Other Business Support
Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce
Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce is an independent not-for-profit organisation representing the business community across the whole of Ayrshire. It provides a wide range of valuable advice and support designed to help build business relationships, save money, develop new skills and help businesses grow and be competitive.
Services include advice on human resources and legal issues, and support for managing absences, increasing productivity, recruitment and staff retention. In addition, the Chamber also provides support on international trade, business mentoring, payment services and training.
Ayrshire College vision is to inspire achievement, raise aspirations, and increase opportunities. Creating a dynamic and innovative college to serve the communities and businesses in Ayrshire.
Working in partnership with businesses and key stakeholders to ensure they are focused on providing opportunities which meet demand in key industry sectors in Ayrshire and beyond.
+44 (0)300 303 0303
Business Gateway provides practical advice and support to you and your business – whether you’re starting out or looking to grow your business. The range of support includes:
- Business planning
- Business skills seminars and workshops
- Networking events
- Business information and market research
- Growth action plans
- One-to-one advice
- Specialist social economy advisory support
- Access to local authority and Scottish Enterprise support programmes.
Cooperative Development Scotland (CDS)
CDS Offers advice to help you choose the best co-operative business model for your organisation. It will also guide you through the process, including access to funding and legal models.
CDS also supports collaboration. Through collaboration, businesses and communities are better placed to enter and develop new market opportunities, as well as work effectively to gain substantial return on investments.
Entrepreneurial Spark – West Coast Hatchery
A partnership between The Hunter Foundation and all three Ayrshire Councils, the Entrepreneurial Spark initiative was established in 2012 to encourage entrepreneurship and increase the number of business start-up companies in the west of Scotland by providing:
- Free business start-up space and facilities
- Tailored entrepreneurial advice and mentoring
- Encouragement for collaborative and co-operative working
- Ongoing support suited to the individual’s pace.
Federation of Small Businesses
The Federation of Small Businesses is the UK’s largest campaigning pressure group promoting and protecting the interests of the self- employed and owners of small firms. Formed in 1974, it now has 200,000 members across 33 regions and 194 branches.
Jobcentre Plus aim is to help more people into work and more employers fill their vacancies, and to provide people of working age with the help and support to which they are entitled.
Scottish Development International (SDI)
SDI’s aim is to assist in the growth of the Scottish economy, by encouraging inward investment and helping Scottish-based companies develop international trade.
In effect, it’s your single point of contact for all international development needs.
South Ayrshire Council works closely with Scottish Enterprise, providing support to companies with the ambition to expand into national and global markets. Scottish Enterprise plays a significant role in supporting the development of more globally competitive companies and Scotland’s growth sectors that have the biggest opportunity in global growth markets.
Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service
This service provides expert advice, one-to-one support, training and events for manufacturing businesses of all sizes throughout Scotland. The practitioner team consists entirely of hands-on experts in process improvement, lean manufacturing, innovation and allied disciplines.
Your starting point is the free manufacturing review, which will identify ways to improve the productivity and competitiveness of your business.
Skills Development Scotland (SDS)
SDS supports employers to use skills development for growth and success. SDS can assist with Modern Apprenticeships, offering recruitment incentives, training opportunities and financial support.
Supplier Development Programme
The Supplier Development Programme (SDP) is a local authority partnership programme established to offer small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) the opportunity to grow and diversify through procurement.
With a public sector spend of approximately £8 billion, the SDP aims to help SMEs improve their performance in winning contracts with public sector organisations. It offers information, support and training events to help unravel the tendering process.
University of the West of Scotland
Scotland’s largest modern university with a proud tradition of excellence in education. Offering a diverse range of courses and strong links with business, industry and the public sector, and offers a bright future for international students seeking a competitive edge.
Youth Business Scotland
Youth Business Scotland supports young people aged 18 to 30 years to start-up and continue in business.
By providing essential funding and professional mentoring support, Youth Business Scotland gives vital support to young people interested in entrepreneurship. The programme gives practical advice on how to start up a business, how to write a business plan, introductory finance training as well as offering loans of up to £5,000 and grants of up to £1,000.
In addition to helping young people start-up in business, Youth Business Scotland assists entrepreneurs who have previously been supported by the Trust to grow their existing business.
The Growth Fund offers development loans of up to £10,000 and Accelerator Loans of up to £25,000 to those seeking to expand their business.