Case Studies

Scottish fundraising consultancy enjoys global success

A Scottish female-run fundraising consultancy advising global clients has seen a 60% growth in turnover year on year in 2021/2022, after accessing specialist support from Business Gateway.

About the business

Cairney & Company specialises in fundraising strategy development, philanthropic advisory, and leadership coaching and skills development for the higher education and not-for-profit sectors.  

Business Gateway was an invaluable resource in the early years of starting Cairney & Company in providing advice and access to resources. I have no doubt that our longstanding relationship has been an essential part of our growth journey over the years. I’d recommend their services to anyone doing business in Scotland.
Karen Cairney, Founder and CEO, Cairney & Company

How Business Gateway has helped

Through support from Business Gateway, Founder and CEO Karen Cairney, the only female leader running a global fundraising consultancy in Scotland, launched the business in 2016. She wanted to disrupt the sector and strived to offer a fresh approach to achieving philanthropic and income generation goals for her clients.  

As one of only 15.4% of female-led companies in Scotland and contributing to the high growth of female-led companies (Scotland has the highest growth in the UK at 12%), entrepreneur Karen benefitted from a full range of start-up support through Business Gateway, including a dedicated business adviser, as well as advice on her business plan, premises, and marketing. She also accessed their Planning To Start tool, and made use of the range of webinars on offer, including maximising digital strategies, marketing and many others available during covid-19 to support local business. This support was essential in the early stages of setting up and running a business for the first time. 

Business Gateway also helped Cairney & Company secure its first premises in Kirkintilloch. Karen was able to access specialist expertise from a business strategy consultant, which helped to develop a marketing strategy which the business continues to use to this day.  

Business Gateway also proved to be a critical support system as Cairney & Company navigated the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with new marketing techniques, including regular blog posts on the business website, to engage clients all over the world. 

Karen Cairney, Founder and CEO, Cairney & Company, said: “Business Gateway was an invaluable resource in the early years of starting Cairney & Company in providing advice and access to resources. I have no doubt that our longstanding relationship has been an essential part of our growth journey over the years. I’d recommend their services to anyone doing business in Scotland.”

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