Business guidance and advice
We are committed to ensuring that Scotland’s businesses have the right mix of skills and tools to succeed.
By addressing their real needs, we aim to help our small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make a positive impact locally and nationally.
We fund local authorities to deliver Business Gateway (BG) which gives free business advice and 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
- access to support from our enterprise bodies Scottish Enterprise (SE), Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIW) and the South of Scotland Economic Partnership
- advice on exporting and products available via Scottish Development International
Recruitment and training
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.
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:
- rural: Growbiz, a community-based enterprise support organisation, giving free business support to people in Perth and Kinross through one-to-one meetings, peer support, learning sessions, mentoring, training and networking opportunities
- food and drink: Connect Local, an advisory service which supports the growth of local food and drink businesses and delivers the Connect Local Regional Food Fund
- tourism: Big 5 Questions to help tourism businesses access the right tools and resources, including that of Visit Scotland which offers one-to-one business support from dedicated Industry Relationship Managers, a range of free marketing toolkits, the VisitScotland Growth Fund and opportunities to learn, network and develop
- creative: a range of support for business in the creative industries which is funded through Creative Scotland, including Cultural Enterprise Office and organisations dedicated to specific sub-sectors such as Craft Scotland, Screen Scotland, the Scottish Music Industry Association and Publishing Scotland