Accessibility Page Navigation
Style sheets must be enabled to view this page as it was intended.

Open Letter to Fergus Ewing


Open letter to Fergus Ewing MSP, Minister for Enterprise 

I hope you will be intrigued in the Scot-Buzz lead item today on business start-ups. Intrigued and inspired. 

Already in the first three months of the year, 123,571 new businesses have been launched across the UK. Start-ups are now running at the rate of more than 10,000 a week.

In the face of near standstill across the economy these are remarkable figures. 

They are compiled by the StartUp Britain website tracking the number of businesses formed every day using data from Companies House. 

Start-Up Britain was launched two years ago to celebrate and inspire enterprise in the UK.  Last week it celebrated its second birthday, with a huge supportive signal salute for its campaign at the top of London’s BT Tower.

I write to urge that here in Scotland we have our campaign. It’s time we had our own StartUp Scotland. 

 It would send a clear and unambiguous signal that the Scottish government recognises the vital contribution business start-ups and SMEs make to the health and wealth of the country. 

And it would give enormous encouragement to entrepreneurs. 

 Scottish government statistics released last autumn showed an encouraging growth in the number of businesses. And we know also  that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) now account for 99 per cent of all Scottish businesses and for over half of all private sector employment – underlining the pivotal role of small firms in our economy and communities. 

But our figures on business start-ups lag the UK. We have different and incomplete figures from different sources, with no one agency pulling them together. Clearing bank figures do not take in all the lending banks in Scotland and don’t tell the whole story. 

 We badly lack a focal point where the latest figures are presented and which would give encouragement and support for our entrepreneurs. 

And we need business and corporate support, in the way that BT has shown, to give bold public endorsement and support for business start-up. 

Here government can be a catalyst, bringing individuals and agencies together to make more – much more - than we do of new business start-ups. 

This year the StartUp campaign hopes to see 500,000 businesses started in the UK. How encouraging it would be for our entrepreneurs to have start-up figures for Scotland charting their endeavour. 

It’s time we had a StartUp Scotland – and proclaimed it to the world.

We have the agencies, we have the information sources and we have the tools to make this happen. What we needs is a catalyst at the centre to make it happen. 

I know the outstanding work you do to promote enterprise in Scotland. And you will have no shortage of helping hands to make this happen.  

I hope you will give this your sympathetic consideration.


Bill Jamieson

EDITOR, Scot-Buzz