Grants for New Businesses in Scotland

Updated February 21, 2017

Setting up a new business can be a daunting prospect. The start-up costs can be steep, the banks can be difficult, and you can find yourself in debt very quickly if the business is not an immediate success. If you are starting a new business in Scotland, depending on what type of business it is, the Scottish government, through its business arm, Scottish Enterprise, could provide certain monetary grants to help you along the way.

Regional Selective Assistance

The Regional Selective Assistance grant (RSA) is administered by Scottish Enterprise, which is the primary group concerned with promoting the rise of new businesses in Scotland. Eligibility for the grant is based on a number of factors, including the location of the business in Scotland, because Scottish Enterprise is keen to promote business ventures in remote areas. It also helps if you have at least some private sector funding. And your buisiness must actually require RSA funding in order to proceed; businesses that Scottish Enterprise believes could succeed without such grants will not receive them.

The size of the grant is entirely dependent on the individual business situation. Your business will be evaluated and Scottish Enterprise will establish what size of grant your business requires in order to survive; as the RSA explains on its website: "Our investment in your project must represent best value for the taxpayer."

R&D Grant

Scottish Enterprise hands out research and development (R&D) grants to businesses that are looking to progress in research and development. With no finite targets or deadlines for profitability, research businesses can often struggle to attract private sector investment--which is why this grant program was established. Scottish Enterprise explains: "The R&D Grant supports businesses developing new products, processes and services to improve company competitiveness and to benefit the Scottish economy."

The R&D grant is available to any business that is carrying out industrial research or experimental development, but require additional funding to survive. The size of the grant is at Scottish Enterprise's discretion and will depend on factors such as the size, location, and potential profitability of the research.


This grant is intended to provide financial support to small- and medium-sized businesses (less than 250 employees and annual turnover not exceeding 50 million Euros) that are involved in scientific research. To be eligible for this grant, your business must offer a groundbreaking scientific project that represents real scientific advancement for the United Kingdom.

Due to the nature of innovative research, the environmental and moral repercussions are considered before Scottish Enterprise makes a decision regarding viability for a grant, as well as the size of the business, the length of time before a tangible result is expected to be achieved, and the anticipated profitability of that result.

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About the Author

Alan Temple has been writing since 2007 and has published articles for "The Scotsman" and "The List." He now works in the media department of Motherwell Football Club. Temple graduated with honors with a journalism degree at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.