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An update of the Global Entrepreneurship Development Index for Scotland


This report presents a short literature review of academic work on entrepreneurial ecosystems since the first REAP (Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme) Scotland report, followed by the findings of an update of the Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI) for Scotland, originally conducted in 2012. The periods compared were 2008 to 2011 and 2012 to 2015 and the data used were comparable for these periods.


The methodology consisted of a literature review of academic work focusing on a number of areas, including information exchange between entrepreneurs in the ecosystem, digitization, job creation and management of entrepreneurial ecosystems; and analysis of the results of updated GEDI data, comparing the periods 2008 to 2011 with 2012 to 2015.


The literature review showed that there have been significant advances in the understanding of entrepreneurial ecosystems since the first REAP Scotland report was published, and Scotland-based academics have made significant contributions to this literature. Many issues were found to remain, however, such as around the issue of governance and management of entrepreneurial ecosystems. There has also been discussion around issues such as the appropriate level of analysis, the role of digitization in business model evolution, how ecosystems influence the relationship between innovation and entrepreneurship, and how entrepreneurial ecosystems attract and integrate immigrants and in-migrants. It is suggested that consideration be given to examining sub-national ecosystems as it is likely that the health of and issues facing the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Scotland’s major cities and rural regions differ considerably. The GEDI update showed that between the first and second period, Scotland’s profile improved both absolutely and relative to benchmark nations. If it were a nation state, it would rank fifth when included with 28 innovation-driven nations on the GEDI index for the 2012 to 2015 period, comfortably within the upper quartile and behind only the United States, Australia, Denmark and Sweden. This is a rise from number 12 for the 2008 to 2011 period. Scotland’s weakest pillars improved significantly, resulting in a more rounded profile, with no obvious bottlenecks visible. Scotland’s profile was more balanced than any of the 28 innovation-driven (developed) countries in the sample, just ahead of the United States. As a result, it is suggested that the GEDI methodology may be less accurate as an identifier of weaknesses for the second period. The report notes that some caution is necessary in attributing the improvement to work done by the REAP project, since the REAP actions began halfway through the second data collection period.


No recommendations were made.

Author University of Strathclyde
Published Year 2018
Report Type Research
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation