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Scotland’s entrepreneurial spirit is booming in the face of economic and political challenges, with over 365,500 private sector businesses currently operating in the country – the highest level since 2000 – 99.3 per cent of which are Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs).
As Scotland’s national business advice service, Business Gateway helps thousands of customers to meet their business goals every year. From July to September 2019, Business Gateway provided crucial support that helped 7,990 SMEs to scale up their growing operations and over 2,350 new businesses successfully start up, with over half of these new
start-ups being female led.
Business Gateway’s network of 53 offices, managed and delivered by local authorities as part of their wider business support, play a crucial role in driving growth, skills, regeneration and employment across Scotland. In 2019 Argyll and Bute Council’s Business Gateway helped 130 new businesses to start, with a projected combined turnover of £4.2million, as well as assisting more than 140 existing businesses.
Councillor Jim Anderson, Argyll and Bute Council’s depute policy lead for economic growth, commented: ‘Our advisers provide valuable support for businesses of all sizes, including one-to-one support sessions, extensive online resources and signposting expert help on topics including innovation, exporting, finance and new markets. Last year our advisers completed more than 400 advice sessions with Argyll and Bute businesses. All our support is provided free and in confidence.
‘We work in close collaboration with a wide variety of partners, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Scottish Enterprise, to help identify growth opportunities and provide the best advice and support to local businesses.
‘Central to helping our customers succeed is our ability to listen to what businesses need, find the pieces they are missing, deliver the right support and make the right connections.’
Business Gateway local offices also provide a comprehensive programme of free events and workshops about starting, managing and growing a business.
2020 sees the introduction of webinars for Argyll and Bute Business Gateway, in addition to workshops. The first webinar topic is ‘SEO and Improving your Google Ranking.’ This one-hour webinar will take place from 11am on Thursday January 30 and explain the concepts of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – how to get your business higher up the Google rankings, and driving more people to your website.
Upcoming Business Gateway workshops include the one and a half day ‘Business Start-Up’ workshop in Dunoon on January 29 and 30 and Lochgilphead on February 4 and 5; ‘Build Your Own Business Website’ in Rothesay on January 29; the marketing workshop ‘Know Your Customer’ in Oban on January 31; ‘Creating Killer Graphics with Canva’ on February
6 in Lochgilphead and ‘Book-keeping’ in Helensburgh on February 6.
To find out how Business Gateway can help your business, or to book a workshop or webinar, call the Business Gateway team on on 01546 808363 or visit www.bgateway.com.