Business and Inclusive Growth

A key priority of SHRED is to broaden the partnership with the private, public and third sectors in the Inclusive Growth Agenda.


All components of Scotland’s Economic Strategy – inclusive growth, innovation, internationalisation and investment – are interrelated, and one cannot be achieved without the others. Innovative, productive businesses that create quality jobs are vital to delivering this and our partners in the private, public and third sectors all have a role to play in delivering this agenda.

Business Pledge

The Scottish Government has developed the Scottish Business Pledge, which is a voluntary commitment by companies in Scotland to adopt fair, progressive and successful business practices. The Pledge celebrates a values-led partnership between Government and Business.

The Pledge plays a key role in promoting and encouraging sustainable economic growth. It recognises the importance of businesses in creating lasting economic success that also achieves fairness, equality, opportunity and innovation.

Scotland’s Enterprise Agencies

Scotland’s enterprise agencies play a key role in supporting this agenda:

Scottish Enterprise

The purpose of Scottish Enterprise is to create more, better jobs that nurture shared wealth and collective wellbeing.

Their objective is to develop an approach that focuses on:

  • The quality of jobs they help create and safeguard through inclusive and sustainable growth

  • How inclusive and sustainable growth helps tackle inequality

Scottish Enterprise has a range of interventions and approaches to help achieve these ambitions including work on innovative workplace practices, support for women in business, and their contribution to Community Planning and Regional Economic Partnerships. These include the Scottish Enterprise’s Strategic Framework, and Scottish Enterprise Business Plan 21/22.

Further details of work on diversity can be found in their latest Equality Mainstreaming Report. Contact Scott Reid-Skinner ( for more information or visit the Scottish Enterprise website.

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

The vision of Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is for the Highlands and Islands to be a prosperous, inclusive and sustainable region attracting more people to live, work, study, invest and visit. HIE’s three year strategy (2019-2022), which is also available in Gaelic, sets out their ambition for every part of the region. Their vision and priorities aim to harness the region’s potential, working closely with their local, regional and national partners.

They are focused on three priorities, to:

HIE embeds inclusive growth through their place-based approach and their:

  • Priorities and actions

  • Appraisal and Decision making

  • Delivery approaches and procurement

  • Collaboration and partnership

  • Measurement, targets and evaluation

  • Developing the evidence base

HIE has worked with communities and public sector partners to empower communities to exploit their assets, leverage opportunities and drive growth for over 50 years.  They support partnership, collaboration and investment in developing community skills and leadership, in building infrastructure, in attracting new industries and diversification to create jobs.

They are always seeking to grow connections between local businesses, public agencies and community organisations.    As part of this, they address market opportunities and social need, supporting fair work practices and resilient business models.

Towards Inclusive Growth (TwIG) Project

HIE is developing a new approach and model through their Towards Inclusive Growth Project (TwIG). The project is being implemented in three stages:  area profiling, developing a weighting mechanism and operationalising their inclusive growth approach to support decision making.  The overall aim of the project is to introduce a decision support tool that provides indicative but credible quantification of variation in the ‘value’ of output as far as inclusivity is concerned for different investments in different locations.

Phase one – Area Profiling – has just been completed with HIE working alongside researchers from the James Hutton Institute and Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland (BioSS) to understand the characteristics of inclusive growth within the Highlands and Islands. 

The next Phase will focus on the weighting and operationalisation with the objective of having the functional model ready for use in 2022. Read the Research on the Edge blog about Inclusive Growthhere.

South of Scotland Enterprise

South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) launched officially on 1 April 2020 as the new Economic and Community Development Agency for Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders.

SOSE is the first of Scotland’s public agencies whose legislation promotes a wider view on the economy and how it impacts all we do.  It is also one of the first to have ‘Fair work’ running through all of its activities.

It is committed to driving inclusive growth, increasing competitiveness, and tackling inequality within the South of Scotland region.  It works with people and businesses in communities’ right across the South of Scotland to grow its economy by providing investment, expertise and mentoring.

SOSE is currently engaged in the development of a Regional Economic Strategy (RES).  As a result an updated Operating plan will be published around May 2021.

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