How do I start a business?

That’s the million-pound question! But you’ve come to the right place to start.

A good starting point is to work through our Checklist on the site. Here you’ll find advice and links on various key topics.

If you want to start up a business but don’t yet have a business idea, there are lots of different ways to come up with an idea. Find out more here.

Working through the Checklist will help break down the ‘mysteries’ of business-speak and start-up life – and guide you as you start to think more about what running a business will really be like. The more you work through it, the more equipped you’ll feel to get started!

There are many people and organisations who will help you on your way. In Scotland the Find Business Support website will help you find the public sector support available from Business Gateway offices across Scotland and other public sector growth support agencies. There are links to other organisations in relevant sections of the Women’s Business Centre website, and you can find many of them also on this page. UK Government business support information can be found here.

Many of these sites also contain information on specific business support to help address the impacts of COVID-19.

It’s worth remembering that it takes years of hard work for any business to become an ‘overnight success’. The more work you put in at the start, the stronger your business foundation will be – so it’s really worthwhile to research the market, get feedback on your idea, work out why and how people will buy from you and how you will manage any costs as you start up. Plan ahead for your success.

At Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) we have worked with countless women-owned businesses over the years. We know from our own experience and years of research and data how much women benefit from particular kinds of support in shaping their business ideas and developing their businesses. This website has been designed to share knowledge, practical tips and experiences to help more women and girls start up and flourish. Right now just one in five businesses are owned by women in Scotland and the UK. Our ambition is for that number to grow and keep growing, and to ensure that all these businesses can access the right support to help them thrive no matter what stage they’re at.

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