When setting up a small business, it can be hard to know where to look for help. Even if you’ve been running your small business for years, it’s always handy to know where you can find resources for networking, training, funding and development. Therefore, let’s have a look at small business support in Scotland and Edinburgh!
Some of these resources have been invaluable for both me and my clients. Likewise, many business owners I know through networking couldn’t recommend it enough. If you’re a small business in Scotland, check out these local organisations to give your business a boost.
Scottish Business Mentoring
Among their small business support services, the Scottish Chambers of Commerce offer a free mentoring programme. Scottish Business Mentoring covers lots of different sectors and business types.
The programme will match you with an experienced mentor who can give you practical tips and advice. In short, they help give you the confidence you need to develop your small business. Furthermore, it gives you access to a whole new network.
With over 960 mentors across Scotland, you’re sure to find someone who is the perfect fit for helping you grow your small business.
Best for: mentoring, business development
Based in the National Library of Scotland, SCOTBIS (Scottish Business Information Services) provides research services for small businesses in Scotland.
With their free enquiry service, SCOTBIS offers great small business support in Edinburgh. Even better, you can choose to use their paid research service and have an expert find the information you need regardless of where you’re based in Scotland.
Through the service, you can access things like business databases, company accounts, international directories, market research reports and other business statistics. To sum up, they offer everything you might need to do important, in-depth research for your business!
Best for: market research
Targeted mainly towards creative small businesses and freelancers, Creative Edinburgh is a community of like-minded business people.
Above all, they deliver great small business support in Edinburgh by encouraging small businesses to connect and collaborate with each other. As a result, you’ll naturally expand your network and grow your business reach.
Creative Edinburgh holds regular events (such as the Creative Circles networking event) and has a variety of helpful resources on its website. In addition, they run a mentoring programme that can match you with an expert specifically suited to your business.
Best for: mentoring, networking
With offices and advisors across Scotland, Business Gateway offers great support and advice for small businesses in Edinburgh. They provide free one-on-one meetings, access to workshops, networking events and lots more.
Their helpful online guides cover everything from finances to hiring employees. In addition, you also can arrange a meeting with a local consultant to get more in-depth advice tailored to your small business.
Best for: business development
Federation of Small Businesses
The FSB is a UK-based organisation with an office in Edinburgh, offering a range of resources, support and advice for small business owners.
Members can get access to lots of useful resources like financial guides, networking events and business advice meetings. In addition, FSB is working to help businesses outline and meet their sustainability goals.
Also, FSB provides specialist services that benefit small businesses, like FSB Business Banking, FSB Workplace Pension Schemes, and FSB Health and Safety Guidelines.
Best for: financial resources
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce launched its business support and mentoring programme in 2020. It is available to any of its members (for an annual fee of £50) and has had great feedback.
The programme offers support in many areas including finance, marketing, internationalisation, customer service, talent management and e-commerce.
Furthermore, with mentoring available online, this is a great option if travelling is a barrier for you. It’s definitely something to check out if you are an existing member of/considering becoming a member of the Chamber of Commerce.
Best for: mentoring and business growth
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s main economic development agency, and they provide funding and investment opportunities for small businesses in Edinburgh and the whole of Scotland.
Firstly, through grants and funding, they can help transform your small business idea into reality. In addition, Scottish Enterprise offers training and networking sessions, free research services, advice from industry experts and mentoring programmes.
Best for: funding, mentoring
In conclusion, there are several fantastic sources of business support to be found in Scotland and Edinburgh. Browse the resources linked in this post, and don’t be afraid to reach out to the organisations for more information!
To read more about this topic, have a look at these:
How to Run Your Business So It Stops Running You
How to Access Small Business Mentoring in Scotland
Edinburgh’s Best Co-Working Offices for Small Businesses
The Best (Online) Networking Events & Clubs to Join in Edinburgh & Scotland