Business development · 20 March 2018

Scotland’s thriving tech startups plot expansion and exports growth

Small firms in Glasgow are predicted to contribute 6bn to the economy every year by 2025
Entrepreneurs leading Scotland’s growing community of tech startups have declared plans to hire more staff and ramp up exports as their sales boom.

According to the 13th annual Scottish Technology Industry Survey, 80 per cent of companies are expecting a positive 2018 with nearly a third forecasting more than 50 per cent increase in sales.

Over three quarters of those surveyed also expect to increase employee numbers in the next 12 months, up from 66 per cent in 2016.

In terms of new staff, the local marketplace is anticipated to provide the bulk of talent with 70 per cent of tech firms expecting to recruit from within Scotland. A fifth are planning to find new recruits mainly outside the UK, up from nine per cent last year.

Three quarters of business owners said they were definitely? or quite likely? to recruit graduates. Demand for Modern Apprentices has risen with 45 per cent “definitely” or “quite likely” to recruit in this way, compared to 38 per cent in 2017 and 29 per cent in 2016.

The survey, conducted by ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry, also revealed that£68 per cent of businessesrecordedimproved sales during 2017 compared tothe previous year. Increased profit margins were reported by 47 per cent of respondents for 2017, only one per cent less than 2016.

International markets remain a key focus for Scotland’s digital companies with 64 per cent of businesses already exporting and a further 17 per cent planning to do so.

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As in previous years, the top three export markets remain the Rest of the UK, Europe and North America. Europe has, however, replaced the Rest of the UK as the top destination for exporters.



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