Entrepreneurial Spark opens its doors at Gogarburn

Entrepreneurial Spark opens its doors at Gogarburn

Entrepreneurial Spark has officially opened the doors of its new hatchery at RBS' global headquarters in Edinburgh.

The bank’s former ‘executive wing’ has been transformed to create the hatchery which will sit alongside Open Experience, RBS’ new Technology Solutions Centre.

The hub will provide start-ups with expert enablement – focussing on developing entrepreneurial leadership mindsets and behaviours amongst the 80 firms joining the programme every six months.

It will also offer free office facilities, allowing entrepreneurs to focus on establishing and growing their business.

Entrepreneurial Spark will be joined in the former executive wing by a number of key Scottish business organisations.

These include Entrepreneurial Scotland; Business Gateway; Napier University; Scottish Edge; The Prince's Trust Scotland; The Lens; Big Noodle; Bright Red Triangle; and We are the Future.

Speaking about the launch, Nicola Sturgeon said: “The opening of the Gogarburn hub is a clear indication of RBS’s continued commitment to Scotland and I welcome that.

“Indeed, Scotland CAN DO – our national statement of intent – makes clear our ambition to be a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation, one in which growth and innovation go hand-in-hand with a commitment towards delivering wider benefit to all of society.

“By giving budding entrepreneurs and ambitious companies a dedicated centre to develop an idea, RBS is providing them with a solid foundation to start from and hopefully play their part in building on Scotland’s economic success.” 

Entrepreneurial Spark’s 2015 Impact Report, released last week, shows 88% of start-ups and early stage entrepreneurs who have been through Entrepreneurial Spark’s programme are still trading.

The report also highlights the scale of the support the accelerator is providing entrepreneurs across the country.

Since 2011, the 660 businesses it has supported have had an aggregate turnover of £85,891,661 (£40m in 2014), attracted £45,167,348 of investment (£18m in 2014) and created 1,816 jobs.

As these figures demonstrate, Entrepreneurial Spark’s focus on leadership and growth marks it out when it comes to supporting the UK’s young enterprises.

Jim Duffy, CEO of Entrepreneurial Spark, added: “As Entrepreneurial Spark publishes its latest Impact Report showing that to the end of 2015 our Chiclets from across the UK created nearly 2,000 jobs and brought over £85m of turnover into the economy, we can see yet again the impact entrepreneurs are having on the UK economy.

“Our vision is to inspire and enable positive social change through the action of Entrepreneuring, creating jobs and value in the economy.

“To now have our Edinburgh Hatchery at the heart of RBS’ global HQ is incredible and is a real statement from the bank and one they should be applauded for.

“With our application window open now across all UK Hatcheries for August entry, we can’t wait to work with RBS to create an inspiring place from which entrepreneurs can scale their businesses.”