Productivity growth, gender balance, how the Scottish National Investment Bank must be structured, the rural economy...

The meeting of Holyrood’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee yesterday certainly touched on a wide range of topics.

One comment that stuck was industrialist Jim McColl’s assertion that more people are being forced to start their own businesses, because of a lack of opportunity elsewhere.

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There is some truth to this, but ultimately those with the entrepreneurial spirit so heavily promoted by Scotland’s development agencies would never settle for a decent wage at a long-established company.

These are talents who go their own way, growing sales, creating jobs and contributing to the economy.

Which brings us to another important point made at the meeting – too many of these innovative Scottish firms are sold to overseas businesses, themselves becoming just parts of something larger.

None were named but it’s hard not to think of Ctrip’s acquisition of Skyscanner for £1.4 billion or the likes of Mike Welch selling his blackcircles business to Michelin in 2015.

That’s not to say the founders and shareholders of these businesses should not exit and enjoy their wealth at a time they feel appropriate, but it does highlight how the structure does not exist for these companies to remain Scottish.

The Scottish National Investment Bank may change that by encouraging more businesses to reach a scale at which they can make a global impact. So too may the bank planned by Mr McColl – who yesterday told the committee of his intention to apply for a banking licence to provide funding of up to £5m for potentially thousands of businesses.

Mr McColl said that weak productivity growth will set in for the long-term without real change. Having banks which get to know their customers again and remove the reliance on algorithms is certainly one way to achieve that.