Official figures published this week show that the number of businesses in Scotland is at its highest level since 2000 (the earliest available point in the time series).
There are 341,360 businesses in Scotland, an increase of ten per cent on the previous year.
The majority of the increase is accounted for by a rise in micro businesses, with 25,620 more in March 2012 than in March 2011. The number of registered enterprises also rose by 3.4 per cent ending the trend of the last two years where the number of registered enterprises fell slightly.
Enterprise Minister Fergus Ewing said:
“This increase in the number of businesses is encouraging, especially in the current economic climate. The rise has been driven by start-up enterprises, a sign that Scots are confident enough to go out and make the most of the opportunities available.
“The Scottish Government is taking action to foster an enterprising spirit in our business community and we will build on this to encourage further levels of entrepreneurship. We recently launched a £1 million Scottish entrepreneurs fund called EDGE – Encouraging Dynamic Growth Entrepreneurs – which will help accelerate innovative business ideas.
“Business Gateway is on hand to give help to those considering starting a business. It also offers existing businesses the support they need to grow and develop.
“The success of our small and medium sized businesses is integral to the success of our overall economy. That is why the Scottish Government is committed to maintaining Scotland as the most competitive place to do business and providing the most generous package of reliefs, which includes the Small Business Bonus Scheme, available anywhere in the UK. When considered together these reliefs are worth over £500 million a year.”