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Startup numbers level off as Scottish people go back to employed work

3 min read

12 September 2015

The number of people setting up businesses in Scotland is levelling off as employment recovers.

The number of people starting up businesses in Scotland may have plateaued because of the overall improvement in the jobs market.

According to new figures from The Committee of Scottish Bankers, comprising Bank of Scotland, Clydesdale Bank, TSB Bank and the Royal Bank of Scotland, there were 3,159 Startups in the second quarter of 2015, down 0.6 per cent from 3,179 in the same period last year.

The figures are based on the number of businesses opening accounts with the Scottish lenders and do not take into account those doing business with other high street banks such as HSBC and Santander.

The number of sole traders setting up their own businesses suffered a sharp fall. with 1,104 new one-man or one-woman businesses starting in the second quarter – down from 1,248 last year.

This suggests that the overall improvement in the jobs market in both Scotland and the rest of the UK is tempting more people back into full or part-time paid work.

The increase in the number of sole traders in recent years has been linked with the recession and people having to start their own businesses when there are fewer jobs elsewhere.

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Most new businesses in Scotland are in the real estate sector, with 867 startups over the period, up slightly from 857 last time. The second most popular sector was wholesale and retail trade: repairs with 434 new businesses.

Health and social work performed strongly as did education and agriculture, hunting and forestry.

However the economic recovery particularly in the services sector is not reflected in the Scottish numbers.

The number of new hotel and restaurant businesses dropped to 274, from 289 last year and the amount of construction startups also dropped to 416 from 426.

However the manufacturing sector in Scotland appears stronger than elsewhere with 183 startups in the second quarter down just 1 from the 184 last year.

Glasgow was the most popular place in Scotland to set up a new firm with 314 over the period down from 389 last year, followed by Edinburgh with 262, down from 268, and Aberdeenshire with 254, up from 235.

Other notable jumps were seen in Dumfries and Galloway where startup numbers doubled to 100, North Lanarkshire up to 167 from 144 and Renfrewshire from 58 to 89.