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ESpark start-ups in £15.7m turnover

START-ups taking part in Entrepreneurial Spark (ESpark), the Scottish business incubation programme, have hiked turnover by 342% to a combined £15.7 million in 2013.

The latest impact report on the scheme, which hot-houses enterprises at hatcheries in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire, said it welcomed 141 new businesses into the fold last year, up 101% on the 139 that joined in 2012.

E-Spark noted its programme brought a wider boost to the Scottish economy last year, with its fledgling businesses creating 520 new jobs in 2013, compared to 196 the year before.

The report also found companies taking part attracted a 214% rise in funding to more than £8m last year, with further backing from Royal Bank of Scotland and Glasgow City Council.

Some 259 new patents, trademarks and franchises were registered by "chiclets" in 2013, which ESpark said reflected the innovation and ambition within its ranks.

It last year also launched its "nest" programme, which offers continuing support for businesses that have started to register their first sales.

ESpark founder Jim Duffy said: "The last 12 months have been an absolute whirlwind and we couldn't dream 2013 would be so successful.

"As the impact report shows, there is a huge ­appetite for promoting ­entrepreneurship in Scotland and we are extremely appreciative of all the businesses and organisations that have supported us over the past year."

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