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Statistics in more details

Summary: Ethnicity and Business and Enterprise

  • In 2016, around 3% of small to medium-sized enterprise employers in Scotland were run by a member or mostly by members of a minority ethnic group.

Source: Small Business Survey Scotland 2016 (Last updated: August 2017)


  • In 2017, the self-employment rate for ethnic minorities (18.5%) was higher than for those of white ethnic origin (12.1%).

  • In 2017, the self-employment rate for males from ethnic minorities (21.4%) was higher than for white males (15.6%); the self-employment rate for females from ethnic minorities (14.5%) was also higher than for white females (8.4%)

  • Females from both ethnic origins had lower self-employment rates than males of the corresponding ethnic origin.

Ethnicity by gender

Source: Annual Population Survey results for year to December 2017 (Last updated: May 2018)

  • In 2011, the proportion of all people in employment who were self-employed was highest for the following ethnic groups: Pakistani (27%), followed by White: Gypsy/Traveller (23%). By comparison, self-employment rates among for those of White: Scottish ethnicity stood at 11%, and self-employment rates were lowest in the African ethnic group at 7%.

Source: Analysis of Equality Results from the 2011 Census - Part 2 (Last updated: March 2015)


Useful Links

Ethnicity Page

Business and Enterprise Page

Publications and Outputs

Publications and Outputs

Small Business Survey Scotland 2016 (August 2017) Findings from the Longitudinal Small Business Survey. It outlines the key characteristics of small and medium-sized enterprises with employees, in Scotland. Includes statistics on ethnicity and gender

Regional Employment Patterns in Scotland: Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2016 (May 2017) Summary publication of results from the Annual Population Survey, presenting analysis on the labour market, education and training. The main publication contains data on age, disability, ethnicity and gender, with further equalities analysis found in the Supplementary Local Authority Tables.

Scottish Government Equality Outcomes: Ethnicity Evidence Review (2013) A comprehensive review of available evidence in relation to ethnicity.



Scottish Government Survey Data

Annual Population Survey - Annual Population Survey microdata is available (through a ‘special licence’ scheme) from the UK Data Archive

Official Statistics

statistics.gov.scot - Explore, visualise and download over 200 datasets from a range of producers. Start browsing by theme, organisation, or geography. Or access programmatically using our APIs. A range of datasets are available that can be broken down by ethnic group


External Links

External Links

Please note that you will leave the Scottish Government web site by clicking on any of the following links, and that the Scottish Government and its staff are not responsible for content external to this web site. The research below has been carried out independently of the Scottish Government and the findings do not necessarily represent the views of the Scottish Government or Scottish Ministers

External Publications and Outputs

Delivering through diversity: Diversity and financial performance in 2017 (McKinsey & Company, 2018) Research looking at the correlation between diversity in the leadership of large corporations and financial performance. Includes analysis of ethnicity and gender

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (University of Strathclyde) An annual report published by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, on entrepreneurship within Scotland and the UK.

Small Business Survey reports (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) A collection of UK small business survey reports. This includes ethnicity and gender, whilst the surveys for 2012 and 2014 also contain a breakdown for Scotland by age and disability.



Business and Enterprise