Investment in skills will drive Scotland’s entrepreneurial and economic growth, says EY

Investment in skills will drive Scotland’s entrepreneurial and economic growth, says EY

The Scottish economy and entrepreneurial community stands to benefit from an increase in skilled workers and inspiring the next generation to be the driving force in innovative industry, will play an integral role, according to EY.

Results of EY’s recent survey of the alumni of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year programme found that 65% of Scottish respondents are having difficulties attracting the talent needed for their business to grow with 38% saying this is due to a lack of skills.

Additionally, 25% of entrepreneurs in Scotland stated that the single biggest challenge facing their business was the ‘shortage of skilled candidates to hire’.  

David Mitchell, EY Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year Scotland, highlights the appeal of working for inspirational entrepreneurs and suggests industry may benefit from changes to education.

He said: “Entrepreneurialism is about having the vision to predict change and drive the disruption of the current market through innovation.

"In this fast-paced world of change, what will business be like in the future and will traditional education still be relevant?”

While Scotland’s location and distance from London can be a complication when expanding an entrepreneurial business both in terms of staffing and investment being based in Scotland also has benefits.

Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne, owner and founder of Genius Foods, said: “The challenge often lies in attracting the right calibre of team members, a difficult task when many of the most skilled people in Scotland are attracted by jobs in the south and abroad.

"Scottish businesses must take the time to build a loyal workforce and nurture the wealth of local talent on their doorsteps.

“Scottish entrepreneurs face the additional challenge of being located a significant distance from London, where many key stakeholders and agency partners are based. This often results in more travel and time away from home.

"However, a major advantage of being based in Scotland is the strong entrepreneurial community which provides a fantastic support network.

"Backing from the local business community, along with a strong and loyal team, really can help Scottish entrepreneurs overcome the challenges they face.”

David Mitchell added: “The variety of financing options is increasing and there is growing interest from investors as the global imprint of Scottish business expands.

"Although sometimes attracting new investment for growth carries a pressure from investors to relocate overseas to areas they perceive to be traditional industry hubs.

"Building Scotland's entrepreneurial clout will help develop our country’s attractiveness as a place to grow businesses.

"The key to real and sustained growth in the Scottish economy is for business owners to be supported locally and have access to the resources needed to build businesses of scale right here in Scotland.”