Glasgow is delighted to have been awarded the European Entrepreneurial Region award for 2016 in recognition of our outstanding and innovative entrepreneurial strategy; we are the first city in the UK to achieve this accolade. The award reaffirms Glasgow's commitment to the Small Business Act Europe, and during the label period, an action plan will be implemented to enhance the economic ecosystem and support its growth throughout 2016 and beyond.
Glasgow is absolutely committed to fostering an environment that is supportive of SMEs, in particular family businesses, across the business life-cycle from start-up, through growth to sustainable consolidation. This resulted in the recent £100k loan for the successful transfer of family business Reid Brothers.
Glasgow was shortlisted for the Business Transformation, Driving Growth and Digital Council of the year categories in the LGC (Local Government Chronicle) Awards 2016. Glasgow is the only Scottish Council to be shortlisted for the Driving Growth category and this is in recognition of the approach we have taken over the last few years to build the business base in the city and provide jobs and opportunities for all of our citizens.
During 2016, Glasgow will be providing greater support to small businesses and entrepreneurs in key areas such as: access to finance, skills and people development, innovation and access to specialist support through its New Approach to Enterprise model.
Regular workshops are delivered through Business Gateway Glasgow providing support to pre-start and start-up companies, and the monthly Women into Business programme provides opportunities for local businesswomen to exchange ideas to improve their business skills.
Glasgow City Council has formed a partnership with Glasgow Chamber of Commerce to deliver a series of events that will directly engage businesses and entrepreneurs with Glasgow's Economic Development strategy.
The New Approach to Enterprise model has been achieved by a £1.8million economic development service reform resulting in dedicated business advisers now being the first point of contact for all business enquiries. These business advisers navigate internal channels to ensure information is provided in a more efficient manner, by a responsive team and a structure that can change, adapt and develop to meet business priorities.
Finally, Glasgow is delighted to announce the launch of The Tontine, a £1.67m project which is a key part of the £1.13 billion Glasgow and Clyde Valley City Deal. The new Glasgow city centre incubator inspired by Google's offices is expected to inject £53 million into the local economy over the next five years through a business acceleration programme with dedicated business advisers to help young, high-growth companies with five to twenty employees become investor ready, build resilience and leadership capacity.
These programmes, initiatives and events outlined are only a small selection of Glasgow's overall action plan which will be delivered as a result of the Entrepreneurial Region Award for 2016. Glasgow has already met its target of increasing the business base by 2000, two years ahead of schedule and it was announced recently that Glasgow had the fastest growing economy in the UK between 2013 and 2014. This demonstrates that Glasgow is continuing to support a strong and vibrant economy in the city and we will continue to do so throughout 2016 and over the next five years as outlined in Glasgow City Council's current Strategic Plan.