All News

Business Gateway pave the way for Scottish businesses looking to the future with free week-long business support festival

Business Gateway, Scotland’s national business advisory service, is continuing to help businesses recover and move forward from the pandemic with a free week-long business support festival.

5th October 2021

Hosted virtually from 18th October to 22nd October, this business support festival is for Scottish businesses of all sizes and across all sectors. Offering inspiration, advice, and guidance for business owners and start-ups as they reset and refocus on long-term business objectives. This event will also be supported by keynote speakers from across the Scottish business landscape.

Presented in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland and South of Scotland Enterprise, businesses across Scotland have a unique opportunity to register for individual events and attend from wherever they are working from. Introducing the week-long festival is keynote speaker Steven Heddle, Environment & Economy Spokesperson at COSLA. There are sessions of between 45 minutes – 1.5 hours throughout each day over the course of the week, and businesses can join in for as many as they’d like. As well as keynote speakers and panel webinars, sessions include webinars, masterclasses and learning zones, where businesses will have the chance to put questions to the experts.

Businesses in attendance will gain beneficial insights from experts such as Dr Martin Valenti, who will discuss the growing importance of sustainability in businesses and the need to move to net-zero, a vital topic for any business as the world looks to Glasgow during the COP26 climate conference in November. They’ll also hear insight from Dr Samuel Mwaura from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Carolyn Currie of Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

Attendees will also have the exclusive opportunity to hear from Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy alongside Richard Lochhead, Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work as they discuss business in Scotland and the new 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation. As well as discover the personal stories and learn from the experiences of entrepreneurs such as Josh Littlejohn and Vicky Brock.

Other sessions hosted throughout the week-long virtual event will touch on digital transformation, which has undoubtably been a critical tool for all businesses over the past year, providing a vital way to continually reach customers and new markets. There are no signs these trends will reverse, and for many businesses, the focus should be on building on this progress as they look to the future.

Steven Heddle, Environment & Economy Spokesperson at COSLA, said: “Throughout the pandemic, businesses have been in a predominately reactive position, forced to constantly adapt to restrictions and the uncertain operating conditions brought on by the crisis.

“Now, as we look forward to the future, and a hopeful return to normality, businesses across Scotland have the chance to pause for breath to invest time in forward planning and upskilling. This festival is the ideal forum to do so, by providing businesses with various opportunities to learn from an array of experts in the field, hearing stories that will inspire and motivate them in the coming weeks and months.”

Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, said: “Events like this help bolster competitiveness, productivity and resilience, ensuring businesses have the tools they need to be successful. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated just how important digital technologies are for businesses and the Scottish Government is determined to help improve digital skills and technologies. That is why we are investing in programmes which are doing just that, like the £45 million DigitalBoost Fund. This is enabling our businesses to prepare for opportunities in the future. I will also be sharing more details on the wider work that is taking place to do that as part of the new 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation.”

To register for Scottish Business Week, please visit: