Skip to content Skip to navigation


Founded by Dan Macdonald, N-56 provides a new locus for Scotland’s business community to work with government, the public sector and wider society, establishing and implementing a new economic strategy that will deliver a more prosperous future for the whole of Scottish society.

Its aim is for Scotland becomes one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world.

Having consulted business leaders from across Scotland, it is clear that there is massive scope to improve the Scottish economy. To that end N-56 has launched a series of detailed examinations of the Scottish economy and its future direction, entitled Scotland Means Business.

These reports, commissioned by N-56 and authored by leading UK and international experts in their respective fields, provide independent analysis of Scotland’s current economic performance. They explore what business leaders, policymakers and wider society should do going forward to ensure that Scotland becomes one of the top five wealthiest countries, looking at the most relevant examples of successes from elsewhere in the world.

To this end the organisation aims to harness the input and talents of Scotland’s most successful business leaders to drive forward a detailed economic strategy for success that is focused on expanding the economy, growing productivity, increasing the population and encouraging participation from every section of society, delivering a prosperous future.

The Scotland Means Business reports have been prepared by a study team that includes:


Dan Macdonald – Founder of N-56

Dan Macdonald is Chairman of Macdonald Estates, formed in 1998 as specialists in retail and planning-led property development.  It is the leading company in its field in Scotland.

Prior to 1998, Dan was Managing Director of Morrison Developments, one of the most successful Scottish companies of the late 1980’s and 1990’s. During his 25 years with the group he performed a key role in its transition from a Highland building firm to an international civil engineering, construction and property development company.

In 2006, Dan launched the Scottish Property Development Forum, to represent the real estate industry in Scotland amongst parliamentarians, the then Scottish Executive and business in Scotland. Now redefined as the Scottish Property Federation, and incorporated within the British Property Federation, it is recognised as the voice of the Scottish commercial property industry. Its key aim was to lay the basis for a trusted culture between the industry and government.

Dan is on the board of The Scottish SPCA and a founding member of the Scottish Home Awards and the Scottish Commercial Property Awards.

He is a former Reform Scotland board member and has an abiding and passionate interest in the means by which Scotland can harness its strengths and aspire to be among the world’s five wealthiest nations in the decades ahead.

Happily married with a treasured nine year old daughter, Dan is proud of his Highland roots, having been born and raised in Dornoch, Sutherland.

Graeme Blackett – Scotland Means Business Lead Author

Graeme is a co-founder and  Managing Director of BiGGAR Economics Limited, a leading economic consultancy based in Roslin. Before setting up BiGGAR Economics in 2002 he was an economic consultant for Deloittes and for SQW. He has worked as an applied economist based in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Graeme works for governments, local authorities, public sector agencies, universities and companies throughout the UK and in several European countries.

With BiGGAR Economics, Graeme undertakes economic appraisals and impact assessments, business planning and policy and project evaluations. His particular professional interests include fiscal powers, economic development policy and programmes, universities and the commercial exploitation of their research, renewable energy and life sciences.

As an Advisory Board member of Reform Scotland, Graeme has contributed to its recent papers on issues ranging from fiscal powers to DevoPlus. He also provided advice on financial and economic issues during the Scottish Parliament’s consideration of the Scotland Act (2012).

Graeme was born and brought up in Inverurie in Aberdeenshire and is an Economics graduate from the University of Strathclyde. He now lives near Biggar in Lanarkshire.