Our business plan

Economic context

Economic context

Our business plan for 2021-22 sets out how we'll support an innovation-led recovery by responding to global economic challenges and opportunities. The global policy focus on climate change and transitioning economies to net zero offers real opportunities for Scottish businesses. We're also well placed to meet growing demand in other global markets.

1,950 accredited living wage employers

in Scotland - with 300 achieving accreditation in 2020

73% of Scotland's businesses

adopted new digital technologies during the COVID-19 pandemic

1 in 10 jobs in Scotland

are already related to the circular economy

Scotland, in common with other economies across the world, is experiencing one of the largest economic shocks in history.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected many people’s livelihoods and incomes, and businesses and organisations across all sectors have had to adapt quickly to new ways of working. The UK’s new trading relationship with the European Union has been a further challenge, particularly to internationally focused businesses.

Lower investment by businesses, reduced global trade and potential loss of skills by furloughed workers or those who have lost jobs is likely to affect Scotland’s productivity growth over the short term, affecting average living standards and wages. Certain groups have been disproportionately affected by the crisis, for example young people are more likely to have lost their job or been furloughed.

Real opportunities for Scottish businesses

The global policy focus on climate change and transitioning economies to net zero offers real opportunities for Scottish businesses, building on Scotland’s natural assets and expertise.

We're also well placed to meet growing demand in other global markets where Scotland has knowledge, ability and expertise such as: 

  • Health and wellbeing, recognising the global demands on health and care systems and the need for change to models more focused on prediction, prevention, and precision
  • The use of digital technologies and data analytics
  • And the role of advanced manufacturing in helping accelerate the global drive towards net zero
Map of Scotland