Guest Blogger Scott McBay: “Scott has worked in digital marketing since 2000 when he worked for an e-commerce site selling gourmet Scottish food. He’s had a hunger for digital and the finer things ever since. He has worked within several successful start-up and scale up businesses in the past and he’s focused on helping businesses grow quickly and scale sustainably. Scott has a talent for explaining complex technical concepts in a simple, no nonsense way and has been training digital marketers for the last 10 years.”
Scotland has a lot going for it as a country; beautiful scenery, friendly people and fantastic food and drink. I may be slightly biased as a native Scotsman, but let me help you discover why Scotland is a great place to start up a business.
Funding & Support
One of the burning issues for start-up businesses is how to get going, and once you do get going how you can then fund the venture going forward. Good news, there are a range of options on the doorstep.
“Scotland’s vibrant angel investor scene is “the envy of the world” thanks to its unrivalled infrastructure and Government backing, not to mention the country’s wealth of business nous and experience.” – The Scotsman
Edinburgh is also home to Lending Crowd who supported by Scottish Enterprise, are offering Scottish businesses peer to peer loan funding to help them grow.
There are a number of cost effective incubator spaces where small and growing businesses can setup and scale up. Some spaces will need you to apply, others are open to all in some form.
- CodeBase is the UK’s largest start-up incubator with bases in Edinburgh, Stirling and Aberdeen
- Entrepreneurial spark in Glasgow and Edinburgh
- You can find Incubators close to you on the mygov.scot website
With five universities in the world’s top 20, Scotland has more world class universities per head of the population than anywhere else in the world. Graduates enjoy the highest rate of employment or further study in the whole of the United Kingdom.
A lot of the universities have strong links to industry and some even have industrial work placements as part of the degree course. And in addition to this, Scotland also has a knack for tempting graduates to stay in the country after graduation, meaning they have great employer branding!
Scottish Success Stories
Just a couple of my favourite success stories from Scotland and the ones that come up all the time during the Start Your Own Business course at the Google Digital Garage.
Skyscanner – I met the guys in a small office above a pub in Leith, they’ve experienced massive growth and have been bought by Chinese tourism group Ctrip.com for £1.4bn, smashing it in the travel sector.
Brewdog are a well know success story from up North who have seen massive growth and gone from 2 guys selling beer out of the back of an old van to 1,000+ staff selling beer globally and in 46 owned bars.
These are just two examples of successful Scottish businesses that are helping to fuel home grown entrepreneurs and attracting inward investment in Scotland.
Quality of life
Scotland is a fantastic place to live with a high quality of life.
In 2017, Edinburgh was ranked 2nd best in the world for quality of life. Edinburgh has also been voted the most attractive city in the UK to live and work.
Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest city, home to nearly 600,000 people. It’s known as the ‘dear green place’ it took first place in the UK for the share of the city which is green space. It’s also a UNESCO City of Music.
Dundee is Scotland’s fourth largest city and in 2015 it became the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design. It’s also a centre of innovation and home to a growing video games industry and best-selling video game Grand Theft Auto (one of my personal favourites!).
Aberdeen my home town is regularly named the UK’s sunniest city and the north-east is the driest region in Scotland. In mid to late June it doesn’t really get dark.
Inverness is ranked highly as one of the best British cities for its quality of life, and a survey found that Inverness is the happiest place to live in Scotland and the second happiest in the UK.
These are just a few reasons that Scotland is a fantastic place to start up and scale up a business, but don’t just take my word for it, discover it for yourself!