Edinburgh and Lothian has been the highest performing Business Gateway Area in Scotland for two consecutive years.
Over the last four years, the Business Gateway scheme has received over 10,000 enquiries, helped 6,621 start-ups and 4,584 growth businesses, and hosted over 1,200 workshops with 14,000 attendees on everything from business planning and social media, to branding and finance.
In addition to the record number of start-ups, Business Gateway Edinburgh & Lothian also helped 75 businesses to be accepted on to the Scottish Enterprise Account Management Programme.
Susan Harkins, Business Gateway manager for Edinburgh, said: "It is a really exciting time for us just now at Business Gateway Edinburgh & Lothian where more and more people are coming to us for business help, support and guidance for everything from the seed of an idea to export and funding.
"It’s been fantastic for us to see so many of the people we’ve helped go on to create successful businesses and being in charge of their own destiny and we look forward to helping even more people fulfil their ambitions and dreams."
The fourth anniversary of the Edinburgh and Lothian Local Authority Partnership was celebrated at an event in the City Art Centre on 13 September.
Over 100 guests celebrated the ongoing delivery of free 1-2-1 support, workshops and events for start-ups and growth businesses.
Cllr Gavin Barrie said: "The team of highly professional and skilled advisors and experts at Business Gateway Edinburgh & Lothian have done an excellent job delivering this service to start-ups, entrepreneurs and high growth businesses over the last four years.
"I’ve come across quite a few businesses which have come through Business Gateway who always impress me with their ingenuity, innovation and dedication in getting their new venture off the ground and becoming a thriving, tangible enterprise.
"I’d like to congratulate and thank them for their hard work in starting and growing these businesses, creating jobs and contributing to the region’s economy."
One of the many businesses in the city to have benefitted from support offered by Business Gateway Edinburgh is JustBe Botanicals, which specialises in natural skincare, sensory spa treatments, organic herbal teas and aromatherapy chocolates.
Gail Bryden, founder of JustBe Botanicals, said: "Business Gateway Edinburgh provides a world class, invaluable service for companies of all types, sizes and stages.
"The integrated help and advice I’ve received has allowed me to develop and grow my business at the right time and pace with the right resources and with added confidence.
"The ongoing networking events have been a great way for me raise awareness of JustBe Botanicals and meet other like-minded people who are either at the early or growing stages of their business and share learnings and tips.
"With so much support, it couldn’t be a better time to be running a small business in the capital."