Scotland CAN DO: becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation

Framework for our future priorities for action in creating an entrepreneurial and innovative nation.


The purpose of this framework is to set out our vision and ambitions for becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation - a CAN DO place for business.

Our ambition is to achieve:

  • an increase in entrepreneurship and innovation activity from individuals and businesses in Scotland resulting in more businesses being formed and new products and services from existing businesses;
  • more people from all walks of life with the ambition and skills
    to create, lead and grow successful businesses;
  • an education system with entrepreneurship and innovation at its core, seizing the opportunities presented by Curriculum for Excellence, college reform and the world-leading strength of
    our universities;
  • more of our knowledge and intellectual capital being commercialised and greatly increased collaboration between business and the academic sector; and
  • a greater focus on, and share of, global markets as our business leaders grow in confidence and expand their horizons internationally.

This framework will contribute to the following National Outcomes in Scotland's Performance Framework: [1]

  • We live in a Scotland that is the most attractive place for doing business in Europe.
  • We realise our full economic potential with more and better employment opportunities for our people.
  • We are better educated, more skilled and more successful, renowned for our research and innovation.

There are three specific National Indicators that will help us to measure performance towards becoming a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation:

  • Increase the number of businesses. [2]
  • Increase research and development spending. [3]
  • Improve knowledge exchange from university research. [4]

The document sets out:

  • What is entrepreneurship and innovation?
  • Why are entrepreneurship and innovation important?
  • Our values and approach.
  • Scotland's entrepreneurial and innovative spirit.
  • Understanding our challenges.
  • Priorities moving forward.
  • Channelling change and next steps.

This framework has evolved from on-going discussions with a wide range of stakeholders across Scotland, including workshops held in May and June 2013. The document has also been published in an expanded interactive format, featuring additional case studies and details of current activity.

Case Study


An Edinburgh company producing a non-topple drinks tray has secured deals to supply two of America's largest food services companies and a renowned hotel with its innovative product, supported by Business Gateway.

Sodexo USA, Compass Group USA and the Four Seasons Hotel, Las Vegas, were among the first to purchase Safetray, [5] a non-topple drinks tray invented by Alison Grieve. Alison came up with the idea for the product after a tray of champagne worth hundreds of pounds toppled over at an event she had organised. Speaking about the major order, she said:

"Securing orders with such leading names in the hospitality industry highlights how innovative the product is. It's amazing to think that a product made by a small Scottish company will now be used in places such as Alaska, San Francisco and New York."


Email: Tom Craig,

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