AN entrepreneurship professor believes Scottish businesses need to be better at “scaling up” and have greater international ambitions.

Les Charm, from Babson College in Massachusetts, United States, is in Scotland this week giving a boot camp to the latest Saltire Fellowship scholars.

Prof Charm has been working with the programme since its inception in 2007 and said he is slowly seeing “some more global ambitions” from Scots.

He said: “It is all about the need to have bigger impact in Scotland. You can’t just do that with start-ups.

“Unless they scale they do not have the economic impact.”

However Prof Charm believes that shifting global mindset is happening in most places around the world as technology – from online communications to 3-D printing - helps to remove barriers from starting and growing businesses.

He said: “It is not enough to simply have a good idea. [Technology is] enabling things to happen not only differently but faster.

“I don’t specifically know [what industry will grow] but I think there is so much opportunity. If you can solve a consumer need with a high enough market size then there is a chance.

“Look at Uber. Who would have thought the taxi cab business was an opportunity?”

While Prof Charm is adamant ambitious and internationally focused Scottish companies can grow quickly he admits they are unlikely to attract financing from overseas.

He said: “Most [private equity] people don’t want to go away from home.

“What is going to change is [Scottish private equity firms] will partner with groups in the United States.”

Prof Charm said he would be speaking to the 25 Fellows this week at Royal Bank of Scotland’s Gogarburn headquarters ahead of them travelling to the US for a 12-week programme.

He said he will be emphasising the need to be “ambitious and courageous” while also hammering home the need for an international outlook and developing the right skills.

He said: “We are going to be talking a lot about having to have higher aspirations for yourself, companies, the third sector and the country.

“I don’t mean it to be ambition domestically. The more we can get people to understand you have to keep looking internationally [the better].

“Forward thinking organisations are saying we need people who are thinking entrepreneurially and are willing to take risks.”

Prof Charm added that Entrepreneurial Scotland is looking at ways to continue growing the Saltire Fellowship programme.