Download our latest report on Scotland’s small and medium sized enterprise sector. 

Scotland generates a greater GDP per-head than the UK as a whole but with the independence referendum in September approaching, how is the country’s SME sector faring?

In Q2, we surveyed over 500 private sector businesses with turnover up to £25m and employee numbers ranging from one to 250.

Key findings

The research highlights a confident and well performing business environment in Scotland, but also points to some uncertainty over the approaching referendum:

Business performance

  • Over half (52%) of businesses have seen increasing sales over recent months
  • 61% expect sales growth in the months leading up to October


  • Almost two thirds (64%) have invested in their business over the past three months
  • Over half (54%) expect to invest in technology, staff training and recruitment over the next three months

Business advice and finance

  • Accountants are the most frequent source of business advice (58%)
  • SMEs seek advice from friends and family more often than financial advisers and solicitors
  • Only 1 in 4 use external finance


  • Over a third think independence would have a negative impact on the Scottish economy
  • One in four say it would be positive for the economy and 27% are undecided