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Scots ‘still lack entrepreneurial appetite’

Mark Logan
Mark Logan: ‘work ahead of us’

Scots are still deterred from starting a business because of a fear of failure, according to a new survey which also reveals it has the UK’s lowest level of interest in becoming an entrepreneur.

About four in ten adults not presently engaged in business activity in Scotland can see good opportunities to start businesses in the next six months, but more than half say the fear of failure would stop them.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Scotland report 2021/22, which captures rates of entrepreneurship in the general adult population, reveals there are significant gaps in the confidence Scots have in their entrepreneurial abilities.

The study is part of a global research consortium that measured rates of entrepreneurship by interviewing around 150,000 adults across 50 countries in 2021, including around 10,000 respondents from all four UK nations.

This report found that other home nations appear to have built back stronger and achieved significant growth.

In Scotland, only around 16% of non-entrepreneurial adults are expecting to set up a start-up over the next three years, the lowest rate among the home nations in 2021.

The survey authors suggest more needs to be done to inspire people to engage in early-stage entrepreneurial activity and then grow those businesses, with a need for an increased focus on entrepreneurship skills in schools and among entrepreneurs.

Co-lead of the GEM Scotland study, Dr Sreevas Sahasranamam, senior lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, said: “There is a need for an increased focus on entrepreneurship education in schools, further and higher education, in our communities, and among practicing entrepreneurs.”

Mark Logan, the Scottish Government’s chief entrepreneur, said: “The GEM Scotland Report clearly highlights the work ahead of us; particularly in normalising entrepreneurship as a career option, in addressing the severe gender imbalances in entrepreneurship and in the need to instigate broad entrepreneurial education at all ages.”

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