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 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, and 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 in which 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 to help them manage change and grow their business.

Visit Scotland


We have strong links with VisitScotland, Scotland’s national tourist board, to jointly promote Scotland as a 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.


Local councils and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA)

Local councils 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, such as the Edinburgh BioQuarter, Dundee Central Waterfront, and 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 SFC at a strategic level to help make Scotland the best place in the world to educate, research and innovate.

Screen Scotland logo

Screen Scotland

Screen Scotland is 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 the Scottish Funding Council, with funding from the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

Screen Scotland sits within Creative Scotland – 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.

Department for International Trade

Department for International Trade

Scottish companies can access Department for International Trade (DIT) support through 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 small and medium-sized enterprises (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 more than 1000 export opportunities around the world that are open to UK companies.

Institute of Export

Institute of Export and International Trade

Established in 1935, The Institute of Export and International Trade is the professional membership body that represents and supports 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 on best practice and competence for businesses trading globally, working alongside partners such as ourselves.

Its services include Open to Export, a free online information service 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 Interreg Europe RaiSE. This project brings together six proactive regions (Spain, Scotland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy and 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 states that social enterprises are drivers of social change that operate as viable business models by providing goods or services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion. After the publication of the SBI in 2011, the need to support the growth and competitiveness of social enterprises 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 among the European partners. This will enhance regional support policies that 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 that support 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.

Scottish National Investment Bank Logo

Scottish National Investment Bank

Backed by £2 billion of Scottish Government funding over the next 10 years, the Scottish National Investment Bank will provide ‘patient capital’ – long-term investment for businesses and projects. It will offer a range of funding, including loans and equity investment.

Scottish Enterprise focuses on the early stage growth capital area of the market, working with the bank to support businesses and projects in Scotland that will foster innovation, tackle inequality and help Scotland meet its target of reaching net zero by 2045.

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 more than 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.

S34Growth Interreg Europe logo


Scotland 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 encourage and deliver interregional collaboration across structural fund policy instruments.

S34Growth has three overarching objectives:

  • to develop and improve existing regional policy instruments in order to make interregional cooperation easier, more efficient and less bureaucratic
  • to facilitate innovation-related interregional collaboration, to support the renewal of Europe's industry and competitiveness
  • support interregional 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 was a four-year project (1 April 2016 to 31 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 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-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them use design as a tool for user-driven innovation.

Through knowledge exchange and service design methodology, the partners will each develop a pilot programme 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 a European Regional Development Fund financial contribution of €1.5 million Euros through the Interreg Atlantic Area programme.

Interreg North Sea Region - Northern Connections logo

Northern Connections

Northern Connections is a project funded by the EU Interreg North Sea Region Programme. It has 21 partners across the North Sea area, including organisations that represent 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 to 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 use fits with our objective to transition to a low carbon economy 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


We're a partner in the Co-Innovate project. This project is designed to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-businesses to achieve 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 interregional 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.

This €23.6 million Euro project is led by InterTradeIreland and includes Highlands and Islands Enterprise and 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 Programme (Northern Ireland, Border Regions and Western Scotland Cross Border) of up to €14,702,502.14.

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 €2.6 million, with €1.5 million in financial support contributed by the 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 also creates 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, such as 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.

South of Scotland Enterprise

The Enterprise and Skills Review in May 2016 recommended a new approach to supporting inclusive growth in the south of Scotland. To realise this, a new economic development agency, South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE), was set up.

Opened on 1 April 2020, SOSE drives inclusive growth and increased competitiveness and helps tackle inequality both within the region and as compared to Scotland as a whole.

The south of Scotland has many natural advantages that make it attractive for residents, businesses and visitors. SOSE recognises it has challenges as well, being a predominantly rural area with issues that impact its economy.

SOSE’s vision, mission and values will help support and develop inclusive growth in the region and encourage new thinking around ways of tackling challenges.