Access to Finance Survey 2019: privacy notice

Information on the data collected in the Access to Finance Survey, which asks small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland how they finance themselves and their experiences in seeking external finance.

Access to Finance Survey 2019

The Access to Finance Survey is a survey of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland to determine how SMEs finance themselves and their experiences in seeking external finance.

Under Article 6(1)(e) of the General Data Protection Regulation we are notifying you that we collect and process this data for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.

Q. Who carries out the survey?

A. The Survey is conducted by Ipsos MORI, an independent research company, on behalf of the Scottish Government’s Office for the Chief Economic Adviser.

Q. How was my business chosen?

A. Your business was selected at random from a database held by Dun and Bradstreet, a private company that provides commercial data and analytics.

Q. What information does the survey collect?

A. The survey collects a range of information on businesses’ current use of finance, finance sought over the past three years and finance sought over the last year. It also collects information on the characteristics of the business (e.g. number of employees) and the characteristics of the business owner (e.g. gender).

Q. Why is the information required?

A. The information on businesses’ use of and experience in seeking finance is required to enable the Scottish Government to better understand businesses’ use of traditional and alternative types of finance. The information will also help the Scottish Government determine if businesses are facing barriers in accessing finance and, if so, what the impacts are. Additionally, the findings from the survey will inform the ongoing establishment and operations of the Scottish National Investment Bank, which will provide long-term, patient finance to projects which meet the bank’s missions-based criteria to tackle socio-economic challenges and help Scotland achieve its full economic potential.

The information on the gender and racial background of the business owner and the address of the business is required to enable the Scottish Government to determine how businesses’ use of and experiences in seeking finance differs across regions of Scotland and between different groups of businesses including women-led and minority ethnic group (MEG) led businesses.

The information on the name and job title of the survey respondent is gathered to allow for follow-up research on access to finance, should the survey respondent agree to this.

Q. How will the information be used?

A. Survey results will be used to produce the SME Access to Finance 2019 report which will be published on the Scottish Government’s website. The report will provide results for SMEs as a whole as well as providing results for particular groups of interest including women-led businesses, minority ethnic group (MEG) led businesses, exporting businesses and high growth businesses. The survey results will published only as grouped information or averages, from which it will not be possible to identify individual business. The data collected from the survey will not be shared with any organisations other than the Scottish Government and Ipsos MORI, who are conducting the survey on our behalf .

Q. How much of my time will it take up?

A. The survey should take no longer than 25 minutes.

Q. Is the survey confidential?

A. Yes. Each business’ response is confidential and individual businesses will not be identifiable in any outputs produced by Ipsos MORI for the Scottish Government.

Q. Why should I take part?

A. Taking part in the survey is entirely voluntary. By gaining a better     understanding of the experiences and views of businesses like yours, the    Scottish Government will be able to improve its representation of Scottish business on issues such as access to finance.

Q. What data protection information should I be aware of?

A. All information collected will be stored securely by Scottish Government and Ipsos MORI for as long as the information is required for statistical analysis. It will then be destoyed. As stated above, Scottish Government will only have access to anonymised data. The small amount of personal data collected will be covered by data protection legislation.

Q. Who should I contact for information on the survey?

A. Ipsos MORI should be contacted with questions related to the survey. Their contact details are:

Rachel Warren
Ipsos MORI
4 Wemyss Place

0131 226 8671

The contact at the Scottish Government is:

Caroline Macfarlane
Scottish Government          
5th Floor
5 Atlantic Quay
150 Broomielaw
G2 8LU

0131 244 2234

If you have any complaints about the way your data has been handled during this survey, these can be made to the Scottish Government Data Protection Team via email at You also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), either via email at or by phoning  0303 123 1115.                                                                         

Thank you for taking the time to read this notice. Please get in touch if you have any further questions.

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