The number of SMEs in Scotland increased by 4.1% in 2014 compared to 2013, which represents around 6,500 new businesses, according to analysis of official data by Santander Corporate & Commercial1.
The three fastest-growing local authorities for SMEs were Clackmannanshire (up 6.7%), East Renfrewshire (up 6%) and East Dunbartonshire (up 5.7%), while Edinburgh was fourth with an increase of 5.6%. Overall, Edinburgh retained its place as having the most SMEs in total, at 16,875, slightly more than 16,570 in Glasgow and 13,970 in Aberdeenshire. Glasgow’s SMEs employ the most people at 111,400 compared to 94,610 in Edinburgh.
The analysis found that, overall, turnover for the SME sector in Scotland rose by 5.7%, equivalent to an extra £5.34 billion in revenue in 2014.
To showcase the best of Scotland’s SME sector and Santander Corporate & Commercial’s extensive support for Scottish businesses, the bank is running the Santander Red Box Business Festival from 11-15 May in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh. The five-day event consists of free-to-attend masterclasses and focused events aimed at ambitious business owners and local entrepreneurs.
The venue for the festival – Santander’s Breakthrough Moments Box – is a versatile space for the business community to meet and share ideas and expertise with a range of stakeholders.
A number of local businesses will be on hand to share their own success stories, including AFG Media, the company behind the worldwide Morphsuit phenomenon; leading tech companies FanDuel and Codebase; and food and drink firms Innis & Gunn and Eteaket.
The event will also showcase Santander’s Growth Capital lending programme, aimed specifically at helping business owners and entrepreneurs to fast-track growth, and the bank’s recently launched Breakthrough product suite – a key part of its plan to double its current SME market share across the UK to 10% by the end of 2016.
Santander is also running a significant schools engagement programme across the five-day event, with the aim to get local schoolchildren actively involved and to introduce them to valued business and finance skills. Among a range of activities planned, Santander will run a competition to design a new logo for use on Morphsuits, while 25 selected students will also be able to participate in a financial awareness masterclass in the Box itself.
Kevin Boyd, Divisional Managing Director – Scotland, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “It is great to see Scotland’s SMEs growing, hiring and investing for the future. Scotland has a strong base of small businesses with some exceptional firms increasing their presence both locally, across the UK and globally. Santander has been growing its own presence in the Scottish market and believes that with services such as our new Breakthrough product and our Growth Capital lending programme we are offering a highly differentiated service for businesses.
“The Santander Red Box Business Festival will be a unique event aimed at providing genuine insight and support for the Scottish business community. We have developed a strong programme of speakers, discussions and events, and I believe all stakeholders will find real value in taking part.”
Santander Corporate & Commercial is focused on supporting businesses in Scotland. The bank opened its new Aberdeen office in September last year and now has Corporate Business Centres in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness with 80 staff in total. Santander has increased lending to businesses across the UK by an average of 20% per year over the last four years: in Scotland, net lending has grown by 94% over the last two years.
The Santander Red Box Business Festival in Edinburgh is part of a UK tour taking place in 2015 which will see Santander’s Breakthrough Moments Box visit towns and cities in the UK. Further information about the Tour can be found at https://www.santandercb.co.uk/knowledge-hub/events, while further information on the event in Edinburgh can be found at https://www.santandercb.co.uk/content/edinburgh-breakthrough-box-live-event
The information contained in our press releases is intended solely for journalists and should not be used by consumers to make financial decisions.
Notes to editors
Santander Corporate & Commercial provides dedicated relationship banking support to businesses with a turnover of more than £250,000. It is part of Santander UK, a leading financial services provider in the UK which offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. At 31 December 2014, Santander UK serves around 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees, 921 branches and 66 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN) is a retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a presence in 10 main markets. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.34 trillion in managed funds, 107 million customers, 13,225 branches – more than any other international bank – and 183,648 employees at the close of June 2014. It is the largest financial group in Spain and Latin America. It also has significant positions in the United Kingdom, Portugal, Germany, Poland and the northeast United States. In the first half of 2014, Santander registered EUR 2.756 billion in attributable profit, an increase of 22% from the same period of the previous year.
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