Our ambition

A reminder of the 2015-18 business plan

Our Business Plan 2015-18, which we launched in April 2015, set out our approach to help deliver long term, inclusive economic growth for Scotland.

One year on, this 2016-17 update outlines the progress made last year, and sets out what we'll deliver in the upcoming year. 

Here's a reminder of the overarching strategy behind the Business Plan 2015-2018, and an explanation of why our continued focus is on boosting Scotland’s international competitiveness to support long-term economic growth.

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Building Scotland's international competitiveness

Read our 2015-2018 business plan, which was published in April 2015

Read the 2015-18 plan

Competitive economy

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A mixed pace of growth

Our economics director discusses the current global economic climate.

A challenging global economic environment

Although the global economy continues to grow, the pace of growth is mixed and is expected to weaken in 2016.

China’s slowdown and low global commodity prices will continue to impact on overall world trade as export demand from emerging economies slows. 

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Drivers of growth

Evidence to support our strategy

Increasing Scotland’s productivity is vital to growing our international competitiveness and achieving sustainable economic growth.

We know that internationally competitive companies achieve better performance and growth, and that economies which have an internationally competitive environment attract more investment and talent.

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The evidence

Our economics director discusses four key drivers of economic growth.

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What we achieved in 2015-16

The four priorities of growth set out in Scotland’s Economic Strategy - Innovation, Investment, Internationalisation and Inclusive Growth - underpinned our delivery in 2015-16. Here are some of our achievements in those four areas over the last year.

Inclusive growth
Inclusive growth
  • Secured more than 4,000 jobs across Scotland
  • Supported companies in receipt of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) to invest in youth policies
  • Promoted the benefits of the Scottish Business Pledge principles to companies
  • Introduced Start Global and CAN DO Scale programmes to increase the number of entrepreneurs in Scotland with a global mindset, including among under-represented groups
  • Promoted the benefits to the private sector of diversity on Boards
Innovation
Innovation

  • Supported around 1,000 businesses to become innovation active
  • Increased the number of companies actively innovating through enhanced digital services and collaboration
  • Launched the Open Innovation Programme for large corporates and public agencies
  • Worked extensively with the oil and gas industry to help build resilience and innovative solutions to help address the challenges facing the sector



Internationalisation
Internationalisation
  • Developed new digital services and worked collaboratively with partners to support companies to export
  • Supported more companies to export for the first time
  • Provided in-depth support, focusing on opportunities by sub-sector and sub-geography, to help companies access high growth markets such as China, the Middle East and India
  • Negotiated new direct flights from Scottish airports, to destinations including Stuttgart, Montreal, Toronto, JFK and Helsinki
Investment
Investment
  • Increased the supply and diversity of growth capital available to ambitious companies
  • Extended our financial readiness support to help more companies to prepare to raise finance
  • Raised the international profile of investment opportunities in Scotland
  • Invested in infrastructure to enable growth of our key sectors, such as port facilities, for energy; and at the Edinburgh BioQuarter, for life sciences

Building on our achievements in 2016-17

Our focus for 2016-17 remains on four key priorities - internationalisation, innovation, investment and inclusive growth. Here's how we plan to build on each of these in 2016-17.

Internationalisation

Helping more companies in more sectors to become exporters, and helping existing exporters to grow their overseas sales

Read more about internationalisation

Innovation

Encouraging more companies to invest in R&D, in other forms of innovation and in efficiency improvements, and helping companies maximise the returns their investment

Read more about innovation

Investment

Supporting companies to invest in new plant, machinery and buildings, and helping companies access the finance needed for growth

Read more about investment

Inclusive Growth

Attracting skilled jobs through inward investment, and improving the leadership and entrepreneurial skills of our companies and people

Read more about inclusive growth

Tracking our progress

How will we measure success?

To measure how our support meets our objectives by benefiting companies, sectors and the Scottish economy, we apply a comprehensive framework.

Performance measures help us monitor the contribution we make, as reflected in our economic impact and focused on the longer-term goals of Scotland’s Economic Strategy.

Each of these milestones illustrate the key changes in emphasis in our business plan, highlighting our future direction over the 2015-18 period.

Our targets reflect our ambitions to:

  • Transform Scotland’s innovation performance
  • Increase investment in Scotland’s growth companies and business infrastructure
  • Increase the impact of Scotland’s presence and visibility in overseas markets
  • Develop the skills of our people and talent

Measuring success

Our managing director of strategy and sectors explains our comprehensive measurement framework.

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Our targets

The figures below illustrate the scale of our ambition for Scotland that we’ll aim to achieve over the next three years. We’ll report on our progress in these areas in our annual report in late 2016. You can see a full budget breakdown in the PDF version of the 2016-2017 update.

By 2018, we will have...

  • Supported 2,400-3,000 businesses to become innovation active
  • Secured £500m-£650m of planned additional R&D investment through SE assisted projects
  • Supported £700m-£850m of additional planned turnover from innovation by supported companies
  • Supported £300m-£360m of planned efficiency improvements by supported companies
  • Supported 540,000-660,000 tonnes of planned CO2 savings from SE support and innovation led projects

Year 1

Annual breakdown

Year 1

  • 800-1000 Innovation Active businesses
  • £150-200m additional R&D investment
  • £200-250m additional turnover from innovation
  • £90-110m efficiency improvements

Investment in Year 1: £46.8m 

Year 2

Annual breakdown

Year 2

  • 800-1000 Innovation Active businesses
  • £150-200m additional R&D investment
  • £200-250m additional turnover from innovation
  • £100-120m efficiency improvements

Investment in Year 2: £51.5m 

Year 3

Annual breakdown

Year 3

  • 800-1000 Innovation Active businesses
  • £200-250m additional R&D investment
  • £300-350m additional turnover from innovation
  • £110-130m efficiency improvements

In 2015-18:

  • 750-900 assisted companies becoming new or active exporters
  • 700-950 companies projecting significant export growth

Year 1

Annual breakdown

Year 1

  • 200-250 assisted companies becoming new or active exporters
  • 200-275 companies projecting significant export growth

Investment in Year 1: £40.7m 

Year 2

Annual breakdown

Year 2

  • 250-300 assisted companies becoming new or active exporters
  • 300-400 companies projecting significant export growth

Investment in Year 2: £39.8m 

Year 3

Annual breakdown

Year 3

  • 300-350 assisted companies becoming new or active exporters
  • 200-275 companies projecting significant export growth

By 2018:

  • £240-300m private investment from growth finance
  • 1350-1650 businesses with growth and export potential supported to improve financial readiness (up to 330 supported specifically to secure growth funding)
  • £450-600m capital investment

Year 1

Annual breakdown

Year 1

  • £75-95m private investment from growth finance
  • 400-500 businesses with growth and export potential supported to improve financial readiness (75-100 supported specifically to secure growth funding)
  • £150-200m capital investment

Investment in Year 1: £126m 

Year 2

Annual breakdown

Year 2

  • £85-105m private investment from growth finance
  • 450-550 businesses with growth and export potential supported to improve financial readiness (85-110 supported specifically to secure growth funding)
  • £150-200m capital investment

Investment in Year 2: £147.2m 

Year 3

Annual breakdown

Year 3

  • £80-100m private investment from growth finance
  • 400-500 businesses with growth and export potential supported to improve financial readiness (95-120 supported specifically to secure growth funding)
  • £150-200m capital investment


In 2015-18:

  • 22,000-28,000 jobs through inward investment (7,000-8,500 of which are HVA planned jobs)
  • 2,000-2,500 companies developing leadership
  • 550-750 entrepreneurs ready to create internationally competitive early stage ventures

Year 1

Annual breakdown

Year 1

  • 7,000-9,000 jobs through inward investment (2,000-2,500 of which are HVA planned jobs)
  • 600-650 companies developing leadership
  • 130-180 entrepreneurs ready to create internationally competitive early stage ventures

Investment in Year 1: £32.2m 

Year 2

Annual breakdown

Year 2

  • 7,250-9,250 jobs through inward investment (2,250-2,750 of which are HVA planned jobs)
  • 675-850 companies developing leadership
  • 180-240 entrepreneurs ready to create internationally competitive early stage ventures

Investment in Year 2: £33.9m 

Year 3

Annual breakdown

Year 3

  • 7,750-9,750 jobs through inward investment (2,750-3,250 of which are HVA planned jobs)
  • 725-1000 companies developing leadership
  • 240-330 entrepreneurs ready to create internationally competitive early stage ventures

Milestones for 2016-17

Our quarterly ‘milestones’ targets for 2016-17 represent significant achievements that will contribute to the delivery of our plan.

Q1

By end of June 2016

Q1
  • Launch a global engagement plan to attract new investors to Scotland
  • Establish a new Workplace Innovation Support Service to support companies to develop and implement progressive workplace practices
  • Launch productivity plans with industry for Tourism and Food & Drink, two key, high employing sectors
  • Launch two new services to support Scotland’s Manufacturing Action Plan: 1) a Capital Asset Review Service (through SMAS) and 2) an enhanced Circular Economy Support Service (in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland)
Q2

By end of September 2016

Q2
  • With partners, establish the Oil & Gas Technology Centre, in Aberdeen, to increase innovation in the sector
  • Open the London and Brussels Innovation and Investment Hubs with our partners, to boost exports, inward investment, innovation and international collaboration.
  • Under proposals for the Scottish Business Development Bank, expand the remit of the Scottish Investment Bank to increase access to funding for Scottish small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
Q3

By end of December 2016

Q3
  • Launch a Construction industry productivity plan, a key, high employing sector 
  • Support the oil and gas sector, and associated supply chains, by launching with industry partners: 
    • A Decommissioning Action Plan, to assist companies to maximise domestic and international opportunities 
    • A Subsea Engineering Action Plan, to assist companies to innovate and internationalise
Q4

By end of March 2017

Q4
  • Introduce new services via the Scotland CAN DO SCALE programme to support more businesses to realise scale, and to target under-represented groups
  • Launch three low carbon demonstration projects, through the Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme, to support Scotland’s renewables sector

Download and print a PDF version of the 2016-2017 business plan update.

Scottish Enterprise business plan 2016-17

Want to find out more?

Discover more about what we do and how we work.

We offer a range of services to ambitious Scottish businesses, as well as investing in strategic projects across the country to help boost Scotland's economy.

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If you'd like to discuss any element of our business, get in touch

Or alternatively, read the full 2015-2018 business plan