Forth Valley

Forth Valley

Business Gateway in Forth Valley offers businesses practical help and guidance. Whether you're starting up or growing a business, we provide access to publicly-funded business support services. By supporting new and developing businesses across the Forth Valley, we contribute to Scotland's economic wellbeing.

Thinking of Starting a Business?

There are many ways we can help you, even if starting up still seems a way off.

Our website is a great place to begin: we offer market reports as well as handy online guides, plus a business plan template to download when you’re ready. Take part in our workshops to hone your start-up skills – from how to handle the legal requirements to getting your market research right.

Plus use our Planning to Start tool to guide you through the essential steps of starting up. It takes just 10 minutes to complete and then we can then use the details you give us to create your action plan, complete with links to relevant information and support. We’ll also recommend free workshops to help you hone your skills and may refer you to relevant support from our partners.

A business adviser from your local office will also get in touch to see how else we can help at this stage and signpost you to a wide range of other support across Scotland.

With our help, you could be in business sooner than you imagined.

Running a Business?

Maintaining a business or moving up a gear can be more daunting than starting up, so our support continues and grows with your business.

We know that your time is in short supply, so if you can’t get to your local office for 1:1 advice, we’ll come to you. Together, you and your business adviser can tailor a strategic action plan to your ambitions. Need targeted advice on HR, Restructuring, Innovation, Exporting or Digital Marketing? Your adviser can help with that too. And if you need more specialist input, we can connect you with other sources of support.

Use our resources, support and tools to learn new skills, create opportunities and gain confidence.

We run around 3,500 events each year across Scotland, with workshops on topics from bookkeeping to social media.

  • For free, comprehensive business intelligence and market research, you can turn to our Information Service.
  • Browse our online A-Z of over 100 market reports or request a free report if your market sector isn’t covered.
  • Our handy guides explain digital marketing strategy, HR, intellectual property and other essentials.

Get in touch with your local Business Gateway office today.

Digital Business Skills with DigitalBoost

Setting up a website is a great start, but DigitalBoost can help you to make the most of your online presence.

Tap into our free local workshops, 1:1 expert adviser support and online tools and tutorials to help you improve your digital performance. Our DigitalBoost guide has been downloaded 20,000 times and some 1,200 workshops have together attracted more than 14,000 business people.

A DigitalBoost HealthCheck can pinpoint your digital strengths, where you could do more and how we can help. Take five minutes now to fill in our form and discover how to give your business a real boost.

Local Support

We offer additional start-up, financial and procurement assistance as well as signposting and networking support across the Forth Valley area:

Planning to Start

Find out what support and tools are available to you by answering a few simple questions with our Planning to Start tool. Then get contact from your local office to take your business idea forward.

Small Business Bonus Scheme

This scheme offers reduced non-domestic rates on qualifying business premises. More information is available on the Scottish Government website.

Regional Selective assistance (RSA)

This discretionary grant scheme aims to encourage businesses to undertake investment that will directly result in the creation or safeguarding of jobs. Find out more about the scheme on the Scottish Enterprise website.

Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER - Sustainable Tourism Business Grant Scheme

This is aimed at helping small rural tourism businesses to develop in a sustainable way whilst at the same time generating local community benefit. The grant available is 50 percent of eligible development costs (up to a maximum of £10,000) towards capital purchase or business development costs that promote the sustainability of the operation or area.

Community benefit must be delivered as part of the business development and must be measurable and evidenced through a local community organisation. A business plan must be provided with the application. More information is available on the Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER website.

Tourism Business Development Grant Scheme (Stirling area only)

Stirling Council runs a tourism small grant scheme. It is designed to encourage collaboration between local tourism businesses and to develop innovative tourism products and improve the local tourism product offering. Find out more about the scheme on the Stirling Council website.

Falkirk Business Loan fund (formerly BP Business Loan Fund, Falkirk Council area only) and Business Grant Scheme (Falkirk council area only)

The Falkirk Business Loan Fund provides loans to new and existing businesses at a competitive rate of interest. This is part of its commitment to helping businesses in the Falkirk Council area. Find out more about the fund on the Falkirk Council website.

Procurement Support through the Supplier Development Programme

The Supplier Development Programme delivers a range of specialist business support activities including advice, training and information. The aim is to assist businesses to become more capable of accessing and competing for contracts. The annual Meet the Buyer event can help businesses make contact with public sector buyers. The popular workshops provide in-depth advice on helping companies to compile winning tenders. Read more about the programme on the Supplier Development Programme website.

New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) Scheme

The NEA is part of the wider self-employment support on offer and is aimed at jobseekers who are interested in self-employment. Key features of the scheme are:

  • a volunteer mentor to provide support both in the preparation of a business plan and in the early months of trading
  • optional access to a loan of up to £1,000 to help with start-up costs
  • a weekly allowance for up to 26 weeks' worth up to £1,275

Visit your local Jobcentre or go to the Department of Work and Pensions website for more information about the scheme.

Supplier Development Programme (SDP)

SDP is a public sector partnership which delivers a variety of FREE tender training, via classroom style workshops working in conjunction with Local Authorities across Scotland, digitally via webinar and also provides a range of online resources connecting businesses with the Scottish public sector. Registration for SDP events is free for Scottish SMEs, and will connect your business with your local authority’s SDP Rep who can offer your business additional support.

Find your nearest office

Business Gateway Stirling

John Player Building
Stirling
FK7 7RP
Get directions
01786 498 643

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

08:30 to 17:00

Business Gateway Falkirk

Falkirk Stadium
4 Stadium Way
Falkirk
FK2 9EE
Get directions
01324 808 522

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00

Business Gateway Clackmannanshire

Alloa Business Centre
Alloa Business Park, Whins Road
Alloa
FK10 3SA
Get directions
01259 208 589

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

Mon to Thurs 09:00 - 17:00; Fri 09:00 - 16:30