The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) have today published interactive maps which show the self-employment levels in 479 towns across Scotland.
The findings show that smaller, more resilient towns are more likely to have high levels of self-employment, compared with poorer towns elsewhere.
As an example, people in rural and tourism hotspots such as Ullapool, Newtonmore and Pittenweem were five times more likely to be self-employed than those living in Linwood, Leuchars or Port Glasgow.
Andy Willox, FSB's Scottish policy convener, said: "The great differences we see in levels of self-employment across Scotland tell a story about the country we live in. "This data shows the most successful local communities have high numbers of people who are their own boss.
"Unsurprisingly, popular tourist destinations are awash with smaller firms. Scotland's market towns still have thriving business communities too." He added: "We find high levels of unemployment and low self-employment in towns that bear the scars of Scotland's industrial decline, suggesting that poverty is a barrier to self-employment and the social mobility that comes with it. "Research shows that you're less likely to set up on your own if you have few skills; have little in the way of cash reserves; if you don't have a car or own your home."
Hugh Lightbody, Chief Officer at the Business Gateway National unit in COSLA said, "This research by FSB paints an interesting picture of the perceived variations in entrepreneurialism across Scotland. Wherever you are, from Lerwick to Dumfries, Business Gateway provides free advice, workshops, signposting and support to help people who want to start or grow their business. We do that through our 57 local offices and a network of over 150 knowledgable and experienced business advisers."
Are you looking to start or develop your business? Find your local Business Gateway office or call 0300 013 4753.