Scotland is the first place that comes to mind if people are talking about kilts, bagpipes, the Loch Ness Monster, or whiskey. As well as the stereotypical aspects, it is also famous worldwide for its stunning scenery and historical buildings. Large cities such as Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen as well as many remote areas attract many tourists from all over the world.
Alongside tourists, Scotland has become popular with businesses. Of particular importance is the Scottish Enterprise initiative, which helps businesses to start and to grow. It does this with financial assistance, training and guidance. It has been instrumental in helping several types of business to become successful. Here are just a few key areas that have seen significant growth.
Scotland is home to more than 1,500 cutting edge technology companies, and its digital sector is growing at twice the rate of any other industry. It is an area that has a highly skilled workforce, many of them with a university degree.
The cost of using a tech company in Scotland is one of the lowest in Europe according to an fDi benchmark report. There is also a strong network of innovation labs and universities that encourage collaboration between companies and organisations.
Last Mile Deliveries
The growth of digital technologies has meant a drop in the number of things sent in the post, but the unstoppable growth of the ecommerce sector means demand for ‘last mile delivery’ services is rising sharply. Whether it is a parcel or letter to a cottage on a mountainside, or something that needs to be quickly taken from one side of a large city to the other, couriers are often the answer.
This is a thriving industry in Scotland, and one that many people look into when they are thinking of starting a new business, particularly given the relatively low level of startup capital required to get this kind of business off the ground. In fact, if someone has some form of transport, from a van to a car to a bicycle, they are already in a strong position to launch a new courier service.
Of course, once the transport is sorted there are a few other practicalities to sort out, such as courier insurance. Fortunately this type of insurance policy usually isn’t prohibitively expensive, and it is relatively easy to find as well. A courier insurance comparison service like Quotezone.co.uk will allow you to compare quotes from a wide range of providers all in one place – look here for more information.
Farming is becoming more of a data-driven concern than ever before. As well as giving instant information about weather, crop growth and the best time to harvest, automation is making many agricultural processes easier and faster to do. There is even tracking technology that helps prevent sheep rustlers from targeting Scotland’s farms. This used to be a minor problem, but after criminal gangs got involved the total cost to Scotland’s farmers amounted to more than £200,000 over two years.
When sheep were stolen in the past, it was simple for thieves to remove the ear tags and for the rustlers to then state the sheep belonged to them. New technology prevents this happening and the sheep are traceable as well as the ownership being in no doubt.
Scotland is known for its whiskey production, and some of the best-known names in the industry are based in Scotland. However, there are also a lot of smaller drinks manufacturers and the number of them is growing. Stricter drink driving laws and the trend for living a healthier lifestyle has created a market for soft drinks that are healthy and non-alcoholic.
This, in turn, created another problem, as one small drink manufacturer realised. Making the drinks was not a problem, but finding somewhere to bottle small runs was. This was a niche that was soon filled when the business owners started their own bottling plant, especially for small runs of craft beers and soft drinks.
These are just a few of the business success stories in Scotland, but there are many more. For example, 4J Studio, who developed the console version of Minecraft, has sold more than 20 million copies of that product and it has not been out of the top 10 in the last 5 years.
ZoneFox helps companies detect when someone is trying to steal information from within their systems. They recently helped an engineering firm spot that someone was trying to take £10 million worth of intellectual property.
Skyscanner is possibly the best-known of Scotland’s start-ups. Originally set up as a search engine for flights, it can now compare hotels and car hire as well. With a staff of more 700 and a value put on the business of over 1 billion pounds, it is one of Scotland’s biggest success stories.
It seems that Scotland not only encourages and helps new businesses to start up and grow, it also seems to breed clever entrepreneurs. This has to be a recipe for success, and there is no doubt there will be many more successful businesses in Scotland in the future.