Find Business Support helps businesses in Scotland get support from across the public sector
Find Business Support was created to help Scottish businesses navigate the public sector support landscape more quickly and easily. Find out why this free website and enquiry service is a valuable resource for your clients.
Launched in December 2019, Find Business Support (FBS) was created to help businesses in Scotland locate and access all the public sector support options available to them.
Comprising an online resource and enquiry handling service, FBS holds information on more than 800 business support options from more than 65 public sector organisations. The selection changes daily as new services are introduced and old ones removed.
New organisations are added every month and our ambition is to include information on every public sector service available to businesses in Scotland. It will take time to achieve this, but work is already underway.
A simplified approach to public sector support for businesses
The selection of help available to businesses from across the Scottish public sector is wide and far reaching. There are more than 150 organisations in Scotland which offer business support in some form, from large agencies with wide remits, to smaller bodies with narrow, sector-specific remits.
This supportive environment is regarded as one of the most comprehensive that exists. However, such a vast offering can leave businesses confused and unsure where to go for the right help.
In 2016/17, an independent review of Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies called for a simpler, more coherent and streamlined system of public sector business support to make it easier for businesses to understand the scope of support available to them and how to access it. To achieve this goal, the Scottish Government requested the creation of a ‘single digital access point’ for public sector services in Scotland. This is the role of FBS.
Designed to meet customers’ needs
The customer is always at the heart of FBS. Through ongoing testing, feedback and engagement with customers, we ensure the service continues to make it simpler for businesses to understand what support is available to them. We make incremental improvements to the website on an almost daily basis, responding to feedback or changes in the environment.
The FBS website is fully accessible and adheres to Digital First Assessment standards. We’re also very proud of the website’s ‘green credentials’ – thanks to very deliberate and considered design principles, its carbon emissions are very low compared with most websites.
We recognise that business owners generally have very little time to search for available support, so FBS has also been designed to help them to find their options a little bit faster.
And if you were in any doubt, it’s entirely free of charge to use – making it a valuable resource for businesses of any size or stage of growth.
Support during coronavirus, Brexit and beyond
At the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020, FBS was only a few weeks old. However, it very quickly became the primary source of information for businesses from the Scottish Government and the ‘go to’ place for Scottish businesses seeking help.
Traffic to the website ballooned, with user numbers increasing from a few thousand per month to half a million per month at the height of the pandemic. We recognised that we had to respond to the urgency of the situation and rapidly made design changes to the website to facilitate its new role. These included ‘Coronavirus Support’ and ‘Brexit Support’ quick filters that make it easier for businesses to find the information they need quickly.
In the last few weeks, we’ve also introduced a ‘Net Zero’ quick filter, as our analytics showed that businesses of all sizes are keen to understand how to reduce their carbon impact. There are currently 56 support options available on this topic.
Who runs Find Business Support?
The Find Business Support project is delivered by the Business Support Partnership (BSP). By helping Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies work together, the BSP aims to build a more streamlined, effective, and easy-to-navigate system of support to help businesses across Scotland achieve their growth ambitions.
To discover what support is available to your business or your clients, sign up for the FBS e-newsletter.