We regularly receive enquiries from MSPs and their staff on behalf of constituents looking for funding to either establish a new business, or improve their current business.
Sources of information
There are a number of websites available that provide advice to those embarking on new business projects, as well as links to a number of possible sources of financial assistance.
Business Gateway The first of these is Business Gateway. Business Gateway is a publicly funded service providing assistance to people starting or growing their business. Their advisers can help those setting up a new business to find appropriate funding sources. They have a detailed list of resources that can be used in order to identify potential funding on their website.
Business Gateway is delivered by local authorities and has a network of local offices across Scotland. You can use the postcode search to find contact details for your nearest office. For example a list of business support services provided by Business Gateway working with the City of Edinburgh Council is available here.
Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s economic development agency covering all areas of the country apart from the Highlands and Islands, and supports a website aimed at those building up a new or existing business. The website identifies a number of funding opportunities that may be of interest.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise
If you live in the Highlands and Islands, Highlands and Islands Enterprise can help you get the same funding available through Scottish Enterprise.
Scottish Government A third website which provides information on funding options is mygov.scot, which is managed by the Scottish Government and further information can be found here:
Funding from Other Organisations
It is worth bearing in mind that business finance is available from a range of sources, in addition to the Government, such as banks, business angels, crowdfunding, family and friends. Some private and charitable organizations also offer funding to businesses. The full range of organisations is not listed here, but includes:
- This business finance and support finder provides a tool for finding UK Government publicly-funded sources of assistance.
- The Start Up Loans Company (a subsidiary of the British Business Bank and deliver the Government’s Start Up Loans programme providing finance and support for businesses who struggle to access other forms of finance).
- Virgin StartUp Loan Funding.
- Scottish EDGE is a competition aimed at identifying and supporting Scotland’s up-and-coming, innovative, high-growth potential entrepreneurial talent.
- Prince’s Trust.
- VisitScotland Tourism Business funding opportunities.
- Creative Scotland Industry funding programmes.
Crowdfunding websites may also be of interest as a way of raising funding, a few options are listed below. Please note that other websites are available and SPICe cannot provide advice on which may be the most suitable for a particular business.
This list is just a sample of the available websites for sourcing funding for small businesses and small business start-ups in Scotland, and is not comprehensive. However the above sites will provide additional links to sources of funding, and can act as a gateway to further information in this area.
Miranda Jackson, Enquiries Officer