Business Gateway celebrates 10 years in Orkney

Business Gateway celebrates 10 years in Orkney
28 June 2019

New figures reveal positive economic boost as Business Gateway celebrates 10 years in Orkney.

Ten years on from when the Business Gateway network was established in the Highlands and Islands, including the Orkney office, new figures reveal the positive impact that the business advice service has had on the region, with thousands of new and existing businesses supported to create over 7300 new jobs.

Since Business Gateway Orkney opened in 2009, the service has:

  • Contributed to the creation and safeguarding of over 500 jobs in new businesses.
  • Supported over 400 start-up businesses.
  • Provided over 5,000 hours of bespoke, one-to-one advice to both new and established businesses.
  • Enabled 3,500 people to attend free workshops and events about every aspect of starting, managing and growing a business.

Steven Heddle, Chair of the Business Gateway Board and Kirkwall East Councillor, said: “These figures demonstrate the crucial role that the Business Gateway service, managed and delivered by Local Authorities as part of their wider business support, plays in driving growth, skills, regeneration and sustainable communities across the Highlands and Islands.”

“Since the Business Gateway network in the Highlands and Islands was established in 2009, we have seen the economic and business landscape change rapidly and dramatically. Throughout this time, Business Gateway local offices have delivered a comprehensive and accessible support service to thousands of new and existing businesses across this vast and beautiful landscape.”

“Business Gateway has established itself as a key player in delivering Scotland’s Economic and Digital Strategies and ensuring that SMEs across the Highlands & Islands are equipped with the skills needed to drive inclusive economic growth and create new jobs for local people.”

“Looking ahead, Business Gateway will continue to work in collaboration with a wide variety of partners, including Scottish Government and Highlands and Islands Enterprise, to help identify the missing pieces and provide the best advice and support to Scottish businesses.”

Claire Kemp, Business Gateway Manager said: “Orkney has a well-known tradition and reputation as an enterprising area, and it has been a privilege to work with a fantastic team that has helped local businesses run with opportunities throughout the past ten years. Particular highlights for me include working with the Council’s Economic Development Service to introduce and deliver the New Business Start Up Grant, expanding our service for existing businesses with the introduction of our Business Improvement & Growth (BIG) Service, and collaborating with Highlands and Islands Enterprise to bring a wide mix of entrepreneurs and experts together for the biennial Orkney Business Festival: several added elements of Business Gateway support which help Orkney’s SMEs punch above their weight on a national scale.”

One of the thousands of businesses that have benefitted from Business Gateway support is Alison Moore Designs, launched by Alison Moore in 2011. The jewellery designer approached Business Gateway for specialist business support to help meet unprecedented demand for her designs.

Within 18 months of launch, Alison’s unique pieces were attracting attention from private and commercial customers across the country. Inspired by Orkney’s natural environment and rich history, each piece is hand-crafted from sterling silver, gold and gemstones.

Founder Alison Moore commented: “My Business Gateway adviser helped me get my business plan sorted and the advice I received on marketing, pricing and financial issues has been invaluable. The free courses run by Business Gateway were also very useful and their advice on web design has allowed me to create a strong online presence.”

Claire Kemp, Business Gateway Manager said: “Alison came to Business Gateway early on and we were able to help her get the venture off the ground. The business has expanded significantly since establishment and has several members of staff to help Alison meet demand. She has also moved to larger premises and has further plans to build a bespoke workshop and studio.’’

Business Gateway provides publicly funded local workshops, one-to-one support from business advisers, extensive online resources and expert support on topics including innovation, exporting, finance and new markets. Another key component of the service delivered is DigitalBoost – Scotland’s national digital business skills training programme.

For further information about how Business Gateway support can help your business, visit

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS