What is Business Gateway?
Business Gateway is a national, publicly funded service providing free business support services. In Edinburgh, we have based Business Gateway in the City of Edinburgh Council’s Waverley Court Headquarters.
We've helped businesses raise £1.5m since 2011 – either directly or indirectly – and the programme has been successful in developing strong relationships with some of the top professionals in the city.Cllr Gavin Barrie, Housing and Economy Convener, City of Edinburgh Council
The service helps more than 7,000 businesses a year, offering impartial advice to people starting or growing their business through a combination of support services. These include online support through a comprehensive website with practical information and useful guides. There is also a programme of fully-funded local workshops and events held throughout Scotland, and advice to suit specific business needs through a network of experienced business advisers.
Through a dedicated team, we also providing information and support on all aspects of starting and growing a business.
What is the Gateway to Investment programme?
We created the Gateway to Investment Programme (GTI) to help small, growing companies get a better understanding of how to secure the support of angel investors (private investors who inject capital in return for an equity stake), and to help them hone their investment pitching skills.
The GTI programme invites ten Business Gateway clients looking to secure angel investment onto a five-session workshop programme focusing on the main areas relevant to the negotiation between investee and investor. These are financial forecasting, share holder agreements and company valuations. We place a strong emphasis on pitching practice to complement the specialist information, which is provided by specialist private and public sector partners who give up their time free to support the programme. The final day of the programme ‘The Day with The Angels’ allows the entrepreneurs to pitch to representatives from five Scottish angel syndicates.
How have you helped businesses?
Business Gateway has worked with over 150 businesses to increase knowledge and skills around investing. In turn, we’ve helped businesses raise £1.5m since 2011 – either directly or indirectly – and the programme has been successful in developing strong relationships with some of the top professionals in the city.
We’ve found that angel investors really value the ‘Day with The Angels’, where businesses pitch their idea. One outcome I’m really pleased with has been the creation of Apollo Informal Investment. After their experience of helping with the programme, a group of investors formed a new syndicate which specialises in funding new, very early stage companies.
How will it be developed going forward?
Our plan is to expand the programme to other Business Gateway areas in Scotland and we are speaking to colleagues around the network.
We recently held an alumni event and plan to develop the GTI Alumni network. We will work with this network to identify further areas of support needed by small growing companies to help with their continuing growth ambitions.
If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.