FOI Request Business Gateway

Request 101001632514

•         How much funding has been allocated to Business Gateway in each year since 2008.
•         How many new business starts were supported by Business Gateway in each year since 2008.
•         What is the minimum business experience required to be an adviser at Business Gateway.

Response 07-11-2017

1. 2007 -2016 £245,000 pa

2017 £227,000

2.  

Background on Business Gateway

 

Business Gateway (BG) is a publicly funded local government service that provides free business support and impartial advice for start-up and existing businesses in Scotland. Local Authorities (LAs) are responsible for the delivery of the Business Gateway service in local areas - eighteen Lead Local Authorities (LLAs) co-ordinate local contacts/ service delivery on behalf of the local authorities in their respective BG Region.

 

Based in COSLA, the Business Gateway National Unit (BGNU) supports the Lead Local Authorities (LLA) who manage the service, and Provider teams who deliver the service. The National Unit is responsible for a wide range of activity that includes marketing and operational support, and works closely with the partners and stakeholders involved with the service. The BGNU also provides and manages a range of national systems used to deliver the service, including the www.bgateway.com website.

 

In addition, Scottish Enterprise (SE)  is a strategic partner with responsibility for resourcing some of the core service infrastructure used by Business Gateway including a customer relationship management system shared with SE and the Business Gateway Enquiry Service for national enquiry fulfilment and research services. SE also provides a range of universal and specialist products which BG clients can access. Highlands & Islands Enterprise is also a key strategic partner which provides a range of services which support the delivery of the Business Gateway service throughout the Highlands and Islands.

 

Start-up figures Business Gateway Moray

                                                                                2009/10    2010/11   2011/12  2012/13  2013/14  2014/15  2015/16  2016/17          Total

  Moray  

83

118

123

123

129

120

137

132

965

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Business Gateway delivery was limited to Lowland Scotland during 2008-09 then Business Gateway extended into the Highlands & Islands area from 2009-10 onwards.

 The figures quoted are those that have been declared by each Lead Local Authority responsible for delivering Business Gateway in their local area (i.e. those businesses that the local BG delivery team has recorded a start-up claim in CRM). It should be noted that independent start-up research carried out during 2016-17 and 2017-18 identified a further cohort of start-up businesses that had benefitted from pre-start/ start-up assistance from Business Gateway that had commenced trading (without letting the local Business Gateway office know). This additional cohort is not included in the figures provided below - we expect this trend to continue as consumer behaviour shifts and more transactions are done online without reference back to a local BG office at point of trading commencement.

It should be noted that in addition to helping those wishing to start up in business, Business Gateway assists a range of existing businesses every year by offering a wide range of practical services. Through the provision of tailored information and advice from their local office and a well-attended programme of workshops and events, the service supports a portfolio of clients who are looking to significantly grow their business, whether by taking on new employees, increasing sales, entering new international markets or trading online.

The way in which clients seek to access our services continues to change, with increasing use of digital channels including the bgateway.com website (which has seen significant growth in the number of visitors and pages viewed in recent years).  In addition to adapting the Business Gateway services to meet increased client demands for digital support, the service is also the key delivery partner in the DigitalBoost programme - which provides businesses in Scotland with opportunities to improve their technical and digital capabilities and help them use digital technology to enter new markets, trade internationally, increase efficiencies and potentially, employ more staff. Additional EU funded services which support businesses locally are also delivered by local government alongside the core Business Gateway service provision.

3. 

Adviser Knowledge & Experience

Staff operating at this level will be of graduate level calibre or have built up a similar knowledge/skills base through experience on the job:

  • Many will also possess a professional qualification or postgraduate business qualification.
  • They will have a broad business knowledge and understanding of key business functions e.g. marketing, IT, book-keeping, human resources etc.
  • They will frequently have in depth specialist knowledge in disciplines such as finance, training etc.
  • They will have knowledge and understand the issues facing small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • In addition, they will frequently have personal experience of running a business.

 

Premier Adviser accreditation

Local Authorities wish to ensure that all business advisers who operate under the Business Gateway banner (either in-house or employed by a contractor) deliver professional business advice, are suitably qualified and have appropriate business knowledge and skill levels.

 

To ensure a minimum standard is maintained across the whole of Scotland, all Business Gateway advisers are normally expected to gain their Premier Adviser (SFEDI Diploma in Business and Enterprise Support) qualification within one year of commencing employment.

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