500th Request For Business Assistance
21st June 2009
The Business information and advice service for the Highland and Moray Councils which is delivered by The Highland Council's Enterprise Trust, Highland Opportunity Limited, has just reached its first major milestone today with at total of 500 requests for advice and assistance having been received since the service started on 1st April.
Enquiries to Business Gateway have come via the national website www.bgateway.com and the national telephone number 0845 609 6611 and 30% of enquiries have come from people visiting the walk-in shops in Inverness and Elgin where business advisers are on hand to answer queries and provide information.
Of the 500 enquires, 63% are new business start up enquiries and 37% are queries from existing businesses.
Business advice has ranged from food retail businesses to online sales and from recording studios to innovative life sciences projects. Advice on marketing especially e-commerce has been in great demand. Also popular have been requests for assistance under the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust (PSYBT) which is managed by Highland Opportunity Limited.
Councillor Helen Carmichael, Chair of Highland Opportunity Ltd said: "A business has contacted the Business Gateway every hour since we opened 10 weeks ago. We are pleased that businesses right across the region have been so willing to come and ask for advice and assistance."
Nine free two day workshops covering topics such as personal and business planning, managing resources, VAT and tax requirements, setting sales targets and marketing have proved to be popular with all available places fully booked well in advance. Due to their success, it is hoped that further workshops aimed at helping people who are considering starting their own business can be organised in venues across the Highlands over the next few months.
Donald Mackenzie, Business Gateway Services Manager said: "We are delighted at the response during the first two months of operation and are looking forward to a busy summer assisting the business community right across Highland and Moray."
Business Gateway offers informed and impartial free advice on every aspect of starting, developing and running a business, from feasibility to financial planning to market research. There is also an ongoing supporting programme of free workshops and events where entrepreneurs can network with other like-minded people and develop the skills they need to run their business from day to day.
Ten Business Gateway advisers are based throughout Highland and Moray to help businesses at every stage. They can also connect business to the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust and the Enterprise Europe Network, as well as provide access routes to finance.
Since April 2009 the Business Gateway service has been delivered in Highland and Moray by Highland Opportunity Limited, Highland Council's own Enterprise Trust.
Two fully staffed Business Shops are;
81 Castle Street, Inverness (01463 713889)
and 17 High Street, Elgin (01343 563634)
In Caithness Wick Enterpise Centre offers a range of services
Contact Jennifer Irvine
Tel 01955 605360
A new programme to help communities and social enterprises to generate income by investing in commercially owned renewable energy developments has been launched this week, as part of Community Energy Fortnight. Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has introduced the programme to deliver one to one support, tailored development workshops and specialist support to raise awareness of, and accelerate, the completion of investment opportunities.
Innovative businesses from across Scotland looking to explore the commercial potential of an idea before bringing it to market are being urged to consider the Pathfinder Accelerator programme, delivered by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE). Pathfinder is free and open to existing and start-up companies in the life science, technology and digital health sectors.
New locations announced as three million UK superfast broadband milestone is reached. More than 10,000 homes and businesses in Caithness can now access next generation fibre broadband through the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband (DSSB) roll-out.
Opportunity, quality of life and strong community links have been cited as some of the positive reason young people are choosing to stay in the Highlands and Islands. This is according to a new report on the recent Young people and the Highlands and Islands: Attitudes and aspirations study commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).
A series of key appointments have been made to Wave Energy Scotland (WES) as the new research and development organisation sets up an Advisory Group. WES received over fifty applications from interested parties keen to be involved in the group.
Digital connectivity is changing forever on the Outer Hebrides with the announcement today (Tuesday 7 July) that high-speed fibre broadband is live in Stornoway. Around 3,600 premises in Stornoway will be the first to have access to the new services thanks to the Digital Scotland Superfast Broadband project.
Pupils from Wick High School and Lamlash Primary School on the Isle of Arran have been announced as winners of a dragon's den style competition to design apps that solve real-world problems. The Highlands and Islands ‘Apps for Good' final took place today where schools from across the region pitched their products via live videos to a panel of judges based at UHI’s executive office in Inverness.
Thirty-eight businesses across the Highlands, islands and Cairngorms National Park area have been shortlisted for the area's most prestigious food and drink awards. Finalists ranged from new businesses to established producers; family-run restaurants to Michelin-starred establishments and demonstrated the strength and diversity of food and drink businesses across the region.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce and Caithness Transport Forum have long been concerned about the economic impact of the Berriedale Braes on the region and are now calling on the Scottish Government to commit to funding a solution this year. "For too long, the Scottish Government has ignored the impact the Berriedale Braes has on those living and working in the North of Scotland and Orkney Isles," said Chamber chief executive Trudy Morris, who also chairs the Transport Forum.
Caithness Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that it is now accepting entries for the George Bruce Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2015. Now in its sixth year, the award aims to highlight a young, local businessperson who has displayed the necessary drive and determination to make their business a success.
[Printer Friendly Version]