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Business Gateway in Stirling 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 Stirling 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

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.

Growth Support

Are you looking to diversify your business, need help launching a new product, want to sell online, or simply looking to grow?

Whatever aspect of your business you are looking to develop Business Gateway Stirling can help.

Growth Pipeline Service

Growth pipeline is the term given to the support businesses can receive from Business Gateway if they have the aspiration and ability to grow. Our Business Growth Advisers support and assist your company through the Growth Pipeline Program.

Access to the Growth Pipeline Program is discretionary and offers for up to 18 months of support. Companies will be introduced to the program on the basis that they may possess some or all of the attributes that make them a good fit for the support available.

Growth Pipeline Programme Criteria

Whether a start-up or existing company, they must operate in an identified Scottish Enterprise key market sector, including:

  • Manufacturing
  • Food & Drink
  • Tourism
  • Energy
  • Technology
  • Life Sciences
  • Textiles
  • Creative Industries
  • Construction
  • Forestry & Timber

A company must also:

  • Be able to increase turnover by £400,000 during a three-year period
  • Operate in a niche market
  • Recruit additional employees during this period
  • If not already involved in exports, this must be a set objective to achieve during this period

A company will need to support the criteria with an initial business plan, cash flow projections, and marketing analysis for assessment.

Business Growth Workshops

We can help you grow your business with engaging workshops.

Whether you need help attracting customers online, offline or need help with your bookkeeping to ensure the top line is increasing our workshops will give you the tools to take back to your business.

Rural Business Support

47% of Stirling’s Businesses are in rural areas. Business Gateway Stirling appreciate that the challenges in a rural business will be different than in other businesses. Our dedicated Rural Business Adviser has over 20 years’ experience in working with rural business and knows just how your business differs from your urban counterparts.

Rural Business Clinics

Our monthly rural clinics offer you the opportunity to meet with our rural business adviser on a 1:1 basis.

These clinics run every month in Callander and Balfron. Pre-booking is essential, so please get in touch to book your slot.

Rural Business Events

Business Gateway Stirling also host regular rural roadshows across the region. These are a great opportunity for rural businesses to learn about the initiatives which could benefit their business, discover what funding is available as well as giving them a chance to meet other rural businesses.

We focus on the challenges facing rural businesses today as well as providing information on the wider support programmes available to all businesses. Please contact your local Business Gateway office for more information and dates.

Tourism Business Support

The tourism sector is thriving in Stirling and plays a vital role in the economy of the region. Whether you run a family hotel or an outdoor adventure company, we can offer a range of tailored advice and support services to help your business.

Business Gateway Stirling can offer a marketing health check and suggest fast-acting and cost-effective solutions. We’ll review your existing marketing strategy, plans and campaigns and provide a tailored action plan, based on your specific needs and resources (both financial and, crucially, time).

We know you can’t do everything, but have you considered what your key marketing priorities are? We can offer top tips and best practice advice on:

  • Digital marketing and social media strategy
  • Website overview
  • Brand design and development
  • Marketing print and collateral
  • Latest tourism research
  • Key industry trends and best practice
Funding Business Support

Whatever stage your business is at, there are various funding and investment opportunities available. We will help you to decide which is right for your business to give you the opportunity to thrive.

There are various funding options available for businesses from loans to grants to investment opportunities. Our expert funding adviser will take you through them to find the most suitable for your business.

Application processes can often be time consuming and confusing, this is where our adviser can offer the support you need.

Pitching for Funding

If you are at the stage where you are planning to pitch to receive funding or investment we can support you with pitching tips, tools and key components to help you succeed.

Gateway to Investment Programme

Our Gateway to Investment programme is aimed at giving businesses the knowledge they need to become investment ready. Throughout the programme businesses have access to workshops covering topics such as Share Holder Agreements, SEIS and EIS, Innovation, Financial Readiness, Understanding the Equity Marketplace and Company Valuations. At the end of the programme businesses have the opportunity to pitch to real life investors for possible investment.

Leadership Development Programme

As a leader of an organisation, we understand your time is precious. We also recognise the importance of challenging you as a leader and helping you to learn how you lead and how this impacts your organisation’s performance and growth.

In response, with the University of Stirling Management School, we have developed a fast track Leadership Development Programme (LDP).

Unlike traditional classroom intensive based programmes, LDP focuses less on academic issues and instead on the real life, strategic challenges facing today’s leaders.

Together, as part of a team, along with individual coaching sessions you will learn from real-life experiences and address issues such as individual resilience, innovation and responsible leadership. You will also uncover valuable insights into your own leadership preferences and how others can be led towards effective delivery of organisational strategy.

“Sometimes it’s the little and unexpected things you learn that make the greatest difference.”

- Steven Burgess, Steven Burgess Furniture (Owner, MD)

How it works

LDP is designed on principles of learning by doing. Spread over two months, it is comprised of three interactive day long sessions held at the University of Stirling, and a series of 1:1 coaching engagements at the participants’ own facilities.

Is it for you?

This programme is for those managing an organisational unit or an organisation seeking to (a) explore your own leadership style and effectiveness (b) understand further how to lead strategy, change and innovation work in your organisation (c) improve the impact of leadership on organisational performance (d) attend a programme where active participant involvement and ‘learning by doing’ is the delivery mode.

The programme is only open to individuals who own or manage a small to medium sized enterprise based within the Stirling Council region. If you are unsure if you qualify, please call us.

The Results

LDP will provide participants with both confidence and capabilities in leading for growth. It will enable you to augment your current leadership talents with new ways of thinking, talking and acting in relation to leadership in general, and how to lead strategy, change and innovation work. You will also learn from and connect with a strong local peer group.

Our learning resources will help you realise positive changes in your own personal understanding of leadership. Importantly, the applied nature of LDP – including extensive coaching support – will deliver results for participants and their organisation during and after the formal programme schedule.

The Cost

We are delighted that LDP is fully funded by Business Gateway and ERDF

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
Get directions
01786 476 714

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday

08:30 to 17:00