Who we work with

Our partners are key to our delivery. At any given time, we'll be working with at least one other partner, at home and abroad, to ensure business support is accessible to all people in Scotland.

Scottish Government

The Scottish Government

We help the Scottish Government deliver on its Economic Strategy for Scotland which aims to create a more productive, cohesive and fairer society – nurturing Scottish businesses so they can flourish, compete and prosper in international markets. 

A key part of this is our support for the Strategic Board and our participation in working groups that will explore key interventions around four ‘missions’ that offer the greatest impact on economic growth in the short and long term.

The four mission themes are:

Business creation and growth

Exporting

Future skills needs

Business models/workplace innovation

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is an agency of the Scottish Government that promotes the economic development of the Highland and Islands region. We work closely with HIE to deliver a range of support services to local businesses.

Since 1965, HIE has been instrumental in making the Highlands and Islands a successful and competitive region where increasing numbers of people choose to live, work, study and invest.

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland

Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is responsible for the delivery of careers, skills and training services in Scotland. It plays a central role in raising employment levels and productivity and is fundamental to ensuring Scotland's businesses have the capability to compete successfully now and in the future.

We work closely with SDS to support businesses in identifying and addressing any skills and training gaps that will help them manage change and grow their business.

 

Visit Scotland

Visit Scotland

We have strong links with Visit Scotland, Scotland’s national tourist board, to jointly promote Scotland as place to live, work and study. It’s essential to our ambition to attract and retain global business in Scotland and boost trade between Scottish companies and the rest of the world.

COSLA

Local authorities and convention of Scottish local councils (COSLA)

Local authorities take the lead role in delivering Business Gateway support to start-ups and growing businesses. We partner with Business Gateway across a range of services to take potential high growth businesses to the next level.

We’re active members of local community planning partnerships and other local economic development groups. We also work with individual local authorities on strategic infrastructure projects to help improve the business environment, including:

Energetica in the North East

Edinburgh BioQuarter

Dundee Central Waterfront

International Financial Services District in Glasgow

Scottish Funding Council

Scottish Funding Council

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is the national, strategic body responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in Scotland's 43 colleges and 19 universities and higher education institutions.

We work closely with the Council at a strategic level to help make Scotland the best place in the world to educate, to research and to innovate.

Department for International Trade

Department for International Trade

Scottish companies can access Department for International Trade (DIT) support via Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

We help deliver its Exporting is GREAT initiative which aims to inspire and support 100,000 additional UK businesses to sell their goods and services overseas by 2020.

Launched in November 2015, the Exporting is GREAT initiative is designed to empower UK SMEs to take advantage of the global appetite for UK products, skills and expertise in markets around the world.

In partnership with major UK businesses, the programme supports companies at every stage of their exporting journey – from identifying opportunities to winning contracts overseas.

Scottish companies can search and register interest in real-time export opportunities on the DIT website The site contains over 1,000 export opportunities around the world open to UK companies.

Institute of Export

Institute of Export

The Institute of Export & International Trade, established in 1935, is the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of everyone involved in importing, exporting and international trade.

The Institute offers a unique range of individual and business membership benefits and a world renowned suite of qualifications and training. It's the leading authority in best practice and competence for businesses trading globally, working alongside partners such as ourselves.

Open to Export is a free online information service from The Institute of Export & International Trade, dedicated to helping small UK businesses get ready to export and expand internationally.

RaiSE Interreg Europe

RaiSE Interreg Europe

Scottish Enterprise, on behalf of Scotland, is one of five European regions who have come together to better fulfil the objectives of the European Commission’s Social Business Initiative (SBI).

The RaiSE project recognises that social enterprises are drivers of social change that operate on the basis of viable business models, providing goods or services for the market in an entrepreneurial and innovative fashion. The need to support the growth and competitiveness of social enterprises is increasingly recognised, through SBI, as an important policy area within and across European partner regions.

RaiSE encourages cooperation and interregional exchange with the other European partners. This will enhance regional support policies which foster social enterprise competitiveness, ease access to domestic and international markets, and support social investment and innovation.

A united effort will help better understand and address common challenges for social enterprises. This draws on an exchange of good practice, not only across varied policy development, but also through delivery of better training.

Scottish Investment Bank

Scottish Investment Bank

The Scottish Investment Bank (SIB) is Scottish Enterprise’s investment arm. It aims to increase the supply of finance for businesses in Scotland and helps companies identify appropriate sources of finance, engage with funders and secure the investment they need to grow their business.

SIB works closely with companies to strengthen their management teams, make connections and accelerate growth. It also works with UK and international investors including business angels, angel syndicates, venture capital groups and corporate investors.

Scottish Development International

Scottish Development International

Our international trade services are backed by Scottish Development International (SDI), the international division of Scotland’s enterprise agencies - Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. 

We have SDI staff in over 30 offices across the world supporting Scottish companies to grow their exports in those markets.

Scottish Development International is also responsible for delivering the Scottish Government’s inward investment targets - championing Scotland as a great place to visit, invest, study, work and live.

Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service

Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service

Through the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS), we help Scottish manufacturers, large and small, to grow sales, reduce costs, maximise efficiency and become more successful.

We specialise in providing companies of all sizes throughout Scotland with expert advice, one-to-one support, training and events.

Our tailored manufacturing improvement support can help companies develop new products, services or processes and/or improve existing ones.

We aim to increase the overall competitiveness of the Scottish manufacturing base by encouraging companies to start and continue on a path to continuous improvement.

Co-operative Development Scotland

Co-operative Development Scotland

Co-operative Development Scotland (CDS) is part of Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise that supports company growth through collaboration and employee ownership business models.

It also works in partnership with other organisations to support the development of community co-operatives such as renewable energy and broadband.