Minister announces £20m fund for Scotland

The Scottish executive has unveiled details of a £20m (E33m) package to boost investment in Scottish hi-tech start-ups.

The Scottish executive has unveiled details of a £20m (E33m) package to boost investment in Scottish hi-tech start-ups.

Scottish enterprise minister, Wendy Alexander, has announced that the Scottish executive plans to create a £20m targeted venture capital fund designed to assist small-scale firms in their search for early-stage equity.

The fund will be aimed at home-grown start-ups, with particular emphasis placed on boosting Scottish scientific and hi-tech businesses. Speaking at a Glasgow conference for leading business figures in Scotland, Alexander said: “The heart of our strategy is Scottish science and Scottish skills.”

Alexander said the executive’s proposed investment of £20m in a new venture capital investment fund would address the current equity gap by investing in a number of new private sector equity funds making small-scale investments.

The executive also plans to speed up the process of applying for investment. It hopes to reduce the processing time for grants of up to £50,000 to 10 days. The time to process grants of up to £250,000 will be reduced by half to 20 days.