Information

Small Business Survey Scotland: 2017

Sets out the findings for Scotland of the Small Business Survey 2017.

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2. Business Demographics

Size

In 2017, of all SMEs with employees surveyed in Scotland, 82 per cent were micro businesses (1-9 employees), 16 per cent were small businesses (10-49 employees) and three per cent were medium-sized businesses (50-249 employees) [9] . Micro businesses therefore dominated overall findings for all SME employers. These proportions are in line with 2016.

Sector

Table 2 below shows the breakdown of SMEs that took part in the survey in 2017, by sector.

Table 2: SMEs by sector (%)

Base: all SME employers, 739 – Base minimum: Information/Communication, 28

Sector ( SIC 2007)

Micro

1-9 (%)

Small

10-49 (%)

Medium 50-249 (%)

Total (%)

ABDE Primary

8

4

4

8

C Manufacturing

5

9

18

6

F Construction

13

10

10

12

GHI Transport/Retail/Distribution

32

41

32

33

J Information/Communication

4

3

3

4

KLM Business services

19

13

12

18

N Administrative services

7

6

9

7

PQRS Other services

12

15

12

12

The largest sector was Transport/Retail/Distribution, with 33 per cent of SMEs, while the smallest was Information/Communication, with four per cent of SMEs.

Charity status

10 per cent of SMEs in Scotland stated that they were registered as charities. Small businesses (15 per cent) were more likely that average to be charities.

Family-owned businesses

In 2017, 68 per cent of SMEs surveyed in Scotland were family-owned [10] , a decrease of five percentage points from 2016 (73 per cent) and broadly similar with the figure in the UK as a whole (69 per cent).

Small (57 per cent) and medium-sized businesses (54 per cent) were less likely than average to be family-owned.

Family-owned businesses were more prevalent in the Transport/Retail/Distribution sector (82 per cent) and less prevalent in the Other Services sector (20 per cent).

Urban/rural location

In 2017, 62 per cent of SMEs were located within an urban area [11] , while 38 per cent were based within a rural area. Medium-sized firms were more likely than average to be located in an urban area (82 per cent).

Home-based businesses

In 2017, 35 per cent of SMEs in Scotland did not have a separate business premises to their home address, up seven percentage points compared to 2016 (28 per cent) and higher than the proportion in the UK as a whole (29 per cent).

Small (17 per cent) and medium-sized (12 per cent) firms were less likely than average to be home-based.

Home-based businesses were more common in the Information/Communication (54 per cent), Construction (49 per cent) and Business Services sectors (46 per cent) and less common in the Transport/Retail/Distribution (27 per cent) and Other services sectors (22 per cent).

Women-led businesses

Women-led businesses are defined as controlled by a single woman or having a management team of which a majority were women.

In 2017, 21 per cent of SMEs in Scotland were women-led, broadly in line with the proportion in the UK as a whole (19 per cent). 44 per cent of SMEs in Scotland were entirely male-led, broadly in line with the figure in the UK as a whole (48 per cent).

Minority Ethnic Group ( MEG)-led businesses

Minority Ethnic Group ( MEG)-led businesses are defined as having a person from an ethnic minority in sole control of the business or having a management team with at least half of its members from an ethnic minority. Three per cent of SMEs in Scotland were MEG-led in 2017, marginally lower than the proportion in the UK as a whole, at four per cent.

Contact

OCEABusiness@gov.scot

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