Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise is a sponsored non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government which encourages economic development, enterprise, innovation and investment in business. The body covers the eastern, central and southern parts of Scotland[1] whilst a similar body, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, operates in north-western Scotland.


The body began as the Scottish Development Agency in 1975.[2] The first Chairman of the SDA was Sir William Gray former Lord Provost of Glasgow.[3]

Scottish Enterprise was created on 1 April 1991 under the Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990[4]. That act dissolved the Scottish Development Agency [SDA], created in 1975 and the Highlands and Islands Development Board forming Scottish Enterprise alongside the Highlands and Islands Enterprise.[5]:62

Scottish Enterprise was created with a structure of Local Enterprise Companies (LECs). Initially these were Limited Companies with boards led by local businesspeople, but from 2000 they became wholly owned subsidiaries of Scottish Enterprise[6] and were subsequently wound up.[7]

On 1 April 2008, the skills function of Scottish Enterprise moved out of the organisation to the newly formed Skills Development Scotland.[8]


Scottish Enterprise has around 1,100 staff based in 14 offices across the UK and a further 33 overseas.

Organisational structure consists of a board headed by Chairman, Bob Keiller to oversee fulfilment of the objectives established by the Scottish Government and an executive leadership team responsible for the day-to-day running of the organisation[9]. The leadership team consists of:

  • Steve Dunlop - Chief Executive
  • Linda Hanna - Managing Director, Strategy and Sectors
  • Jane Martin - Managing Director, Customer Operations
  • Iain Scott - Chief Financial Officer
  • Carolyn Stewart - Managing Director, People
  • Paul Lewis - Managing Director, International Operations


Scottish Enterprise is a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government, although it also raises part of its budget from other sources such as property rental and disposal of assets. The Scottish Government's draft spending plans for 2018/2019 allocates £256 million to Scottish Enterprise supporting Scottish Development International[10].


Scottish Enterprise works with a range of other local, national and international strategic partners, from industry and the public sector to help deliver its wider range of services and sector-specific support across international trade, innovation, investment and inclusive growth.

These include:

Scottish Enterprise’s international trade services are supported by Scottish Development International, the international arm of Scotland’s enterprise agencies.

Scottish Development International is also responsible for delivering the Scottish Government’s inward investment targets.

The Scottish Investment Bank

Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm, the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), operates across Scotland in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

SIB aims to increase the supply of finance and help more Scottish SMEs with growth and export potential to access it.

The Scottish Government is planning an expanded investment bank, which will incorporate the SIB, to be called the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB).[11]


  1. "Our Borderlands - Our Future : Final Report - Scottish Affairs 4) Economic development and enterprise". UK Parliament. House of Commons. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  2. Lynch, Michael (ed.). The Oxford companion to Scottish history. Oxford University Press. p. 575. ISBN 9780199693054.
  3. Glasgow Herald, obituary of Sir William Gray 11 July 2000
  4. "Enterprise and New Towns (Scotland) Act 1990 - Introductorary Notes". Crown Copyright. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. Fairley, J.; Lloyd, M. G. (1995). "Economic Development and Training: the Roles of Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Local Enterprise Companies". Scottish Affairs. 12 (1): 52–72. doi:10.3366/scot.1995.0037 via Edinburgh University Press.
  6. "Scottish Enterprise Account management services to high-growth businesses" (PDF). Audit Scotland. June 2004. pp. 8–9. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  7. Adams, Lucy; Dinwoodie, Robbie (22 November 2007). "Scottish Enterprise set to face multi-million VAT bill". The Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  8. "Skills Development Scotland". Scottish Government. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  9. "About Us - Leadership". Scottish Enterprise. Scottish Enterprise. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  10. "Scottish Budget: draft budget 2018-2019 Chapter 4: Enterprise and Skills Bodies". Scottish Government. Scottish Government. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
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