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SOSE and partners welcome £25m Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund from Scottish Government

The Scottish Government are today announcing a £25m fund to support Scotland’s innovative, high-growth, early-stage companies with international ambitions. South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) along with its Team South of Scotland partners at Dumfries and Galloway (D&GC) and Scottish Borders Council (SBC) are welcoming the news.

The Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund is part of the £230 million economic stimulus package launched by the Scottish Government last month.
The targeted support will help the needs of innovative high-growth businesses whose routes to investment have been adversely affected by the onset and continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professor Russel Griggs OBE, Chair of SOSE said: “We very much welcome this news from Scottish Government. Scotland’s early-stage market is vital to our economy, and this fund will go a long way in supporting this cohort of companies to unlock their future economic growth.”

Interim Chief Executive of SOSE Nick Halfhide said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for eligible businesses who have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to gain essential funds. Announcing the funding today, will allow businesses prepare the relevant information prior to the application process opening on 20 July.”

Depute Leader of Dumfries and Galloway Council, Rob Davidson, said: “The Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund will help businesses to accelerate innovation and productivity in high growth prospects, and assist early stage businesses with international growth ambitions. This is a competitive funding call, and it is open to all relevant companies to apply across Scotland, including businesses in the South.”

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development said: “This will be a welcome announcement for all those companies who have developed, or are developing, unique products or services that will drive a sustainable, more inclusive economy in the South of Scotland and new ways of working and living." 

Editors Notes

• The Early Stage Growth Challenge Fund is being administered by the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.

• The fund will open to applications from Monday 20 July until Friday 31 July.

• The Fund will not be delivered on a first-come, first-served basis. It is a competitive call where all eligible applications will be assessed and graded with the highest-graded applicants receiving funding. Companies can apply for combined convertible loan note and grant funding based on their individual requirements via a competitive funding call.

• Further information, including detailed eligibility criteria, is available on the FindBusinessSupport website: (

• If companies find they are still not eligible for existing funds or national grants they can contact SOSE for further support