Glasgow and Edinburgh are among the top ten cities in Britain for new business start-ups, figures have revealed.
But Scotland as a whole pales in comparison to the "powerhouse" of London and the South East, according to UK enterprise campaign StartUp Britain.
Glasgow was the fifth most entrepreneurial UK city, with 8,805 new businesses in 2013, while Edinburgh came eighth with 7,112, the campaign's Entrepreneurial Hotspots report found.
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However, Scotland is ranked eighth out of the UK's 12 nations and regions with a total of 30,263 new businesses.
Greater London and the South East had a fifth more new businesses than the rest of the UK combined with 233,462 start-ups, compared with 186,365 elsewhere, according to StartUp Britain.
Co-founder Emma Jones said: "It's clear the UK's start-up community is growing year-on-year.
"The new regional statistics reveal a powerhouse in the South East and London, which is what we were expecting, but there are also impressive pockets of entrepreneurial activity in the North West, South Yorkshire, the Midlands and Scotland."
Glasgow was beaten by Greater London (136,939), Birmingham (16,281), Manchester (11,765) and Harrow (9,259) in the top cities ranking.
Scotland, as a whole, outstripped Northern Ireland (6,057), North of England (11,505), Wales (13,462) and East Midlands (21,633).
It fell a little short of Yorkshire and Humberside (33,191), West Midlands (34,679) and the South West (35,575), and well behind the North West (52,429), East Anglia (54,190) and the South East (96,523).
Scotland Office Minister David Mundell said: "Helping more businesses get started and ensuring that the great ideas of Scotland's entrepreneurs make it from the drawing board to the board room is central to this Government's long term economic plan. They will help to create more jobs and support the backbone of our economy.
"Since 2010 the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme has seen more than £100 million of loans offered to companies in Scotland and over the past three years the New Enterprise Allowance has helped unemployed Scots create more than 2,500 new businesses."
The StartUp Britain report comes on the same day as separate research revealed that almost 10 times more jobs are being created in London than the next best area.
While London is "booming", cities such as Bradford, Blackpool and Glasgow have seen jobs lost in private and public sectors, a Centre for Cities report said.
There has also been a significant number of jobs created in private firms in Edinburgh, Birmingham and Liverpool which have helped offset the impact of publi- sector job cuts.
Commenting on the Centre for Cities report, a Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "This report is further evidence that Scotland has strong economic foundations and can more than succeed as an independent country with jobs growth in Edinburgh, the fastest of any city other than London, and Aberdeen featuring in the top 10.
"While these are positive figures for Edinburgh and Aberdeen they demonstrate the increasing inequality across the UK, with London dominating both the public and private sectors of the economy and UK economic policy continuing to putting the interests of London and the south-east of England first."
Labour infrastructure spokesman James Kelly said: "The Scottish Government has significant powers and tools to ensure that our cities are best-placed to compete for jobs in a national and international marketplace.
"We need an increased focus on how our cities can compete, not just with each other, or with London, but with cities right across Britain and Europe.
"Instead of that focus, the Scottish Government and its agencies are distracted with the SNP's only priority: the referendum."
Edinburgh Central MSP Marco Biagi said: "Scotland's capital can do even better with a Yes vote and independence when the powers to make decisions that always put Scotland first can be made all of the time."
Aberdeen Council leader Barney Crockett said: "The city is renowned for successful business start-ups and its strength has been widely remarked on during the past few years, because where many other areas have struggled and watched helplessly as businesses have folded around them, we have seen private firms develop and grow in strength.
"Not only that, Aberdeen has also attracted huge levels of national and international investment, with many major companies choosing to locate headquarter offices and set up new bases here."