We are listening to small businesses and delivering the support to meet their real needs

There are around 350,000 small businesses in Scotland, providing jobs for over 920,000 people and forming the backbone of Scotland’s economy.

We will support small businesses to continue playing a massive role in communities in every part of Scotland, recognising that their success is the key to unlocking opportunity for all.

There is a greater proportion of microenterprises in rural Scotland than anywhere else in the country. By and large these enterprises operate a business model where profit margins and turnover are lower, they have slower trajectories for growth, and the levels of self-employment are higher. These enterprises play an important role in their local economy and are a major source of development with growth of £6.6bn between 2007 and 2015. There is untapped potential in our rural economy as its true value to the economy of Scotland is under-represented in statistics due to turnover levels of some microenterprises falling below those required for VAT registration.

32% jobs in rural areas are in micro-businesses with fewer than 10 employees

We are delivering enterprise support through GrowBiz, LEADER, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise to nearly 1,500 community based and/or micro enterprise projects operating in the rural economy. In addition, we continue to provide support for linking small businesses to knowledge, facilities and expertise in our universities, colleges, innovation centres and research institutes through Interface and our innovation voucher schemes.

Key resources:



Highlands and Islands Enterprise


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