East Neuk leads the way for self employment

Pittenweem is Fifes entrepreneurial hot spot.
Pittenweem is Fifes entrepreneurial hot spot.

Pittenweem is one of Scotland’s top entrepreneurial hot spots according to new data issued by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

Interactive maps put together by the FSB show the proportion of people who work for themselves in Scottish towns, cities and suburbs.

Many of Fife’s towns are included in the report and they give a wide ranging picture of self-employment in the region. People living in Pittenweem are five times more likely to be self-employed that those living in Leuchars.

Some towns that currently have one large employer, like St Andrews, tend to have a low proportion of people who work for themselves.

Many towns in north east Fife have levels of self employment above the Scottish average (6.4 per cent), including St Monans (13 per cent), Anstruther (12.2 per cent), Crail (11.5 per cent), Newport-on-Tay (10 per cent), Ladybank (9.4 per cent) and Falkland (9 per cent).

North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins said: “Anyone who has spent time down in the East Neuk will know it is one of the most creative and innovative parts of Scotland.

“We know that people who are self-employed using their skills to be their own boss, make a huge contribution to local economies, not least those in rural areas. It is hard work being self-employed but it can also be very rewarding.”

The majority of towns in the central area – Kirkcaldy and Dysart (5.9 per cent), Glenrothes (5.1 per cent) and Buckhaven, Methil, Methilhill and Leven (4.6 per cent) – are below the national average.

Gordon Henderson, FSB’s senior development manager, said: “The Fife figures give a wide-ranging picture with some fantastic entrepreneurial hot spots such as Pittenweem, with the fourth highest self-employment figure in Scotland, and a list of towns in need of support to get up to the national average.

“The council’s ‘Culture for Enterprise’ plan looks to embed entrepreneurial thinking from a young age, starting at schools with initiatives such as a business board game and local business visits, through to supporting people to see self-employment as a desirable route to employment.

“This work will take years to bear fruit but it’s exactly the type of thinking we need to see.”