Scotland has awoken today to a day that history will never forget. ?As an organisation, we have remained neutral throughout the campaign due to representing 164 Scottish entrepreneurs, not all of whom have shared the same views on how Scotland should vote. ?We see the result as an opportunity for the SME business community and the Scottish population as a whole. ?With 85% of Scotland voting, never before has there been more engagement in politics, from 16 & 17 year olds to the older generation and this is to be applauded and encouraged.
Regardless of which campaign voters supported, it is vital that Scotland, as a nation, remains engaged, puts differences in opinion behind us and moves forward in a positive way. ?We must re-unite as a nation and continue to gain positive momentum both nationally & internationally. ?Making the most of the opportunities that present themselves will give Scotland more of a voice internationally and build upon the raised profile we have enjoyed over the past few weeks on a global stage. ?Scotland has an abundance of innovators as history has shown and this is one of the primary aims of WeDO Scotland, to nurture, support and encourage that innovation to the benefit of everyone.
Both sides of the campaign have presented their reactions to the results with dignity in our opinion and WeDO Scotland calls upon the UK Government to deliver their promises in a timely manner. ?This is an opportunity for politicians to demonstrate integrity and engage with voters. ?We have a good relationship with the Scottish Government and are encouraged that our overview of the SME community in Scotland is listened to and that our opinions are sought. ?We hope to see the same engagement from Westminster, this is essential in our view, fleeting visits from MPs and Ministers will not suffice.
As is to be expected, our members have had much to say about the result, here are some of their comments:
“Additional powers are under discussion for the Scottish government and particular those related to tax will be well merited.”
“I would personally now like to see us take forward the momentum and passion that this campaign has generated. In my own field of interest, commerce, I would like to see Scottish companies take advantage of the opportunities that are open to them both within the UK and internationally. One side effect of the campaign has been to raise the profile of Scotland around the world and we should now build on this. With many of our members already operating internationally, WeDO can act as a support hub for other Scottish companies and I would urge MDs and business owners to join us and take advantage of this support.”
“Though personally disappointed in the result I felt incredibly proud of my fellow Scots. ?With voter registration at 97%, turn out over 85% and no disturbances reported this was a tremendous example of democracy in action. I sure the country will need to take a few days to recover (I know I will) then it will be time to move on.”
“It is a relief that the majority of voters have come out in favour of remaining within the Union. ?SME business owners are outnumbered by employees and despite being the driving force that creates jobs, they were a minority and at the mercy of the voters.? I feel that majority of entrepreneurs within the SME community received very little air time during the lead up to the referendum, and those that did have an opportunity to raise concerns, were probably afraid to do so through fear of being castigated as unpatriotic/a coward/ scaremonger or scaring away potential clients who had opposing views.”
“When you set up a business, you take a leap into the unknown and to that extent I can sympathise with the Yes movement, it is exciting, if you have self belief you can achieve. ?That said, most entrepreneurs I know never let their heart rule their head and make educated decisions after weighing up the risks – the Yes campaign seemed to have more passion but the financial and macro economic substance backing that up, from my perspective, was hard to find.”
“What is promising is the number of people who voted and the change that their involvement will inevitably bring about for Scottish and UK governance. ?Having lived in Scotland longer than anywhere else, I have learnt how proud a nation it is and how supportive and collaborative people are.? My hope is that, once again, Scots can unite and support each other, and through doing so, help Scottish business prosper and grow.”
“As all the votes came in it became apparent I had to stay and see it through.? It was a roller coaster ride.? I am delighted with the outcome.? However, even more proud how apparent it is that the entire nation of Scotland is passionate about their country.? Looking forward to seeing how we can all work now, better together, but with the needed devolved powers.”
“A great result for business stability.”
” I hope David Cameron delivers on his promises on Devo Max.”
” Scotland has shown the way forward for ALL regions of the UK – Westminster MUST start listening to regional needs. 1.5m yes voters can’t be wrong.”
“Scotland is an amazing place with amazing people, we have shown how to hold a proper debate and get the attention of the world. ?Pay attention London.”
Let’s work together in a positive manner, the passion of the Scots should never be underestimated. ?We and our members harness that passion and will continue to ensure that Scotland is a nation in which we have pride. ?The world is our oyster and we have a unique opportunity to build upon this in a positive, fruitful and tenacious manner to the mutual benefit of all. ?Let’s hope that Westminster listens and acts.