Ken Whipp + Sandy Kennedy

Scale-up Scotland Leadership Programme open for applications

Graeme Thomsonblog

The new Scale-up Scotland Leadership Programme is officially opened for applications today [Thursday 4 May]. The ambitious 18-month programme – aimed at Scotland’s high-growth businesses – will be delivered by Entrepreneurial Scotland in partnership with The Hunter Foundation and Scotland Can Do.

The world-class programme provides a game changing opportunity for a debut cohort of 20. Candidates will demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and commitment to scaling up their businesses.

Sir Tom Hunter chairman of The Hunter Foundation commented:

“Scale-ups are the missing link in Scotland’s entrepreneurial DNA – we need more of them as quite simply they move the economic needle for Scotland. Start-up’s are good, scale-ups are great.

Moreover we need to join the dots up on provision putting the entrepreneur at the heart of needs based support. This is designed by and for the entrepreneur and will be a dynamic programme that adapts to each business and their unique needs in scaling up.”  

Entrepreneurial Scotland has appointed Ken Whipp as the Programme Manager. Ken, a business owner with multifaceted experience in large corporates, has spent the last 10 years working with entrepreneurs. Most recently he was a member of the leadership team at the world’s largest free business accelerator, Entrepreneurial Spark, where he led the accelerator teams in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Commenting on the programme, Ken Whipp said:  

“The Scale-up Scotland Leadership Programme is a dynamic and ambitious new programme for high potential businesses designed to place them on the global stage. In addition to drive and ambition, potential candidates either need a product that is solving a massive problem or must be truly disruptive innovators.

“Entrepreneurial Scotland’s sustained focus on developing leadership capability and cohesion within the executive team will equip these business leaders to build a stable and scalable infrastructure, whilst maintaining both the emotional and commercial agility critical to scaling up.

It is a truly unique programme, harnessing the power of our partner’s expertise, that of our corporate partners and the real-life experience of our extensive global network. Scale-up Scotland is a programme by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. If you represent a high growth business based in Scotland I warmly encourage you to apply.”

The 18-month Scale-up Scotland Leadership Programme will guide entrepreneurs through the key areas of scaling including leadership, finance, building the right team, communications, sales and marketing, globalisation, crisis management and governance. Participation will be tailored to ensure candidates can continue to run their respective businesses.

In addition, the cohort will be offered optional add-ons for participants to visit some of the world’s leading entrepreneurs and their businesses in the US, China and Africa and to participate in other world class programmes such as the CAN DO Scale Summer School.

The Scale-up Scotland Leadership Programme is part of a broader joined-up and inclusive CanDo Scale-up Movement in Scotland focused on those who have the ambition to scale their businesses.  Entrepreneurial Scotland will be working closely with private and public sector partners such as Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship building on existing quality activity to provide the right support at the right time to accelerate sustained growth, increase business innovation and increase exporting. This collaborative effort aims to support the creation of significantly more companies who have the ambition and potential to scale up to turnover of £50-£100m.

Chief Executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland Sandy Kennedy said:

“It is the high growth businesses of Scotland and the wider ecosystem that can be the agents of change. Our collective drive and passion is having, and will continue to have, a big impact in supporting ambition and action towards scale. What’s more is that there is such a wealth of opportunities out there – many fantastic collaborative initiatives – which we encourage businesses to make the most of.

“As a backbone organisation, Entrepreneurial Scotland’s vision is for Scotland to be the most entrepreneurial society in the world. We know Scotland has the greatest potential to convert scale-up businesses, something that is pivotal to our competitive advantage, jobs and economic growth, and the Scale-up Scotland Leadership Programme provides a platform for businesses to make that leap.”

The Scale-up Scotland leadership programme commences in Autumn 2017. The initiative is aimed at ambitious entrepreneurs and firms with a turnover of £1.5M+, existing customer traction and a clear line of sight to significant profitability. Further details of the programme and how to apply can be found on

Applications open today and close on 30 June. Interested candidates may contact Ken Whipp by email: [email protected]