The number of new businesses starting up in Scotland grew by 7 per cent in the year to March, according to new research.
The figures, compiled by Barclays and the Business Growth Fund (BGF), show the rate of company creation in Scotland is running at almost twice the UK figure of 3.86 per cent.
However, while there is positive momentum in the pace of business start-ups north of the Border, the report found the proportion of high-growth companies – those that have increased turnover by at least 33 per cent over the preceding three years – stood at 22.4 per cent in the year to December 2014, down 2.8 per cent on the previous year.
John Godfrey, regional director for Edinburgh and Aberdeen at Barclays Wealth & Investment Management, said: “The latest index reveals that Scotland’s entrepreneurship scene is thriving, with entrepreneurs succeeding at varying stages of the business lifecycle.
“Scotland is leading the way on the number of deals taking place allowing entrepreneurs to realise the wealth from their business, testament to the growing investor confidence in the country.”
The Barclays and BGF Entrepreneurs Index shows there were 84 deals in Scotland resulting in wealth creation of £200,000 or more during the 12 months to the end of June – an increase of 20 per cent on the same period a year earlier and the joint-highest rise in the UK alongside the south-west of England. Andy Gregory, the BGF’s regional director for the North, Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “As long-term equity investors in growing UK companies, we are excited by the size and dynamics of the addressable market in Scotland.
“These figures match the ambition that we experience regularly as we meet growth-oriented business owners in Scotland to explore the ways in which BGF can provide capital and support to achieve their near and long-term goals.”
The BGF was established in 2011, backed by banking groups Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered, and is an independent company with up to £2.5 billion earmarked for long-term equity investments.