• Steps to success – a case study from Business Gateway Edinburgh

    4 June 2024


    Written by Lee Briggs, Business Gateway Outreach Advisor

    Business Gateway Edinburgh offers free support to new and existing businesses in Edinburgh. Experienced business advisers can help those starting a business, and those looking to find new ways of doing business.  As well as one-to-one support, Business Gateway offers free local workshops and seminars, including start-up sessions and specific skills events covering topics such as marketing, finance, and e-commerce.  The team offers information on all aspects of starting and growing a business.

    Business Gateway in Edinburgh is receiving additional funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for two years.  The additional work aims to increase the number of high-value start-up businesses; increase start-up numbers from previously underrepresented groups; and support first-time exporters to enter new markets.  Between April 2023 and March 2024, the team supported 323 businesses, gave 48 grants, and helped to create 44 new businesses in the city.

    One individual that has benefitted is Kerrie.  Kerrie submitted an online enquiry to Business Gateway in August 2023.  She was thinking of starting her own cleaning business and wanted advice and support to discuss the process.  She had always worked for others and had no experience of running her own business.  Kerrie explained that she has dyslexia and requires support with information and documentation as well as extra time to process and understand things. It was agreed with Kerrie that support would go step-by-step and that she could let the advisor know if she didn’t understand something or if she required further explanations.

    The Business Gateway team had regular support calls with Kerrie to help her produce a business plan, develop a strategy for growing her business, embed a customer care policy, explore relevant insurance and banking, and to support with HMRC and navigate registering as self-employed.  As part of the support package Kerrie was introduced to MS Teams for the first time.  She enjoyed learning about this and was soon sharing documents on screen with the team as she applied feedback to her documents.

    Kerrie successfully registered as self-employed and - after gentle encouragement, she attempted to start securing clients. Kerrie required reassurance and encouragement in these early stages but picked things up quickly.  Her honesty and transparency became very apparent - Kerrie had always been a hard-working individual and the team helped her to realise that clients would appreciate her openness and positive attitude.  They encouraged her to look at competitor pricing and not to sell her cleaning services too cheaply as she would give a better service than most of these other companies.

    In September 2023, the team encouraged and supported Kerrie with an application for Business Gateway UKSPF start-up grant. She successfully secured a £1,000 award.  During regular catch-ups with Kerrie, she reported to her advisor that the business was going from strength to strength. Her client list was expanding, and she had secured commercial customers as well as more domestic clients. As the year went on, the support Kerrie required was reduced as she began to demonstrate a new confidence and self-assurance.

    Kerrie was grateful for the professional support she received, as well as the patience, understanding, and empathy that she experienced.  This support enabled her to realise her dream and start her own business.  Kerrie’s story is an excellent example of the impact that Business Gateway is having within Edinburgh as a result UKSPF funding.  The funding enables the team to offer people a significant stepping stone in their journey, making it possible for them to grow and improve new businesses in the city.


    Want to know more about UKSPF funded Edinburgh projects? Visit our UKSPF webpage.

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