Applications open for the Unlocking Ambition programme

The Unlocking Ambition Mainstream Programme is a game-changing package of funding, training and business support worth up to £100,000 per participant.

The programme offers a combination of funding, leadership training, mentoring and business support to help fast-track growth ambitions.

Commenting on the new programme, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, said,

“By tapping into the experience of Scotland’s most successful business people, as well as the great companies and institutions based here, we can unlock the potential of the next generation of entrepreneurs.”

Wherever you are in the world right now, you can apply for the programme, but you must base your business in Scotland and grow it here.

The programme aims to identify entrepreneurs with high-growth potential who have ideas that will create jobs, grow the economy and benefit Scottish society as a whole.

The First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:

“We want to ensure the most talented entrepreneurs, from Scotland and elsewhere, have the best opportunities to develop their ideas here, bring them to market and create the successful new companies we need for our economy to continue to grow.”

James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog and one of the programme mentors says:

“The programme offers innovative entrepreneurs everything they need to take their business to the next level – time, money and amazing support from world-class organisations. It’s an extraordinary opportunity that will unearth the game-changers of the future and I’m excited to be a part of it.”


Applicants should:

  • Be extremely ambitious and already running a successful business
  • Be aiming to have a turnover of at least £1 million in the next three years
  • Value mentoring from some of Scotland's best known and established entrepreneurs
  • Be committed to growing their business in Scotland.

What the programme provides

Participants in the programme will receive:

  • An outstanding package of leadership training, mentoring, grant funding and business support worth up to £100,000 for each participant
  • A world-class programme of leadership skills training, masterclasses, workshops, and investor networking opportunities
  • A dedicated programme account manager to help you make the most of the opportunities
  • Access to high-profile experienced mentors.

The Unlocking Ambition Programme is delivered by partners from across Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as part of the Scotland CAN DO initiative, backed by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

How to apply

Deadline: May 2 (5pm)

Unlocking Ambition RSE Enterprise Fellowships

As well as the high-growth Mainstream Programme described above there is also an Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellowship Programme, run by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Fellowships are aimed at talented and ambitious early-stage innovators, academics and researchers eager to start-up and develop the business.

Find out more about the Unlocking Ambition Enterprise Fellowship Programme by clicking here.