Ensuring that businesses have access to the finance they need to grow

A photograph of a female staff member working on contactless card machine products

Key points:

  • The Scottish National Investment Bank to be operational in 2020 and investing £2 billion over 10 years in businesses and communities
  • The Scottish Growth Scheme unlocking up to £500m investment in ambitious businesses by June 2020
  • A £150 million Building Scotland Fund, across three years
  • Work to align and consolidate the landscape of public investments and simplify access to business support, advice and finance

Legislation will enable Scottish Ministers to establish and capitalise the bank. Ministers will also set missions for the Bank so it can work towards addressing significant challenges facing Scotland. A mission oriented approach encourages transformative solutions that are sector and technology neutral. Our Programme for Government confirmed that the Bank’s primary mission will be to support Scotland’s transition to net zero carbon emissions. Other missions are also being developed for the Bank.
The Bank will be a public body which will operate commercially and be operationally and administratively independent from Government. This provides the Bank with the scope and freedom to decide what products it offers and how it supports the delivery of its missions. The Bank will set out how it intends to work towards the missions through its Investment Strategy and is further expected to work with key partners across Scotland when delivering against these missions.

The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that the way the Bank operates – its culture, governance, and approach to businesses and individuals – will define it as an ethical, inclusive and trusted institution. The Bank will hold to the principles of equality; transparency; diversity; and inclusion.

The establishment of the new Bank will also be supported by work to align, complement and, where appropriate, consolidate investment activities provided by the Scottish Government and its agencies. The Bank will build on the strong foundations that already exist in Scotland by evolving the success of current operations and initiatives such as the Building Scotland Fund, the Scottish Growth Scheme, and the commercial investment activities of Scottish Enterprise.

We will provide £130 million in 2019/20 to establish the Scottish National Investment Bank and finance its early activities.

Building Scotland Fund

As a precursor to this, the Building Scotland Fund (BSF) will invest £150 million across three years to 2021 to;

  • Unlock housing development across all tenures
  • Develop modern industrial and commercial property
  • Support business led research and development projects with a reasonably realistic prospect of commercialisation.

For more information on BSF investments made to date please visit: www.gov.scot/policies/economic-growth/building-scotland-fund/

The Scottish Growth Scheme will unlock up to £500m of investment in ambitious businesses by June 2020. We will stimulate private and partner investment in ambitious growth and exporting SMEs by providing microfinance, debt and equity support through the Scheme. As at 31 November 2019, the scheme has invested some £166.7 million in 290 companies.

Ethical Finance

We have supported the establishment of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) to position Scotland at the centre of international discourse on ethical and sustainable finance, with a major conference held in Edinburgh in October 2019.

We worked in partnership with GEFI and the United Nations Development Programme to develop models and tools to drive investment in nature-based solutions. This aimed to tackle the challenge of the UN Sustainable Development Goals embedded in Scotland’s National Performance Framework.

Key resources:

Scottish National Investment Bank: implementation plan

Building Scotland Fund

Scottish Growth Scheme

Growing the economy