Policy actions  1 of 6

Business guidance and advice

We are committed to achieving a wealthier and fairer Scotland through ensuring that Scotland’s businesses have every opportunity to grow and succeed and find the right support at the right time to help them do that.

By addressing their real needs, we aim to help our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make a positive impact locally and nationally. 

General support

We give local authorities the resources to deliver Business Gateway (BG) providing business support and advice. It is adapted to local economic conditions and helps around 50,000 business a year to start or grow. The services provided include support related to funding, planning, financial management, marketing, sales and growth. 

Drawing on industry expertise, the service is available to businesses at all stages. It includes:

  • online information, events and workshops
  • one-to-one support, for example, to create robust business plans
  • assistance in clearing bureaucratic and logistical hurdles
  • help to pursue finance and funding opportunities
  • advice on exporting and products available via Scottish Development International

We also provide support through our enterprise bodies Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and South of Scotland Economic Partnership.

COVID-19 response

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we have worked closely with the UK Government and private and public sector partners to develope a range of support mechanisms for businesses. Information on all available support for business is on the Find Business Support websiteThis is regularly updated with information on any new support packages or changes to existing ones.  

Recruitment and training

We fund the national skills body Skills Development Scotland which operates the Our Skills Force website offering recruitment and training guidance for employers. 

This includes the free Skills for Growth diagnostic tool designed to help businesses understand their training needs in order to meet business objectives and achieve growth aspirations.

Specialist support

We fund a range of specialised support in relation to the rural economy and key sectors such as food and drink, tourism and the creative industries: