“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.”Sigmund Freud

Why Edinburgh for Setting up Your SME?

Making Edinburgh the Capital of Collaboration

Starting a business in any environment can be a daunting prospect, but a vital step is finding the right place to start and grow your business into something great.

Even in tough economic conditions, SMEs are part of the lifeblood of a city’s economy. Nowhere is that more positively embraced than in Edinburgh. With current and future investments developing Edinburgh into a centre for new business growth and support, the future for Edinburgh’s SMEs is bright.

A Comprehensive Business Network

With each of the incubator, spin-out, creative, accelerator, business support and social enterprise venues in Edinburgh providing for a wide variety of businesses already, the means to network and develop mutually beneficial business ties are practically endless. Each venue provides its own platform of business support and collaboration. With regular events hosted throughout the year the opportunities to network and develop are continuing to grow.

With Edinburgh playing host to a highly educated workforce, and the country’s fastest influx of start-ups, the quality and extent of collaborative opportunities is unrivalled.

The networking opportunities are not limited simply to business-to-business cooperation. The strong university presence and culture of education in the city has led to some of the city’s strongest educational institutions – including Edinburgh College, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Edinburgh – investing in the Interspace project. They are connecting students and businesses and in some cases are providing university facilities for start-ups and SMEs.

The scope of collaboration throughout the city has rapidly turned Edinburgh into a centre for start-ups with networking opportunities to rival London’s business centre. However, Edinburgh benefits from vastly lower costs to accommodate and facilitate the growth of new exciting start-ups and SMEs.

Spectacular Venues

Whether it is sizable office space, hot-desking or an art studio that you require for your business, it is almost certainly available within Edinburgh’s diverse network of business start-up and creative venues.

These venues provide more than simply an affordable alternative to standard office space. They provide the means to turn early business networking into successful business collaboration. Mentoring, funding assistance, financial advice and access to bespoke IT and creative facilities make Edinburgh’s venues a dynamic and wise option for any aspiring business.

Through a combination of private finance and public sector supported initiatives, Edinburgh now plays host to a flourishing technology and creative start-up scene much of which is based in some of Europe’s most exciting collaborative business spaces.

Many of the venues offer fantastic amenities, spectacular architecture and exhibition spaces, while others contain an extensive library and even recording studios.

Outstanding City-wide Investment

In recent years Edinburgh has invested heavily in establishing new platforms for co-operation and collaboration between a range of bespoke business venues and business support providers. This initiative has heralded the success of some of the UK’s fasted growing and most successful start-up projects including Skyscanner, Freeagent and MiiCard. This in turn has led to increased support and investment making Edinburgh one of the UK’s leaders in technology start-ups.

Close ties to Business Gateway Scotland and the Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance have resulted in further lucrative avenues for business investment. Annual investor showcases attract hundreds of investors, venture capitalists and business angel syndicates to Edinburgh every year. This results in a large number of Edinburgh start-ups and spin-outs achieving their business aims through reliable and invaluable investment opportunities .

For more information on why Edinburgh has become the centre of the UK’s start-up and small business resurgence then visit Invest in Edinburgh. To find out more about the city’s ties to the science and technology industries please visit the Edinburgh Science Triangle website.

To simply learn more about what this inspiring city has to offer then visit This is Edinburgh.


Edinburgh Council

The Edinburgh Council has allowed Edinburgh’s tech and creative industry start-ups to grow with sustained investment and proactive development of the city’s business culture. All of which is making Edinburgh a modern and innovative business centre.

Edinburgh College

Bridging the gap between education and business, Edinburgh College have been proactive in promoting and developing connections with professional institutions throughout Edinburgh. The pioneering Business Zone is paving the way for student to develop entrepreneurial skills and business connections.

European Regional Development Fund

The ERDF’s funding of the Interspace project and Edinburgh’s business centres has shown the confidence that has been placed in the cities burgeoning tech infrastructure. With the ERDF’s continued investment, Interspace and Edinburgh’s business incubators can continue to grow together.

Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation

The ECCi forms one of Edinburgh’s truly impressive modern business centres with a focus on assisting businesses in developing green and renewable energy initiatives. The ECCi plays host to a range of dynamic businesses addressing the need to towards a sustainable low carbon economy.