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The truths they don't want you to read....

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Business Gateway

A new client recently had to contact the new Business Gateway (which replaces/augments the business support element of Western Isles Enterprise), and asked me to help them through the process of identifying what grants, loans or other assistance might be available.

Let's ignore the fact that the Business Gateway leaflets issued by James Square say:
Business Gateway was created specifically to offer assistance and advice to people starting up or growing businesses in lowland Scotland, and provides access to publicly funded services.
Off to the website to search for what might be available...

Can anyone tell me how to search for what is available in the Western Isles? No matter what permutations I put into the database I cannot even find this area on the database.

I know what is available, and I have told the client what he should expect* but as an experienced businessman he is now expected to complete pointless forms aimed at start-ups and then have someone come back and tell him exactly what I have told him - that the only assistance he wants and needs is not available through the national (sic) Business Gateway system.

The Gateway should be helping business development, not throwing up pointless hurdles that most businesses don't need to face. Oh, and some of the 'advice' on what you 'need' to do, is factually wrong and could cause problems for new businesses.

* Not much is the answer, other than loans from the Council. The new minimum limit for grant assistance is £25k based on expenditure of £100k by the client business.


Anonymous said...

Gross incompetence or willful negligence on behalf of the great and good who decide these things. I assume that ultimately it is the SNP who are answerable.

Anonymous said...

Well to say it's the SNP that are responsible is a bit unfair.

The business gateways, Scottish enterprise, LEC's etc are a hangover spanning from the previous administration (if you can call it that) which over funded them, have you seen how many people with questionable business skills they employ ?

Having owned a business that did get funding from Scottish enterprise I say don't bother, the admin hurdles you have jump over simply don't justify the cash when it comes...and usually in small lumps, you have to complete so much paperwork to get paid it generally negates any benefit of the money.

The business gateway is incompetence of a higher level, it's a crying shame that bodies put in place with tax payers money to encourage business growth generally do the opposite.

Anonymous said...

too true...after recently enquiring what help was available I was told that they would have to have a meeting about sending me an application form to get basic advice (ie what's available!!!)
when I questioned the fact that this discussion would be irrelavent if I was'nt there as their assumptions would be wrong and that they did'nt know what I am doing with my business...they agreed, but will still have the meeting anyway.

The situation in the Western Isles is terrible, I did mention in response to ;'it's hard for everyone to apply and get help, it's a level playing field,'that the Western isles have been the worst performing area almost in Scotland with the SRDP madness and in nurturing new business,
who runs this mickey mouse show?

'we only help big businesses like Tesco's,' is a real line that they have told me a number of times

Business Gateway;
mis-interpretation, blame riddled, ill informed, un supportive, 'thick,' inexperienced and meeting mad...all for the carrot of a couple of thousand quid,