Last updated: June 2023
Networking can be a powerful tool for your small business, but only if you choose the right events. I’ve used networking for several years now to grow my small business, so check out this list of my favourite networking events in Edinburgh and Scotland.
To make the decision easier for you, I have also included some further information about each event. This way you can pick and choose the ones that are most relevant to you.
Getting ready to boost your small business with some networking? Here’s my ultimate list of the best networking events in Edinburgh and Scotland!
PS: In this post, I’ve mainly focused on local events. But there are many more networking clubs and organisations that run events in Scotland. You can choose from referral-based groups that meet weekly (e.g. BNI, Network B2B) or larger franchises and membership organisations (e.g. 4N Networking, IoD, FSB).
Love Your Business (in-person events)
Run by Michelle Brown of Michelle Brown PR, at the Love Your Business monthly networking event she shares her knowledge of business, PR and marketing.
There are also inspirational guest speakers, workshops and plenty of opportunities for networking with other small business owners at the Love Your Business meetings.
This is a great one to try if you’re looking for networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh that offer amazing insights from guest speakers as well as fun, informal networking opportunities.
No Ties Networking (online events)
When: third Thursday of the month
Where: on Zoom
Who: all types of small businesses from all over the world
Access: everyone welcome, free to attend
If you enjoy networking with like-minded people in an informal and relaxed way, this is the networking event for you – and I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the organisers!
At No Ties Networking, you can make meaningful connections for your business. There’s also a speaker slot where monthly changing members talk about useful business skills, sharing tips and advice.
To encourage opportunities for real conversations and meaningful connections, attendee numbers are limited to 25. There are also at least two breakout rooms, so plenty of time for everyone to chat and get to know more about each other’s businesses.
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce (online & in-person events)
When: multiple events per month
Where: usually venues across Edinburgh or on Zoom
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: members only, price varies
When it comes to networking events & clubs to join in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce is a great choice. They offer support and advice, as well as lots of different networking events.
With a diverse range of events happening throughout each month, you’re sure to find something that catches your attention.
As well as informal mixers and coffee mornings, there’s speed networking, talks from key Edinburgh businesspeople and workshops, Q&As and seminars.
Look out for the Early Start event series. They’re great for new Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce members as they’re informal and allow you to meet a diverse range of people and businesses.
Find out about the 7 Lessons I’ve Learned in Business Networking.
Small Biz, Big Chat (in-person events)
When: every other month
Where: Willow Grove Cafe Edington Street, Glasgow
Who: female-led small businesses
Access: everyone welcome, £22 per ticket (incl. coffee/tea & fresh baking on arrival)
Website: Small Biz, Big Chat
Small Biz, Big Chat is an informal and relaxed networking event for female founders. It focuses on building a community and real, honest business chat, skill sharing, and non-cringey networking.
It’s a lovely event with a monthly changing guest speaker sharing their expertise followed by lots of networking in small groups.
The event is run by photographer Rhiannon Louden and VA Emmelie Coulson who love supporting local independent businesses. No surprise then that their event takes place in one of Glasgow’s very own indie cafés ensuring coffee and tea and, most importantly, delicious handmade cake.
Wee Bit Social Coffee & Chat Edinburgh (in-person events)
When: usually once a month, Wednesdays 10am to 12pm
Where: Tigerlily, 125 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JN
Who: small businesses owners
Access: everyone welcome, £15
This is a low-stress high vibe, super friendly networking, coffee & chat event for small business owners, with an amazing speaker each month. Run by Marti from Wee Bit Social, you can have a coffee (or tea), make some new business friends, learn something from awesome, inspirational speakers and just relax!
Not all networking has to be uber salesy and terrifying. It can actually be a really fun way to expand your business friends and maybe even find an opportunity to collaborate!
Marti has created an incredibly friendly fun group and although they have quite a few small business owners who come to each event, they love it when newbies come along.
Coffee Connections (in-person events)
When: every 6 to 8 weeks, usually on Wednesday 9.30am to 11.30am
Where: Gusto, 135 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4JS
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free for first visitors, £20 for non-members
Run by Bart Kowalczyk and Colin McKeand via their membership organisation Edinburgh Connections, Coffee Connections has been a popular event in the Edinburgh networking scene for years.
These events are great for meeting new connections, building new relationships, possibly new customers, peer support, potential suppliers, collaborations, and partnerships – and a bit of fun, too.
The numbers are limited to 60 guests and you can meet everyone and anyone from every profession and industry.
E2N Networking (in-person events)
When: second Wednesday of the month, 9am to 10.30am
Where: Hotel Indigo Edinburgh, 20 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AN
Who: all types & sizes of local businesses
Access: everyone welcome, free
Run by Lorna Walls and Brendan Walsh, E2N Networking is a relaxed, informal networking event in the heart of Edinburgh.
Open to everyone, you have ample time to network with everyone in the room and learn new business skills from one of their amazing speakers.
Enjoy a chat and a coffee and get the day started with new connections for your business.
First Friday Networking by Edinburgh Businesswomen’s Club (in-person events)
When: every first Friday of the month
Where: Hotel Indigo, 20 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 2AN, 10am to 12pm
Who: female business owners
Access: members and non-members welcome, free tickets
Among the networking events in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Businesswomen’s Club is the city’s longest-running networking club for women.
Their informal First Friday networking events (from 10am-12pm) offer the chance to chat with other women in business, over a cup of tea or coffee. It’s open to members and non-members alike. (Non-Members must firstly register on the website as a Guest Member and then book a place.)
This is the ideal opportunity to meet up with like-minded businesswomen in a welcoming environment where you can share thoughts and ideas and make new connections too!
ConnectED (in-person events)
When: every Tuesday, 8.30am to 10am
Where: Hotel Indigo, 20 Princes St
Who: all types of local small businesses
Attendance: everyone welcome, free drop-in
ConnectED is a long-standing business networking group in Edinburgh. It’s free, and they specialise in friendly and purposeful connections and everyone loves its informality.
The events have a relaxed atmosphere, great to make connections and build your network. See how you can help others, and how others can help you.
Once a month, the event also includes a talk from a business expert. In the past, these have included practical skills and general business topics.
Creative Circles by Creative Edinburgh (in-person events)
When: first Tuesday of the month, 15.30pm to 17.30pm
Where: The Melting Pot, 15 Calton Road, Edinburgh EH8 8DL
Who: creatives, makers and tech businesses
Access: free membership
Creative Circles is Creative Edinburgh’s flagship event. Taking place every month, it provides a relaxed, casual atmosphere to connect, share ideas and advice, meet potential collaborators, and find out what’s on in the city.
This event is great for creatives, students, techies, makers, and freelance folk. There’s a speaker and the rest of the time is dedicated to creative conversations, socialising and community updates!
To attend, you have to be a member of Creative Edinburgh which is free to join. They also run other events like Roundtable discussions and lightning talks.
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
The Best Networking Events & Clubs to Join in Edinburgh
Where to Get Small Business Support in Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Best Co-Working Offices
Edinburgh’s Best Work-Friendly Cafés