Business guidance and advice
We are ensuring that Scotland's businesses have all the information and support they need to succeed and grow.
We are particularly committed to supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which account for around 99.4% of all businesses operating in Scotland and stand to benefit the most from such support.
We support our local authorities to provide advice and guidance to businesses through Business Gateway (BG).
BG is a first point of contact for all businesses seeking publicly funded advice.
The services BG provides include:
- online guides and case studies
- publicly funded training courses, workshops and events
- help to access finance, including local authority grants and loans
- one-to-one adviser support
- access to support provided by our enterprise bodies Scottish Enterprise (SE) and Highlands & Islands Enterprise (HIE)
- assisting businesses to begin trading internationally through Scottish Development International
Recruitment and training
Between 2015 and 2016 we gave SDS £207,837,478 to provide these services; for 2016 to 2017 we have committed up to £199,657,920.
Public sector procurement
We help SMEs to secure public sector contracts by:
- standardising the public procurement process and reducing bureaucracy to improve access to contracts
- introducing a range of eCommerce tools to drive improvement
- providing suppliers with information on contract opportunities in the public sector through Public Contracts Scotland
- implementing a sustainable procurement duty through legislation that facilitates the involvement of SMEs, third sector bodies and Supported Businesses
- providing local businesses with advice and training relating to public sector contract opportunities and how to win them through the Supplier Development Programme (delivered in partnership with local authorities)
Assistance in overseas markets
Information for businesses looking to explore overseas markets can be found under International trade and investment.