Oil, gas, whisky, fishing and tourism: these are just some of the industries that may come to mind when considering Scotland’s economy. Now, add technology to the list.
These days, the country is home to a thriving tech ecosystem with over 1,500 companies contributing £4.9bn gross value added (GVA) to Scotland’s economy in 2019, or 3.5 per cent of total GVA, according to figures from the Scottish government.
Additionally, GVA per head for the tech sector is 40 per cent higher than for the general economy, putting tech on a pedestal.
Scotland’s tech cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow are succeeding: the former is the most active tech community outside London, closely followed by the latter in fourth place.
The Scottish government’s plan to support its digital technology sector is a robust strategy of measures to ensure the country fulfils its potential. The Glasgow-Edinburgh tech hub is already an established area of fintech activity and is home to the third largest number of fintech companies in the UK. The wealthtech sector is strong here too – for example companies focusing on payment technologies.
The sector is thriving thanks to a vibrant start-up scene and world-class universities. There are 10 universities across both cities including Edinburgh University, a world leader in AI. It provides an expert talent pool to the industry.
In 2020, Scottish start-ups raised a collective £345m in venture capital funding, and in the same year, two local start-ups were among the winners of a UK-wide Rising Stars programme.
When it comes to unicorns, the country can count BrewDog, FanDuel and Skyscanner as its successes, with plenty of futurecorns in the mix: last year, research by start-up data provider Dealroom.co and the Digital Economy Council identified Amphista Therapeutics in Motherwell, Roslin Technologies in Edinburgh, Interactive Investor in Glasgow, and NuCana BioMed in Edinburgh as ones to watch.
Investment into the region is continuing: Global, the media and entertainment group, announced the opening of a new technology hub in Glasgow last year. In Edinburgh, 31 per cent of all job roles are in the tech sector, which makes it the city’s fastest-growing sector.
Scotland scores well in other areas too. The UK Tech Cities Report 2022 from CBRE rates both cities highly across a range of factors including housing affordability and cost of living.
For those looking to make a move within the wider UK tech sector, there are a range of senior roles hiring right now. Below, we have highlighted three worth looking at, and there are plenty more to discover on the GrowthBusiness job board.
Head of Enterprise Risk Management, SaltPay
As the head of enterprise risk management (ERM) of SaltPay you will be tasked with designing, establishing and embedding a holistic risk management framework that remains adaptable and applicable to an ever-changing environment within the fintech space. This role will lead strategic design to risk management across the financial and non-financial areas of the business. It requires an experienced knowledge of regulated services, with respect to Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) and Capital Requirement Regulation (CRR) of the European Banking Authority (EBA), along with a strong working knowledge of the ever-expanding technology industry. You will be responsible for the identification, analysis and mitigation of internal and external risks that may impact the business today and into the future. Does it sound like the job for you?
Inside Sales Director, UKI, MessageBird
As the inside sales director for Messagebird’s UK and Ireland markets, you will have responsibility for leading a team of SMB account executives to exceed revenue targets as well as have responsibility for personally closing high-volume, high-velocity transactions in addition to a steady mix of larger, more complex transactions. You will have more than eight years’ experience in closing roles selling software products to SMB and mid-market clients in a fast-paced environment, including over two years’ experience building and leading a team of high-performing, outbound-prospecting SMB or mid-market full-cycle sales executives. A “customer-first” mentality, and experience in marketing automation, CRM, email or related marketing technologies is also required. Interested? Find out more.
Global Head of Indirect Tax, WeWork
The global head of indirect tax will lead WeWork’s global indirect tax function and will manage a strong indirect tax team. You will be responsible for the Global VAT/GST Compliance and advising the business on VAT/GST technical matters in over 25 different jurisdictions. The ideal candidate has strong experience leading a global indirect tax function and managing a worldwide team, is quick to build strong working relationships, able to balance multiple priorities and has a hands-on approach with the ability to step back and look at the bigger picture. Additionally, you’ll be able to work under pressure and meet tight deadlines and it would be a plus to have both in-house and ‘Big 4’ experience. Apply now.
Kirstie McDermott works for our job board partner, Jobbio. Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years.