Scotland's economy: Scotland ranked best place to start a business

Scotland has been ranked as the best place in the UK to start a business, thanks to five key factors.

iZettle said Scotland topped the table for factors including confidence and business support. Picture: Johnston Press
iZettle said Scotland topped the table for factors including confidence and business support. Picture: Johnston Press

Data published by fintech company iZettle, which last year acquired Edinburgh-based point-of-sale specialist Intelligentpos, said Scotland came in top because of confidence, support, resilience, money and balance.

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The Swedish payments firm said one of the factors scoring highest north of the Border is support, finding that two in three small business owners say parents and partners are their biggest champions.

In addition to the key advantage of a supportive network, about three-quarters of respondents believed that having a “warrior spirit” is a key trait to thrive as a small business.

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“This may be the reason why all the Scottish respondents say they don’t regret starting a business and if they had the choice they would do it all over again,” iZettle stated.

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However, the company also highlighted a hurdle facing many small firms – access to funding, which was cited by 31 per cent of such businesses as the main barrier to success.

The study found that when the going gets tough, almost half of Scots turn to mopping dirty floors and putting on the rubber gloves to maintain a work/life balance, with housework being a popular pastime to reduce stress.

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Johan Bendz, chief marketing and communications officer at iZettle, said: “We’ve been working with Scottish small businesses for a couple of years and we’ve recently opened our largest UK headquarters in Edinburgh.

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“We’ve witnessed the thriving Scottish entrepreneurial spirit and we love to working with small business owners to help them succeed.

“We want to continue to support small business owners, especially with factors such as capital which has been highlighted as one of the main barriers to growth.”

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Stockholm-headquartered iZettle recently unveiled offices in Edinburgh’s Westport that can accommodate up to 120 staff. The business’ co-founder and chief executive Jacob de Geer told The Scotsman at the site that the business was open to finding new firms to work with, and flagged up marketing services as one complementary area.

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Intelligentpos co-founder Robin Knox said on the same occasion that the new office represents “a big milestone in the coming together of the two businesses”.

He added: “It’s the materialisation of the acquisition – it’s the recognition from iZettle that Scotland is a serious second headquarters, and recognition of the talent here and the ability that we have in terms of the people that we can now add to the team.”

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A separate study earlier this year also named Edinburgh the best city in the UK to launch a start-up, ahead of London, Bristol and Glasgow, because of its “speedy internet connections, reasonable office rent and host of university graduates to employ”.