84: How the macroeconomy affects startups | Ewan MacKinnon of Maven

31 Oct 2023 / Podcast Tax Advantaged

By Dr Brian Moretta


While there is much discussion in the media of the macroeconomy, its effect on startups is not always as obvious as it is for quoted companies. Ewan MacKinnon, a partner at Maven, has been investing for almost a decade and a half and draws on this experience to give us some insights.

In the discussion, we focus on three big areas:

– Recruitment and wages: we talk about the tightness in the job market and how the effect on startups has changed over the past year. We also talk about hybrid working and how the balance of power in negotiating terms seems to be changing;

– Inflation and pricing power: Ewan discusses the different ways that inflation and its various causes are affecting different companies. We also look at pricing power and how startups set prices and negotiate with customers.

– Funding: interest rates and the money supply both affect the availability of funding for SMEs. We discuss the lending market and how that has evolved, particularly the difficulty of getting bank funding.

Finally, we look forward to how the economy will develop over the next couple of years and whether founder optimism is justified.

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Ewan MacKinnon, a partner at Maven, joined Maven in September 2009 and is based in its Glasgow and Edinburgh offices. He is responsible for new private equity investments across Scotland and North East England and is a member of the Maven Investment Committee.

Ewan has 25 years’ experience managing, advising and investing in SMEs.  He joined Maven in 2009, having previously worked in Johnston Carmichael’s corporate finance team. Ewan has extensive industry experience, having been managing director of MacKinnons of Dyce Limited, a specialist retail business, which was sold to a FTSE 250 listed company in 2006. He has a first-class honours degree from the Aberdeen Business School and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Outside work, Ewan enjoys keeping fit, following Manchester United and Aberdeen FC and has a keen passion for music.