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Scottish Borders

Business Gateway Scottish Borders was established in 2001 to help support individuals and businesses with quality, practical advice, guidance and information. By assisting new and developing businesses, we can contribute to the Scottish Borders' diverse and dynamic economy by offering the following services.

Scottish Borders Business Conference Oct 19

Top speakers lined up for Scottish Borders Business Gateway Conference

Industry experts from businesses including Harris Tweed and Mackie’s of Scotland will take part in the annual Scottish Borders Business Gateway Conference this October.

The conference, and the guest speakers, are aimed at inspiring, encouraging and supporting local businesses to grow and adapt. The event also offers a fantastic opportunity to make new connections, share experience and learn about the exciting prospects for the region’s economy.

The free full day conference is being held on Wednesday 30 October at Kelso Racecourse and is open to business of all sizes and in all sectors. This event is being funded from the European Regional Development Fund.

Councillor Mark Rowley, Scottish Borders Council’s Executive Member for Business and Economic Development, said: “The Business Gateway Conference is a great chance for Scottish Borders businesses and entrepreneurs to hear some fantastic speakers talk about their experiences and thoughts of a wide variety of business matters, including technology, innovation, going digital and developing rural businesses.

“I’d strongly encourage local businesspeople to sign up early to guarantee their place at this free event.”

The guest speakers are:

  • Mark Hogarth, Harris Tweed - Mark has been creative director of Harris Tweed Hebrides since 2008 and works as a branding consultant in fashion and textiles. His work as part of the multi award winning Harris Tweed Hebrides has been credited with transforming the unique heritage industry.
  • Hazel Smith, ReTweed - Hazel set up ReTweed in Eyemouth as a social enterprise, offering women a new way to think about their futures by gaining the skills and experience for creative industries.
  • Sarah Johnson, IndigoLeap - Sarah is a seasoned digital marketer, with over 15 years' experience in the industry. She is Co-Founder and Director of IndigoLeap, a data-led marketing agency helping clients achieve their business growth objectives, quickly and profitably.
  • Amanda Pickford, ThermaFY - CEO and founder of ThermaFY in Kelso, a software company who develop specialist thermal analysis solutions.
  • Karin Hayhow, Mackie’s of Scotland - Karin Hayhow is Marketing Director of Mackie’s. The family business is based in Westertown which has been home to an ice cream factory since 1986. The firm remains a popular and well-known household name and established global brand, and continues to expand its product range to now include, crisps, popcorn and chocolate.

Business Gateway’s start up and growth business advisers will also all be on hand at the conference to answer any queries and discuss the range of support that can be provided.

Book your free space at this conference today - or by calling 01835 825600.

The Business Gateway service is delivered locally by Scottish Borders Council and offers information, advice and guidance to people who are considering starting a business or growing their existing business.

For more information, contact the Communications and Marketing team on 01835 826632 or

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 get a tailored action plan to guide you through each step 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. 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

Within the Scottish Borders, there are a number of initiatives which are delivered through Business Gateway and our local partners, to provide support for new and existing businesses.

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.

Your business idea

Becoming your own boss is exciting but can be daunting, remember with Business Gateway you are not alone as we are here to help. We will help you consider whether self-employment is right for you, to avoiding common mistakes and help with researching and planning.

Local Start-Up Advisers

Do you dream of being your own boss? Now could be the time to make your dream a reality. At Business Gateway we have a team of Start-Up Business Advisers who can support you with areas such as market research, marketing, naming, planning and financing, and would love to hear from you.

Local Growth Advisers

Remember, it's unrealistic to think you can be an expert in every area of business, that’s where Business Gateway can help by offering the support, experience and connections of one of our Growth Advisers.


At Business Gateway, we work closely with a number of key bodies and organisations to ensure that we provide you with the right information and support to grow and develop your business.

Scottish Borders Business Fund (SBBF)

Open to all growth businesses based within the Scottish Borders employing less than 50 employees. This match-funded grant encourages small companies in the Scottish Borders to invest and grow their business.

Supplier Development Programme

Scottish Borders Council's Business Property Service gives you access to the most comprehensive information on what's available in the Scottish Borders.

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 Borders

Tower Mill
Get directions
01835 818 215

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

09:00 to 17:00