Scottish Enterprise

Scottish Enterprise logo

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency and a non-departmental public body of the Scottish Government.

Focusing on growing business, they work with partners in the public and private sectors to identify and exploit the best opportunities to deliver a significant, lasting effect on the Scottish economy.

Thier main website can be found here.

Another useful organisation created to help small companies and start-up's is Informatics Ventures, based on the campus of the University of Edinburgh.

In conjunction with Eden Scott, Steven Moore recently attended a teaming event with Informatics Ventures where my fellow Non-Executive Director panel member, Brian Scouler, provided us with the brilliant term “Awkward Friend” to describe the role of an NED teamed up with a start-up.


The "Awkward Friend" is there to challenge, be constructive, lend value and ask the daft questions.


What value can Valmar Group bring in a Non-Executive Director capacity or advisory role?

The IoD factsheet outlines the main duties of a Non-Executive Director. These tend to be focussed on the needs for governence.


Valmar Group works with small technology centric organisations that tend to demand a more agile and broad service. Depending on the stage of the business, there may be merit in commencing a Non-Executive role in a more advisory board role model. This could help the Non-Executive become more “hands-on” and integrated with the activities of the company as it develops and tests the business model, raises finance, gains traction in the market and recruits key personnel. However, the need for independence should be maintained to help provide an objective viewpoint.

As the business develops, the need for a more formal board is more applicable to help monitor the performance of executive management, especially with regard to the progress made towards achieving the determined company strategy.

The following three areas are viewed by Valmar as area's for consideration as the company grows:

1)    Know the numbers and have a strong financial management system.

2)    As early as practicable, implement a performance management system,

       appropriate for the size of the business.

3)    Focus on the customer and deliver tangible value.

The three main characteristics Valmar will bring:

1.    Credibiity and professionalism.

2.    Broadness of capabillity, interest and passion.

3.    Adaptability and agility.


The needs of your business will depend on its stage in its genesis. Through an open and candid discussion, we could work together to determine a list of the most urgent priorities for your business.

These could be :

Steven Moore - Non Executive Director panel

Panel of Non-Executive Directors at the Teaming with start-up's event, hosted by Informatics ventures and Eden Scott in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Steven Moore - Non Executive Director - Teaming with start-up's

Steven discussing the growth potential of particle separation for enhanced filtration with Dr Brian Miller of uFraction8.

Determining, fine-tuning and testing your business model or pulling the business plan together.

Quantifying your market and promotion.

Technology management (IP management, compliance testing etc.).

Raising finance.

Developing strategic partnerships.

Engaging with key customers.

Gaining sales traction.

Building a core team.

Building a new facility.

Execution, delivery and follow up.

Some useful resources that might help:


How do SMEs use Non Executive Directors?

Aidan Berry Lew Perren, (2001),"The role of non-executive directors in UK SMEs", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise

Reasons and benefits for using Non-Executive Directors, Innovation Centers Scotland Ltd

Additional policy and research that may be useful with regard to growing your business


(All downloads open in a new browser window.)


Author: Scottish Enterprise/YCF

Published: December 2015

Download: The Risk Capital Market in Scotland 2014


Author: Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship

Published: October 2015

Download: Archangels: Impact evaluation of activites 


Author: GEM Scotland

Published: September 2015

Download: GEM Report


Author: European Commisson

Published: September 2015

Download: CMU Action Plan 


Author: Social Investment Scotland

Published: September 2015

Download: Social Impact Report 2015


Author: The Royal Society of Edinburgh Advice Paper

Published: August 2015

Download: The Royal Society of Edinburgh Advice Paper


Author: The Scottish Government

Published: September 2015

Download: The Market for SME Finance in Scotland


Author: CB Insights

Published: February 2015

Download: The 2014 U.S. Corporate Venture Capital Year in Review


Author: Enterprise Research Centre

Published: January 2015

Download: A Nation of Angels


Author: Silicon Valley Bank 

Published: July 2014

Download: Innovation Economy Outlook UK


Author: Scottish Enterprise

Published: June 2014

Download: The role of acquisitions in company growth 


Author: REAP Scotland Team

Published: June 2014

Download: Increasing Innovation-driven Entrepreneurship in Scotland


Author: The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Published: June 2014

Download: Advice Paper 14-06


Author: Jonathan Levie

Published: June 2014

Download: GEM Scotland 2013 Report


Author: World Bank/Kauffman Foundation

Published: April 2014

Download: Creating Angel Investor Groups


Author: NACO

Published: September 2013

Download: Report on Angel Investing in Canada


Author: Colin Mason, Tiago Botelho & Richard Harrison

Published: August 2013

Download: The Transformation of the Business Angel Market: Evidence from Scotland


Author: Twintangibles

Published: July 2013

Download: Crowdfunding - The Scottish Perspective


Author: Jonathan Levie

Published: June 2013

Download: GEM Scotland 2012 report


Author: Scottish Government

Published: May 2013

Download: Sustainable, Responsible Banking: A Strategy for Scotland


Author: Scottish Investment Bank

Published: January 2013

Download: Annual Review 2011/2012


Author: Scottish Enterprise/ Scottish Investment Bank/ Young Company Finance

Published: December 2012

Download: The Risk Capital Market in Scotland 2009-2011


Author: The Royal Society of Edinburgh

Published: October 2012

Download: The Financing of Business Innovation in Scotland


Author: Bill Payne

Published: October 2012

Download: Angel Group Valuation Survey


Author: Stefan Genet, Aberdeen University (Undergraduate Dissertation)

Published: August 2012

Download: A Review of Recent Developments in Scotland’s Early Stage Funding Market


Authors: Liam Collins & Yannis Pierrakis

Published: July 2012

Download: The Venture Capital - Crowdfunding Equity Investment into Business


Authors: Diane Mulcahy, Bill Weeks & Harold S. Bradley

Published: May 2012

Download: Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation - 'We have met the enemy...and he is us'


Author:  OECD

Published: December 2011

Download:  Financing High Growth Firms - The Role of Angel Investors 


Author: Daniel Lee Smith

Published:July 2011

Download: Support Programs for Young Entrepreneurs


Authors:  Nicola J. Dee, Finbarr Livesey, David Gill, Tim Minshall

Published: September 2011

Download: Incubation For Growth


Authors: Colin M Mason  & Richard T Harrison

Published: May 2011

Download: Annual Report on the Business Angel Market in the UK 2009/2010

Author:  Department for Business Innovation & Skills

Published: July 2010

Download: Financing a Private Sector Recovery


Authors:  Colin M Mason and Richard T Harrison

Published: June 2010

Download: Annual Report On The Business Angel Market In The United Kingdom : 2008/09


Authors: URS, Colin Mason, Lynton Jones and Stephen Wells

Published: March 2010

Download: The City's Role in Providing for the Public Equity Financing Needs of UK SMEs.


Authors: Stuart Paul and Geoff Whittam

Published: January 2010

Download: Business angel syndicates in Scotland - an exploratory study of gatekeepers


Author: National Audit Office

Published: December 2009

Download:  Venture Capital Support to Small Businesses


Author: Chris Rowlands

Published: November 2009

Download: The Provision of Growth Capital to UK Small and Medium Sized Enterprises


Author:  Consulting group led by Targeting Innovation

Published: November 2009

Download: The Risk Capital Market in Scotland 2008

The Risk Capital Market in Scotland 2008 - Executive Summary


Author: NESTA

Published: October 2009

Download: The Vital 6 per cent - How high growth innovative businesses generate prosperity & jobs



Published: September 2009

Download: From Funding Gaps to Thin Markets. UK Government Support for Early Stage Venture Capital


Author:  Professor Robert E Wiltbank, Ph.D. (Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship, Willamette University).

Published: May 2009

Download: Angel Investor Performance & Strategy Data from the U.S. and U.K.


Authors:  Dr Keith Johnston, Malcolm Greig and Professor Richard Harrison.

Published: September 2008

Download: The Risk Capital Market in Scotland 2005 - 2007


Authors: Yannis Pierrakis (Investments Research Manager at NESTA) and Colin Mason (Professor of Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde University)

Published: September 2008

Download: Shifting sands: The changing nature of the early-stage venture capital market in the UK


Authors: Scott Shane, Ph.D

Published: September 2008

Download: The Importance of Angel Investing in Financing the Growth of Entrepreneurial Ventures.


Author: Colin M Mason (Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, University of Strathclyde)

Published: September 2008

Download: Public Policy Support for the Informal Venture Capital Market in Europe: A Critical Review


Authors: Marc Cowling, Peter Bates, Nick Jagger, Gordon Murray (SOBE, University of Exeter)

Published: September 2008

Download:  Study of the impact of the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) on company performance


Authors: Niels Bosma, Kent Jones, Erkko Autio and Jonathan Levie

Published: September 2008

Download: Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2007 Executive Report