THE finalists of Virgin’s Scottish startup business awards have been revealed.

The winner will be announced on March 14, receiving mentorship from four leading Scots Entrepreneurs

The 10 finalists shortlisted for the Startup Business of the Year include simulation company Arbnco, dementia product producer CogniHealth, gin distillery Esker Spirits, ethical ad-blocker Good-Loop and sanitary social enterprise Hey Girls.

Completing the line up is Highland Wireless & IT Solutions, accessories designer Paulin, realistic stock

image site Pixey, eco-enterprise Revive Eco and Sustainability which allows shoppers to give to charity by rounding up cashless transactions to the nearest £1.

Andrew Hutchison, head of strategy at VSU said: “We had over 100 entries from start-up businesses and entrepreneurs across Scotland, which was a fantastic response.

“Our aim for the campaign is to showcase to as many entrepreneurs as possible that running your own business is achievable for anyone, regardless of age, education, upbringing or passion.

“Through the Virgin StartUp10 competition we aim to champion Scottish entrepreneurs and the positive impact they have on the country.”

Virgin Startup10: Scotland is being sponsored by BDO which supports businesses at all stages from early stage start-ups to those looking for growth funding.

Four Scottish entrepreneurs will be supporting the judging process.

They are: Jackie Waring, the founder of Investing Women; Leah Hutcheon, the founder of Appointedd, an Edinburgh-based tech company revolutionising the way bookings are made online; Bob Keiller, chairman of Scottish Enterprise and Cally Russell, founder and CEO of Mallzee, the UK’s leading multi-retailer shopping app.

Waring said: “It was very difficult to whittle down all the entries; we had such a fantastic response from start-ups across Scotland.

“We feel the final 10 entrepreneurs all offer the opportunity to have a real effect on Scottish communities, via the creation of new jobs, and contributing to the Scottish economy.”

Launched in England in 2012, Virgin StartUp is the not-for-profit arm of the Virgin Group spearheading the group’s entrepreneurial philosophy.

They provide Government backed loans between £500 and £25,000 to entrepreneurs who work with the VSU team to build robust business plans.

As well as finances VSU also recognises the importance of guiding business owners through their infancy years and matches them with a specific business mentor local to them, there are over 700 of these mentors available.

Virgin StartUp launched in Scotland in 2016 and recently celebrated its first anniversary.

In the past year it has supported 69 businesses with loans and mentoring, but the not-for-profit has ambitions to fund more entrepreneurs than this.