Elevator’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem (E3) model will work across Aberdeenshire, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire to provide a network of enterprise support services to drive skills development, increase business start-up rates and in turn, deliver job creation opportunities. E3 builds upon the existing support services already available via Elevator’s regional hubs which deliver Business Gateway services and business accelerator programmes. The E3 programme will expand this offering with an additional two Enterprise HUBs, and satellite mobile services to engage with remote target groups.

Uniquely, the E3 model in Lanarkshire has both a rural and urban focus, building on government recognition of the need for a bespoke approach to different communities while shaping a regionally connected national network of enterprise support.

Across the four successful regions, Elevator will recruit a total of 21 staff to establish six pop up hubs, and coordinate a series of new programmes, events and initiatives including start up support grants for young people, leadership programmes and digital support. The projects will target 45 percent female participation and the adoption of low carbon and environmental best practices, aligned to the Scottish Government’s target of achieving net zero emissions by 2045.

These exciting new projects build on Elevator’s successful delivery of services across Scotland. As the largest provider of Business Gateway services in Scotland, supporting more than 40% of Business Gateway start-up companies, Elevator delivers a wide range of local, national and international initiates covering the South of Scotland, the Central Belt and the North East.

Elevator’s most recent GVA assessment by independent economic and social research consultancy EKOS found that for every £1 invested by Elevator, £18 net GVA was created.

Professor Gary McEwan, Chief Executive at Elevator, said: “A vibrant national economy is driven by an entrepreneurial mindset. We are delighted to be awarded this significant sum by the UK Government to deploy our E3 programme across Aberdeenshire, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and South Lanarkshire in recognition of our ability to meet all four CRF investment priorities. This award also represents the trust placed in Elevator by Government and Local Authorities alike that we are a strong, reliable and capable partner that delivers.

“Our vision is for Scotland to be one of the most entrepreneurial, vibrant and dynamic countries in the world. Critical to this is our ability to connect and engage with all communities, rural and urban, tapping into local knowledge and insight. As a direct impact of these UKCRF projects, we expect to add an estimated £50 million net additional GVA across Scotland, extending our entrepreneurial ecosystem, accelerating local economic growth and unlocking opportunities for people in communities across the country.”

The E3 model has been successfully piloted in Fraserburgh, North East Scotland. Over a two-year period, more than 230 people have engaged with the programme, 50 new business and 60 new jobs have been created, testament to the success of the model and its applicability ascross Scotland.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said: "The UK Government's focus is firmly on our recovery from the pandemic, building back better and stronger.

"That’s why we are investing more than £190 million in community projects throughout Scotland from three major new funds. Our support for Elevator is part of our £1.7 billion investment in levelling-up across Scotland."

The UKCRF was launched by Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, in March 2021 with a £220 million fund to invest across the UK. Its aim is to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment. It was designed to shape the UK Shared Prosperity Fund which will replace EU Structural and Investment Funds in 2022.