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Partnership information


Scottish landscape


In Scotland new business creation is a key indicator for the health of the Scottish economy and a key determinant of business longevity and sustainable economic development. Indicators for economic performance of the region and also strategies for reducing unemployment are centred on new business creation.  The Scottish economy has underperformed in regards to small business creation compared to the rest of the UK and Scotland is one of the few countries in Europe where the population is declining. This is a major political as well as demographic issue and several initiatives are planned/ operational to encourage quality people to live, work and study in Scotland.  ICONS has been focusing on projects with specific groups of people to bring their talents into the Scottish economy:

Creative Industries and Tourism are key growth business sectors to the Scottish economy as identified by key national economic agencies but too often the core business creation services exclude innovative and/or excluded client groups from the business creation services through over-generalising the business support provided or through stereotyping what is a successful entrepreneur to the detriment of less typical ‘entrepreneurs’.


This partnership aims to support projects which focus on ‘Opening up the Business Creation Process’ to groups which are discriminated against in Scottish society, encouraging and supporting new and existing entrepreneurs to create a more vibrant and inclusive Scottish economy and society.



  • To empower refugees and support groups to significantly increase entrepreneurial activity the the refugee communities in Greater Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • To encourage an innovative approach between public and private sector organisations in the use of new technologies to open the business creation process.
  • To open the business creation process through harnessing the cultural tourism potential of regional or national ‘cultural icons’ to provide new opportunities to existing and new entrepreneurs

Target Groups

Groups which endangered by unemployment and social exclusion especially:

  • Women
  • young people
  • people who are rurally isolated
  • BME
  • Refugees




Round 1 to Round 2

This Development Partnership was not involved in Round One.

Transnational partnerships


Ed Craig, Napier University, , Pete Evans, Napier University,


Action 2: 31 December 2007
Action 3: 31 March 2008

Equal theme

Business creation


tourist shop

This partnership was launched in 2004 for Round Two of the Equal programme. The partnership includes further and higher education institutions, business enterprise organisations, organisations from the creative industries and tourism, and local councils. The core partners are Adam Smith College, East Lothian and South Lanarkshire Councils, Glasgow Caledonian University, Heer Productions, Napier University, Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh & Lothians and Scottish Enterprise Glasgow.


BME groups, Employed in SMEs, Refugees, Rural communities, Women
Total beneficiaries: 600

Intended impact/ sustainability

The partnership will establish Scotland’s only service aimed at engaging, supporting and introducing refugee groups to the business creation process.

The refugee project will visit transnational operations of best practice in establishing a truly European class process and approach in supporting refugee entrepreneurship.

Multiple new networks and partnerships will be established. 2 regional groups investigating mechanisms for exploiting iconic features to create new enterprises will be created as well as a substantial business network for pre-start refugee entrepreneurs. It is estimated that the project will create 75 new businesses over 100 new jobs and work with over 1000 potential entrepreneurs many of whom will consider themselves within the ‘pre-start’ criteria for business creation.

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City Local Regional National European


It is essential for a ‘Smart, Successful Scotland’ that Scotland targets and utilises all of its available people resources. The Refugee Community in Scotland is growing and a variety of established reports have identified significant mutual benefit of supporting the integration of refugee groups into the business creation process


The Icons branding project is developing a technique to stimulate business creation in areas of disadvntage in South Lanarkshire and East Lothian.


The Creative Industries and specifically the Film sector has traditionally been an excellent breeding ground for new business ideas from potential Minority Ethnic entrepreneurs. Embed the awareness of available support and facilitate new information exchange networks for Minority Ethnic entrepreneurs.


Possible national mainstreaming of the application of Icons business creation/development toolskit across UK as well as graduate business start-up mechnism in film industry


Possible application of "Icons business creation/ development toolkit in Spain and Germany


Business start up support services may influence business support national agencies policy

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Activities and products