Need for strategic thinking in Scottish Entrepreneurship Policy
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:16
A leading academic will tell a conference on Welfare To Work in Edinburgh on Wednesday 25 April that the jobs for tomorrow will be created by entrepreneurs who build high growth companies. Professor Colin Mason of Strathclyde University's Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship will criticise policy-makers for looking in the wrong places for such high growth firms, thus missing job creation opportunities
"It is a myth that they are science-based, spin-outs from universities or are new businesses." He will tell the conference, which is organised by Holyrood Magazine, that while high growth firms are certainly innovative, they are not strongly R&D based or operating at the frontiers if science. Nor are they new. "High growth firms are at least 10 years old, and can be any age. Moreover, many are management buyouts."
Professor Mason also highlights the frequency with which Scotland's successful high growth firms get acquired by foreign companies. "While it can be argued that this enables entrepreneurs to start new companies and investors to recycle their profits, I do not think that this is good for the long-term health of the Scottish economy."
Professor Mason finishes by raising a concern about the apparent lack of strategic thinking about these issues. "We urgently need an independent source of thinking about entrepreneurship, innovation and business growth in Scotland."