A good year for SME support

Scotland’s small companies get the help they need from Scottish Enterprise.

More than 80% (97 of 118) of Regional Selective Assistance offers accepted during 2012/13 went to small or medium-sized enterprises operating in Scotland. And around half the total funding offered (£20.2 million from £43.3 million) also went to SMEs.

Almost 40% (£16.6million) of the total funding offered went to indigenous firms, and in total RSA will be used to create or safeguard up to 4,766 Scottish jobs; 1,790 of which are with Scottish companies.

RSA funding has also been successful in attracting significant foreign investment to Scotland. More than half of the planned capital expenditure generated last year came from foreign-owned companies, as well as more than half the jobs expected to be created or safeguarded.

“These are excellent results,” said Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Lena Wilson. “We’re reaching SMEs and Scottish companies and helping them achieve their growth potential.

“We’re also attracting quality investments from foreign-owned companies in a highly-competitive global market.

“RSA is one of the most important tools we have with which to do that. And this report demonstrates conclusively that we’re being successful in our efforts.

“Thanks to our help there are more Scottish jobs, more investment and more potential out there. I’m delighted to see this report and I’m sure we’ll continue to use it with great effect in future. ”

The figures form an encouraging backdrop to Scotland's 11th national Economic Forum, which brings together more than 150 delegates and senior figures from businesses, trade unions, government, the wider public sector and the third sector.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth John Swinney welcomed the results, saying:

“I am delighted that these results continue to demonstrate that RSA is being used to support investment in Scotland’s economy and create jobs for our people.

“It’s expected that more than 4,700 jobs will be created or safeguarded through this support and the Scottish Government is committed to continue working with Scottish Enterprise to ensure we offer companies the help they need to grow and expand in Scotland.

“Latest stats show that the employment rate is now higher in Scotland than in any of the four nations of the UK, whilst the unemployment rate in Scotland is lower than in any of the four nations of the UK. Initiatives like RSA are clearly having an impact in helping the Scottish economy.

“The Scottish Government, our agencies and employers across Scotland have set a clear course for recovery. We are working hard to get people back into work and to create opportunities for all of Scotland’s people.

“We will continue to work with Scottish Enterprise and other partners to maintain and build sustainable economic growth in Scotland.”

The RSA 2012/13 Annual Summary is available on the Scottish Enterprise website and can be viewed here.

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