for collaboration and technology exchange across the partner regions. Companies from regions with ocean energy expertise will interact with potential collaborators from regions that are world leaders in other technology fields (offshore wind energy, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive and manufacturing). OPIN will provide a mechanism to transfer expertise between these regions, addressing the disparities in innovation and economic development across North West Europe.