Which is Midlothian’s most entrepreneurial town?

Friday February 10th 2017


People living in Roslin and Bilston are Midlothian’s most entrepreneurial citizens according to new data issued by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The Interactive Map (Click HERE) put together by FSB in Scotland show the proportion of people who work for themselves in 479 Scottish towns, cities and suburbs.

The top performing Scottish towns were Ullapool and Newtonmore in Highland where the figure for self-employment is twice as much as Midlothian’s best towns. The national average figure for self-employment in Scotland’s towns is 6.4%.

Town Self Employed %
Roslin 8.9
Bilston 7.9
Rosewell 7.6
Loanhead 7.5
Bonnyrigg 7.4
Dalkeith 7.1
Danderhall 6.7
Penicuik 6.6
Gorebridge 6.1
Mayfield 5.8

Across Scotland FSB figures show similarities and differences amongst the most and least entrepreneurial towns. Towns with the highest figures tend to be wealthy, rural, have high home and car ownership, and high educational attainment levels. The towns with the lowest figures nationally tend to be in Scotland’s post-industrial heartlands where large employers no longer exist, in these areas there tends to be low home and car ownership and lower levels of educational attainment.

Gordon Henderson, FSB’s Senior Development Manager, said: “The Midlothian figures don’t vary terribly much between Roslin at 8.9% and Mayfield at 5.8%. Although having all of our local towns so close to the national average is heartening when you see the challenges faced by towns with fewer than 3% self-employed – there’s a lot of room for growth.

“Midlothian Council’s focus is quite rightly on tackling inequality and supporting people living in the region’s more deprived areas into employment. If they were to include a focus on encouraging self-employment and entrepreneurship in these areas it could make a real difference to local people and their local economies. Looking at Government figures, Midlothian has a very low business base compared to both East Lothian and the national average so there’s plenty of room for business start-up growth here.

“We need to get behind those people and places that want to change their circumstances. Boosting self-employment and business activity could give all of Midlothian’s towns a lift. An economic strategy with ambitious targets for business start-ups and entrepreneurship as well as a focus on enterprise education in our schools would be well worth investing in.”

FSB has produced a five point plan boost entrepreneurship in post-industrial Scotland, while urging more support for those that work for themselves across the country:

  • Social security and income protection: The Scottish Government should use their new social security powers to provide extra maternity, paternity and adoption support for the self-employed. The Scottish Government should work with the insurance industry to help develop an affordable income protection product.
  • Enterprise education: The Scottish Government should deliver the SNP’s manifesto commitment to educate every child about running a business.
  • Utilising empty property: Scotland’s 32 councils should offer their long-term vacant property for free to local business start-ups.
  • Asking more of universities and colleges: The Scottish Funding Council should allocate extra funding to universities and colleges who successfully help graduates to establish businesses.
  • Getting enterprise support working properly: The next stage of the Scottish Government’s enterprise and skills review should look at the barriers to establishing a business in post-industrial Scotland. The newly launched – and FSB supported – Scottish Microfinance Fund may wish to target help in these areas.
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