The Next Start-up Nation?
Academic says Scotland needs major rethink if it is to compete in global start-up race
Reform Scotland, the independent, non-partisan think tank, today releases a paper called ‘The Next Start-Up Nation? – A manifesto for an Independent, Entrepreneurial and Ambitious Scotland‘, written by Ross Brown, Professor in Entrepreneurship and Small Business Finance at the School of Management, University of St Andrews.
Professor Brown writes that Scotland has an uneasy relationship with entrepreneurialism, and that this has to change. If Scotland became independent, its economy would be heavily reliant on innovation and would require a culture that celebrates entrepreneurs, as well as better funding and support for start-ups.
Among Professor Brown’s recommendations are:
- The scrapping of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, and their replacement with a new set of institutions focused on supporting high-growth ventures.
- Abolition of the First Minister’s Council of Economic Advisors, who are “academic economists who simply don’t understand how businesses function and operate”. This should be replaced with a National Entrepreneurship Council composed of successful entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions, key business angels, and entrepreneurship policy experts.
- Copying Israel’s “strategic and sophisticated” government intervention which has shaped shaping the massive growth and success of that country’s high-tech sector.
- Making it easier for innovators to access growth capital and advice in order to scale up their businesses.
- The targeting of women, immigrants and people with disabilities to unleash hidden entrepreneurial power in the economy.