headshots of entrepreneurs

38 new entrepreneurs joining Unlocking Ambition

Thirty eight of Scotland’s most talented, innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs are joining Scotland’s flagship entrepreneurial development programme, Unlocking Ambition.

2020 cohort

40 new entrepreneurs join Unlocking Ambition

Businesses selected for their ability to help Scotland’s economic recovery and net-zero emissions target

Celia Hodson of Hey Girls

Success for entrepreneurs in Scotland

The 40 businesses participating in the First Minister’s flagship entrepreneurial development programme Unlocking Ambition have raised a total of £6.5m since its launch, new figures have revealed – with the majority gained from external funding.

Group photo

Harnessing Scotland's entrepreneurial spirit

This week is Global Entrepreneurship Week, which sees over 10 million people in more than 170 countries connecting, learning from and inspiring each other to make a difference to society through enterprising thought and action. In a global context, Scotland’s reputation for fostering entrepreneurship is renowned, and we’re very fortunate to have an extensive and diverse network of support in Scotland that is driving this forward.

Alison Loveday

Nearly half of Scots adults have considered starting their own business

A survey commissioned by Unlocking Ambition to coincide with Global Entrepreneurship Week (18-24 November) found that the majority of people (57%) think that Scotland is an entrepreneurial nation, with 49% of adults having considered starting their own business.

Young team

Young Enterprise Scotland and Unlocking Ambition team up to create entrepreneurship experience for students

Unlocking Ambition and Young Enterprise Scotland’s Bridge 2 Business programme have teamed up to launch ‘Unlocking Young Ambition’ that will give more than 30 college students the opportunity to meet and be personally mentored by a successful Scottish entrepreneur.

Lynne Jhangeer

My week at the World’s #1 School for Entrepreneurship – Babson College in Boston – and the lifetime of learning that followed

Lynne Jhangeer of LINIAN, which supplies a patented, fire-safe clip for installing cabling in buildings, recently travelled to Babson College in Boston to take part in an intensive course aimed at developing entrepreneurial leadership skills. Part of a sixteen-strong cohort of Scotland-based entrepreneurs, including eight fellow Unlocking Ambition ambassadors, she reflects on her trip here.

Some of the Scottish cohort

Three things I learned in seven days at Babson College

Tadas Labudis is founder of Prodsight an AI-powered customer insight platform that helps companies improve their product and customer experience. He was among a cohort of Unlocking Ambition ambassadors who visited world-leading entrepreneurship school Babson College in Boston last month to develop new skills and build international connections. Here, he shares his key takeaways from the trip.

entrepreneurial leaders

Scotland's next generation of business leaders head stateside

A cohort of 16 Scotland-based entrepreneurial leaders will travel to the States next week (1-8 October) to take part in a programme at Boston’s Babson College, the world’s number-one ranked school of entrepreneurship.

entrepreneurial leaders

It’s Time To Unlock Young Ambition!

Bridge 2 Business has teamed up with the entrepreneurial Unlocking Ambition Challenge programme, delivered by Scottish Enterprise & Scotland CANDO, to create a new partnership that will focus on developing entrepreneurial skills in young people.

Alan Mahon of Brewgooder

Business for Good – what does that actually mean?

What actually defines a business for good and how can we tell if a company claiming this really is doing what it says on the tin?

Back to Babson

Back To Babson: A Fellow’s Reflections

After having embarked on the start of her entrepreneurial executive education journey at Babson College in 2014 as a Saltire Fellow with Entrepreneurial Scotland, Lisa Thomson, Founder and CEO of Purpose HR returned with Unlocking Ambition in May 2019 for some fresh learning to apply to the new challenges as her business scales.

Bute House reception

Celebrating a Year of Unlocking Ambition

This month marks the completion of the first year of the Scotland CAN DO Unlocking Ambition Challenge so we thought it would be interesting to reflect on what’s been achieved during that time.

Bute House reception

Britain’s Youngest CEO – Molly Rose

Hear how one of the Unlocking Ambition companies, The Start Up Drinks Lab, have been involved in supporting the UK’s youngest CEO – 9-year old Molly Rose to start to scale her lemonade business.

Paul Blackler at Babson

Lessons From Babson, Boston – No.1 For Entrepreneurship!

As a passionate learner, Paul Blackler of Drink Baotic was very keen to get out to Babson for the pure quality of the educational experience.

Alan Mahon at the Obama Europe Town Hall in April 2019

An Hour with Obama

In April 2019 Alan Mahon from Brewgooder was invited to represent Scotland at the Obama Foundation's Town Hall in Europe for leaders of the future. Here are his reflections on an hour spent with Barack Obama and the need to keep Scotland's voice being heard on the global stage.

2018-19 Cohort Graduation

Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition 2018-19 Cohort Graduation

The 18th March saw the graduation of the inaugural Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition cohort of 20 purpose-driven entrepreneurs at a hugely inspirational graduation celebration event with over 100 ecosystem friends and partners there to celebrate their success.

Actor Michael Sheen holds up a box of Hey Girls tampons

Hey Dads!

Hey Girls launch #Pads4Dads campaign with Hollywood actor and activist Michael Sheen.

Women In Innovation winner Debbie Wake, founder of MyWay Digital Health, photographed at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, 8 February 2019.

MyWay Digital Health Win 2019 Women in Innovation Award

Nine pioneering female inventors, including the fantastic Debbie Wake from MyWay Digital Health, currently taking part on the Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition programme have been recognised for innovations including responsive wheelchair seating and a new digital app for diabetes as part of the 2019 Women in Innovation Awards.


Making an Impact - IWD 2019

A focus on impact is coming to the fore of general consciousness and rather than just being a buzz word, a nice to do or something purely associated with social enterprises, it’s becoming clear that purpose and impact is everybody’s business.

CAN DO fest logo

CAN DO Fest 2019 is coming!

Running from 24th April – May 2019, CAN DO Fest is an opportunity to come together and celebrate the best of Scottish entrepreneurship showcased in a series of entrepreneurial events across the country.

Unlocking Ambition, London visit, Day 1

New Convenor of CAN DO Ecosystem Forum announced

The Scotland CAN DO vision is based on the clear recognition that if we are to achieve sustainable economic growth, and create opportunities for everyone in Scotland to flourish, then we must work to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation together.

UA Team Meet

SE UA Account Team - Transforming the way we engage

How much do you know about the UA account team who have been working intensely behind the scenes to help make it happen and help these ambitious entrepreneurs access the very best of SE’s service delivery?

Bob Keiller UA Masterclass

Top Takeaways from UA Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship Masterclass

The Scottish Enterprise Unlocking Ambition cohort have undertaken four Purpose-Driven Entrepreneurship masterclasses throughout the UA programme, taking place in London, Glasgow and Edinburgh, each showcasing how values-based business is good for business and how a human driven approach and focus on positive impact can drive scale and success.

SE UA 6 Month Review

SE Unlocking Ambition Programme 6 Month Review

​The Unlocking Ambition programme is breaking new ground in the way entrepreneurial support is delivered in Scotland. The innovative programme, as announced by FM Nicola Sturgeon at the Start Up Summit in November 2017, is supporting 40 highly ambitious entrepreneurs over a 12 mont​h intensive programme.

EDGE R13 Winners

Unlocking Ambition Companies have the EDGE!

The nail biting Scottish EDGE Round 13 Final saw the biggest amount of growth funding awarded to innovative Scottish companies through the competition to date.

GlobalScot panel

GlobalScots help Unlock Ambition

The SE Unlocking Ambition companies were lucky enough to meet with three GlobalScots for a GlobalScot Panel & Q&A as part of their Values-Based business international connections visit to London in November.

London visit group photo

London Calling

The Scottish Enterprise UA group recently spent a couple of days in London on an international connections visit and met with London & Partners, the Deputy Mayor for Business, Scotland House, a number of GlobalScots and more.

Bill Aulet workshop_4 Oct 2018

Two days with the Don of Doing Entrepreneurship – the Disciplined way

Last week, our Unlocking Ambition cohort spent two days with Bill Aulet, the Managing Director of MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship and an all-round Don of business. Bill came over from Massachusetts to run his ‘Disciplined Entrepreneurship’ workshop with us in Inverness.

24 Steps

A Masterclass in Disciplined Entrepreneurship

As part of the Unlocking Ambition Account Team for the Scottish Enterprise UA programme, I was lucky enough to participate alongside the companies on the in Disciplined Entrepreneurship masterclass led by MIT’s Bill Aulet in Inverness on the 3-4th October 2018.