Almost one in ten workers in Scotland are self-employed, according to a new economic survey by the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The bank’s regional tracker found nearly 300,000 Scots had chosen to set out on their own in business.
Drilled down data shows the Orkney Islands has the highest proportion of self-employed workers of any Scottish local authority area at 20%.
Perth and Kinross ranked fourth in the list with 16% of workers in the area in the ranks of the self-employed.
Angus was on a similar footing at 15% but Dundee was lower at 12%, while Fife came in at 11%.
Scotland’s two largest urban centres – Edinburgh and Glasgow – has 11% and 10% of their working population in self-employment.
“This is positive news that Scottish employment figures are returning to, and in fact, exceeding, pre-2008 recession levels,” said RBS chief economist Sebastian Burnside.
“It is also positive to see the role entrepreneurship is playing within that.
This appetite, especially in Scotland, is a driving force within this upturn in results.
“But we have to temper some of the enthusiasm for these results in places.
“For example, we have noticed an increasing trend in the volume of self-employed workers in construction but a big source of that growth has come at the expense of employee jobs.
“From the research it appears flexibility is an important driver of increasing part time self-employed work.
“Older self-employed workers are more likely to go part-time.
“That’s normally in the same industry and job, so suggests workers are managing their transition to retirement rather than stopping work altogether.”