SE raises its ambition for Scotland's high growth companies

Scottish Enterprise will be announcing plans today to increase its intensive support for Scottish companies by up to 20 per cent over the next three years.

This will see the agency work with up to 400 more companies with significant growth potential through its account management programme, where SE works intensively with a company’s management team to understand their growth opportunities and support them to achieve these better and faster than would otherwise have been possible.

The increase forms part of its Business Plan for 2012-15 which Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson will launch while on a visit to high growth company Calnex Solutions Ltd in Linlithgow.

Calnex Solutions Ltd has seen a 42 per cent increase in turnover over the last year and has ambitious growth plans, including setting up business subsidiaries in both India and the USA to support sales in these regions. It credits much of its success to the intensive support it has had from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International through its account management process.

Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise said: “The feedback we’ve had from the companies we work with is that our account management programme works and has a real impact on company performance. A recent independent report also found that these companies are more productive and experience higher growth than in the economy as a whole.

“Calnex is a fantastic example of our approach in action. It is an innovative and ambitious company which has gone from strength to strength over the last six years, and despite the obstacles of a world-wide recession, has experienced phenomenal growth. It is exactly the type of company Scotland needs more of if we are to see strong economic recovery and future growth.

”We want to work with more companies like Calnex – these are the companies which have the biggest potential to generate growth in the wider economy and create jobs, helping to address the current unemployment challenges.”

Tommy Cook, Founder and CEO of Calnex Solutions Ltd said: “It was a chance meeting with the High Growth Start-up Unit at Scottish Enterprise which was the catalyst to me founding Calnex. I worked closely with the High Growth Unit right from the start and two years later we became account managed, receiving a tailored and integrated package of business support.

“The assistance I have received from Scottish Enterprise over the years has been second to none, and without its support, advice, guidance and financial help, I am sure Calnex would not be in the position it is in today.”

As well as increasing support for growth companies, SE will also continue to work with a large number of companies on specific issues to help accelerate Scotland’s recovery – particularly in exporting, innovation and leadership. Given the increased drive to improve Scotland’s export performance, SE will increase the internationa sales of supported businesses by up to £1.7 billion.

Other measures included in its Business Plan over the next year include:

  • Work with 400 companies to increase innovation by developing new products or processes, that will generate additional turnover of up to £100 million over the next three years

  • Support up to 500 companies to significantly increase their efficiency, generating productivity benefits of around £75 million over the next three years

  • Secure up to £75 million of new business investment in research and development through its R&D and Smart grants

  • Generate up to £250 million of capital investment by companies through our Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grants

  • Help up to 400 companies to improve their “financial readiness” by helping them to present an attractive investment proposition to potential funders

  • Secure up to £75 million of private sector capital through the Scottish Investment Bank’s equity funds.

Crawford Gillies, chairman of Scottish Enterprise, added: “We have set ourselves more ambitious targets for the year ahead because we recognise we need to do more to help companies respond to the challenges they’re facing and get Scotland’s economy moving. While we’re continuing to focus on our long term goals, we recognise we need to do something extra to respond to more immediate challenges.”

Calnex Solutions Ltd was set up by Tommy Cook in 2006 with Scottish Enterprise’s support, to deliver test solutions to the telecommunications sector. It now employs 27 people, exports over 85 per cent of its products overseas to countries such as China, USA, India, Finland, France, Germany, Canada, Italy, Israel, and Taiwan, and has achieved a £4 million turnover.

Scottish Enterprise has worked intensively with Calnex Solutions Ltd since its inception, supporting it to access finance, including equity investment through its investment arm the Scottish Investment Bank, innovation support in the form of research and development and SMART: SCOTLAND grants as well as help to open into new markets overseas.

Notes to editors

For a copy of the business plan, please contact 0141 228 2019 or email

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