Aberdeen City and Shire is once again the top region in Scotland for new business start-ups after breaking the record for a second year.
Delivering Business Gateway services across Aberdeen City and Shire, Elevator has helped a total of 1,302 start-ups in the last financial year, with a male to female split of 52% to 48% women, an increase of almost 10% from the previous year.
Elevator has seen a raft of new innovators emerge from the oil and gas industry, with at least 70 new businesses having been set up by those who have faced redundancy from that sector in the last year.
The organisation has once again exceeded its start up targets in both Grampian and Tayside regions, most significantly in Grampian by an astonishing 32%.
Professor Gary McEwan, Chief Executive of Elevator, said: “It’s great to see so many new businesses flourish across the North-east and Tayside thanks to the support, advice and training we are able to deliver through Business Gateway services.
“Despite the turbulence in the wider and specifically North-east economy the fact that so many entrepreneurs are coming through our doors demonstrates that we are on-track with our delivery of a world-class centre of entrepreneurship.”
While the social enterprise recognises its success in supporting some of Scotland’s newest and most ambitious entrepreneurs, it is also celebrating how many existing SMEs have developed and grown.
To bolster the support available to local growing businesses, Elevator is pleased to introduce a new service through Business Gateway called Business Boost.
Business Boost is the result of new European Funding (ERDF) and will enable business leaders to access specialist support (at no cost) in areas such as sales, marketing, PR, finance and more.
Qualifying businesses will receive a dedicated Business Advisor to guide them through the process and help them realise their ambitions of increasing their turnover and growth plans in a short timescale.
Professor McEwan added: “Although Business Boost is a new service on offer for businesses across Grampian, we’re already seeing significant interest amongst the community.
“We’re fully committed to not only helping new businesses achieve their dreams but also existing ones to flourish and expand. Organisations that have been trading for at least six months can be considered to join the new programme and by providing dedicated support and assistance across numerous business areas we can help them go from strength to strength.”
Amanda Charteris of Gift Wrapped and Gorgeous, said: “Getting in contact with Elevator opened up so many opportunities for my early stage business. I was given free working space at Aberdeen University thanks to Elevator and received one-to-one training from a digital marketing specialist. My business developed as a result of being awarded funding grants, getting support from mentors and participating in Elevator’s Business Accelerator programme.
“The confidence that I gained through all of the different Elevator schemes helped me to successfully pitch for the MIT Scotland Can Do Scale programme and in my time with Elevator, I’ve even met members of the royal family and an astronaut!
“Elevator gives you confidence, knowledge, opportunity and community; the people are the heart and soul of the operation. I've made lifelong friends as well as new business contacts. My business is now ready to move to the next level having doubled the number of sellers on my website to over 500. So I'm thrilled to be able to work with the Business Boost Team now and explore the next steps for my business.”