Welcome to the new-look Scot-Buzz, Scotland’s fast-growing business news and current affairs website.
It may not have the stunning drama of The Kelpies, Scotland’s great new landmark. But it marks a big step forward in our development. There are new features, we hope you will like the cleaner, cooler look and the lay-out easier to navigate.
Scot-Buzz has now been up and running with its weekly news and current affairs service for more than two years.
Over this period it has built a formidable base of supporters with its news, current affairs and event alert service.
Over this period we have steadily expanded our reach across the business sector, the Scottish government and parliament and the commentariat.
And this spring we plan a major expansion, moving to twice-weekly publication as our circulation grows.
So a fresh look is due. But our mission remains rock solid.
That mission is to encourage and promote enterprise and endeavour across business and indeed all fields of Scottish life.
Our purpose is to champion enterprise, in particular Scotland’s start-up and SME sector, and to pursue campaigns that support and promote business endeavour.
Small firms are great business drivers. They are adaptable, dynamic, innovative and opportunistic.
Truly, without a thriving SME sector, our chances of economic and social improvement are slim indeed.
Scot-Buzz has caught a powerful wind of change that is blowing across the business world.
Our private sector is now teeming with thousands of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) and start-up businesses.
You only have to look at the latest figures – the number of new businesses in Scotland has risen by almost 50 per cent since the end of the recession, with figures that take us to the highest level in the series back to 2004.
Across the UK a record number of new businesses were started last year – more than 580,000. And they have played a significant role in job creation. Since 2010 three private sector jobs have been created for every one lost public sector job.
In Scotland, home-based working has soared. A profile of Scottish home-based businesses led by Professor Colin Mason from Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow out this month found that 188,000 enterprises, half of all Scottish businesses are now based in the home, sustaining around one in five private sector jobs and turning over £19.7 billion a year.
Almost two thirds of home-based businesses employ at least one member of staff. Far from being start-ups, more than half of Scotland’s home-based businesses (54%) have been established for ten years or more. Around three quarters (73%) of these enterprises turn over less than £100,000 a year, and 3 per cent generate more than £500,000.
Wifi and spread of digital media have made a huge difference – before, it took years to build up customers geographically. International marketing and promotion was on the far horizon. Today a start-up business can market world-wide on the web. Geographic expansion is far easier.
The report powerfully argues that local government, regulators, banks and enterprise support agencies can’t ignore these businesses and should adapt their approach to better meet their needs.
But it is not just in business that we are seeing fracture and fragmentation.
In politics, the old two-party system is giving way to new and powerful centrifugal forces. The stunning rise in support for the SNP marks a major change in the political landscape, here and at Westminster.
Scot-Buzz will also give you sharp and incisive commentary on current affairs. Each week we bring news and analysis of key business and economic data in Scotland – retail sales, business confidence surveys, Scottish GDP and public finance data – together with practical help and support for business start-ups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)
Regular features include a ScotBuzz business briefs with key dates for conferences, meetings and events, and blogs by writers as varied as John McGurk, George Kerevan and Ken Houston. And we are launching a new feature – Meet The Boss. It’s free, it’s easy to reply – – spread your fame!
And we provide a regular review of the best (and worst) in the Scottish press penned by the unsparing and incisive Honey McBee.
We have a powerful base on which to build. And build we must. Because our economy cannot move forward without a major revival in business formation, investment and expansion.
So tell us about your enterprise stories and your business ambitions. Scot-Buzz will support you.
Bill Jamieson and John McGurk