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Special Competition for Scottish SMEs in the Celtic Business Sector

A new competition tailored for Scottish ‘Celtic SMEs’ has been launched by the Interceltic Business Forum, an organization dedicated to promoting economic collaboration among Celtic nations.

The Interceltic Scaling Awards are now accepting entries from companies based in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany that have ambitious growth plans, annual turnover or pre-revenue funding exceeding €250,000, and have been in business for at least two years. The winning company will receive a €20,000 grant and three months of incubation support in a different Celtic nation of their choosing.

The combined GDP of the Celtic nations reached approximately £836bn in 2022, making them one of the world’s largest economies, ranked 18th between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands. These nations boast a total population of just under 21 million and host around 1.2 million businesses.

The Interceltic Business Forum is a component of the Interceltic Festival, a cultural event celebrating Celtic traditions that has been running for over five decades. The winners of the competition will be revealed at the festival, which draws in 800,000 attendees every August in Lorient, Brittany.

The brainchild behind the Scaling Awards is Mark O’Connell, Executive Chairman of Belfast-based advisory firm OCO Global, and Charles Kergaravat, the founder of the Interceltic Business Forum.

O’Connell noted, “The Celtic nations share common cultural elements in food, music, language, and tradition, but there are also strong connections within the business community that the Interceltic Business Forum aims to foster. Post-Brexit, it is vital to explore how businesses can capitalize on these shared characteristics and establish new trade connections.”

Established in 2016, the Interceltic Business Forum unites businesses, entrepreneurs, and policymakers to establish relationships, exchange ideas, and promote growth opportunities.

Kergaravat added, “The Interceltic Scaling Awards provide a fantastic chance for burgeoning companies in Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, and Brittany to gain international exposure and support for growth.”

Apart from meeting location and turnover requirements, eligible companies must present a business plan outlining their scaling strategy and a clearly defined unique selling proposition. Companies from all industries are encouraged to apply.

A minimum of twenty companies will be shortlisted from each region, with five finalists selected to pitch their ideas at the Interceltic Festival. All entrants will receive feedback using the Scaling Readiness Diagnostic matrix from OCO Global, evaluating attributes like growth, leadership, and funding.

The deadline for submissions is June 24th. Companies can either be nominated by their local economic development agency or directly apply at