FSB has developed a five-point plan to boost entrepreneurship in post-industrial Scotland, after its research revealed a wide gap between rates of self-employment across the country.
The data found those in smaller and wealthier towns in rural areas in the north of Scotland are more likely to have higher levels of people working for themselves compared with those living in poorer towns, and particularly those that have previously relied on a large industrial employer.
“We find high levels of unemployment and low self-employment in towns that bear the scars of Scotland’s industrial decline, suggesting that poverty is a barrier to self-employment and the social mobility that comes with it,” said Andy Willox, FSB’s Scottish policy convenor.
“We need to get behind those people and places that want to change their circumstances. Boosting self-employment and business activity could help to turn around some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged places.”
The five-point plan includes: the Scottish Government investigating how to provide affordable income protection insurance; educating every child about running a business; and using empty properties to help start-ups.
The plan also advocates awarding extra funding to universities and colleges that support graduates to start businesses; and improving enterprise-support measures, including using the Scottish Microfinance Fund to remove barriers to establishing firms.