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.
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
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 website. This is regularly updated with information on any new support packages or changes to existing ones.
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