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Business guidance and advice

We are ensuring that Scotland's businesses have all the information and support they need to succeed and grow.

We are particularly committed to supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), which account for around 99.4% of all businesses operating in Scotland and stand to benefit the most from such support.

General support

We support our local authorities to provide advice and guidance to businesses through Business Gateway (BG).

BG is a first point of contact for all businesses seeking publicly funded advice.

The services BG provides include:

Recruitment and training

We fund the national skills body Skills Development Scotland to provide Our Skills Force, a website offering employers guidance on recruiting and training staff.

Between 2015 and 2016 we gave SDS £207,837,478 to provide these services; for 2016 to 2017 we have committed up to £199,657,920.

Public sector procurement

We help SMEs to secure public sector contracts by:

  • standardising the public procurement process and reducing bureaucracy to improve access to contracts
  • introducing a range of eCommerce tools to drive improvement
  • providing suppliers with information on contract opportunities in the public sector through Public Contracts Scotland
  • implementing a sustainable procurement duty through legislation that facilitates the involvement of SMEs, third sector bodies and Supported Businesses
  • providing local businesses with advice and training relating to public sector contract opportunities and how to win them through the Supplier Development Programme (delivered in partnership with local authorities)

Assistance in overseas markets

Information for businesses looking to explore overseas markets can be found under International trade and investment.