Skip to content Skip to navigation


What is N-56?

N-56 is an independent business organisation whose aim is to ensure that Scotland becomes one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world. It seeks to do this through advocating the introduction of an all-encompassing national economic strategy that will deliver stronger and more sustainable growth, leading over time to Scotland achieving this goal.

What makes N-56 different?

N-56 is founded on the belief that Scotland needs a new way forward that delivers a national economic strategy that delivers the economic growth this country is capable of.

We live in a period of unprecedented global economic change and opportunity. It's important that all major stakeholders including business and government come together to ensure that Scotland can benefit fully from an overarching and comprehensive economic strategy that addresses how we will adapt to the opportunities and challenges of a new world. 

We believe that for this to change Scotland needs to take a modern, forward-thinking collaborative approach to Scottish growth that harnesses the best aspects of what our international competitors are doing and make them work for Scotland.

To succeed we need a change of mindset, not more of the same.

What is the purpose of the Scotland Means Business reports?

The Scotland Means Business reports provide independent research and analysis that looks in detail at the current strengths and weaknesses of the Scottish economy, before examining how Scotland can go about putting in place a comprehensive economic strategy that will allow it to become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world.

Further reports on how the future prospects of areas including infrastructure, financial services, oil and gas and exporting can be improved have also been published.

The aim overall is to show why and how Scotland can compete among the top five wealthiest economies in the world – in terms of wealth – and thereby health, education, skills, jobs, optimism and prosperity.

What are the main findings of the Scotland Means Business reports?

The first two Scotland Means Business reports were published in June 2014 (highlighted below). Both these reports and further reports on issues including infrastructure, financial services, oil and gas, export growth and fiscal autonomy can be read here.

Scotland Means Business: The Facts finds that Scotland is a wealthy country but with the potential to do better and become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world.

The report concludes that policymakers can and should do more to learn lessons from small, successful economies around the world and take an approach to decision making that brings together the private sector, public sector, government and wider society, ensuring policies are aligned to realise Scotland’s competitive advantages.

Scotland Means Business: The Strategy notes that Scotland may be the only country in the world without a single, overarching economic strategy. Yet a single, comprehensive strategy is needed if we are to meet the economic challenges of the future.  That plan should be top of the hierarchy of policy, providing a framework for all other areas of policy that integrates them all to a common purpose.

A range of measures is suggested by Scotland Means Business: The Strategy as a starting point for the development and implementation of a new economic strategy. These range from promotion of exports, new infrastructure, the energy and renewables sectors, innovation and human capital.

Implementing such a strategy could almost double the size of the economy in 25 years and increase output per person by £18,000 (from £27,000 now to £45,000) in real terms (in 2014 prices).

The benefits of a new economic strategy for Scotland will be seen in growth in:

  1. participation (the numbers of people in jobs); 

  2. population (retaining our young people and attracting others to the new opportunities being created); and

  3. productivity improvements (as resources are focused on those opportunities that are greatest).  

Why are you producing these Scotland Means Business reports now?

The whole of Scotland is fixed on the future right now. N-56’s founders believe there is an opportunity and a desire to look beyond short-term political considerations to chart a long-term vision of what Scotland’s economy should look like and what plan we need to get there.

If we don’t start to think about these issues now, and make decisions collectively as our competitors are doing, we will simply miss the opportunity to set Scotland on the path to the levels of economic and social prosperity that it is capable of achieving.

Why is N-56 focused on promoting a culture of collaborative strategic decision making?

Scotland is already a wealthy nation, but we can do better. We recognise that Scotland can only achieve the levels of success described in the Scotland Means Business reports if we change the mindset and behave collaboratively to embrace a culture that encourages inclusion and participation of all stakeholders, including the business community, public sector, government and wider society.

What is N-56 asking business to do?

We want to from business men and women from across Scotland who share the same vision for growth. By sharing their time, experience, expertise and ideas, we can improve Scotland’s economy in a strategic and collaborative way.

If you are interested in joining or finding out more about the N-56 initiative, please get in touch

Why 'N-56'?

N-56 signifies Scotland’s geographical location in a global context.*

The name illustrates what the initiative is setting out to achieve: a detailed and fresh analysis of the current direction of the Scottish economy within an international context, and the formulation of a new strategy that will allow it to compete more strongly with the most economically and socially successful countries in the world.

That entails looking ambitiously outward at the very best international models for growth that can be adapted to Scotland’s needs in the years ahead, and then mapping out how we can take a place as one of the world’s top-performing economies.

* Drawn from the World Atlas, the latitude & longitude coordinates of Scotland are 56.49067119999999 N, 4.2026458000000275 W