Fife Business Matters - Spring 2018

The latest Fife Business Matters, No. 42, The Spring Edition, which contains the answer to the question of what is Business Life in Fife.

Fife's premier business publication which celebrates the success of local businesses and seeks to support the development and growth of the Fife economy can now be accessed on-line.

Fife Business Matters .

This edition includes an article on how the Fife Council's Economic Development's Trade Development Programme assisted two Fife Social Enterprises - West Fife Enterprise and Freedom Unlimited - to attend trade shows to promote their products and services.





Business Rates 2018/19

Business rates (also called non-domestic rates) are taxes on business property to help pay for local council services.

This guide has been prepared by Fife Council’s Economy, Planning & Employability and Revenue & Commercial Services with information from the Fife Assessor. It is intended to help businesses better understand how their business rates are calculated, the reliefs or discounts schemes available, and ways to pay.

The information is the best available at the date this guide was prepared.

Business owners and managers are encouraged to visit the Scottish Assessors’ website for interactive tools and information on rateable values and the valuation roll.

Fife Council’s website has the most up-to-date information on reliefs and payment processes for business rates.

The Scottish Government has developed a website for businesses with up-to-date information about business rates at

The publication can be found here:- Business Rates 2018/19

FSEN Meeting April 2018

Just wanted to say a huge thank you for those of you that made it to the last FSEN meeting.

We had over 40 attendees which is fantastic and no mean feat with the geographical spread we have in Fife.

We had them crammed into every corner of the room! More pics can be seen at:


The next FSEN meeting is on the 20th June - Save the date now!




How to get compliant for GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation)

How to get compliant for GDPR

In summary, the Data Protection Act is being overhauled and will be superseded by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which will become enforceable across Europe, including the UK, on 25 May 2018.

Who does this affect?
The GDPR applies to all personal data about individuals collected or processed in Europe (regardless of those individuals’ nationality or citizenship) so this change will affect you and your work.

Whether you collect the personal data or handle personal data collected by others, the GDPR will apply.

What are the changes?
The new regulation modernises the old act and even changes the very definition of "personal data" which, for example, is redefined in the GDPR to include an individual's Genetic data, Biometric data, Location data and Online identifiers. It also introduces a new category of data, called pseudonymous data. GDPR introduces stricter requirements regarding privacy policies, data breaches, consent, and data about children, amongst other things.

What is the impact?
All businesses must set themselves up to be compliant, follow best practice and protect their customers data. If a member of the public raises a concern with the ICO, the body will work with you to put things right however, they do have a range of options at their disposal should you fail to come into compliance which include suspended activities and dissuasive penalty fines.

How do I become compliant?
To get you started, a simple overview of the GDPR can be downloaded here. It breaks down the information into 2 sections, "Understanding how your business is impacted" and "How to begin your compliance journey".

This will help you better understand your obligations and help you put a plan of action into place, so you can work towards compliance.

Lead with Women in Scotland

Women’s Enterprise Scotland working in partnership with Fife Council Economic Development to deliver this women’s leadership development programme at the new Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes.

The Lead With WES programme is designed for women business owners wishing to lead their business through growth to become a sustainable, high performing organisation. We will help businesswomen increase their confidence in leadership by enabling them to strategically analyse their business against their vision for the future, develop, implement and evaluate strategies to grow their business using models and tools. We will also help them identify their own leadership style and develop their leadership and management skills to fully embed their learning in their business.


We would expect participants of the programme to:

  • Identify their business growth goals and objectives
  • Strategically analyse their business
  • Create their own business strategy and plan for growth
  • Develop their leadership and management skills
  • Implement their plan for growth
  • Evaluate their own performance and plan for sustainable growth


A blended learning approach will be used to ensure that everyone’s learning needs and preferences are catered for. By blending the use of workshops and online content, you will be able to both work on and in your business during the programme.

Four, one-day workshops are scheduled to allow face to face training, facilitated group discussions and sharing of experiences. The workshops will focus on equipping you with the skills and knowledge required to implement what you learn in your business.

All workshops will take place at the new Enterprise Hub in Glenrothes from 10am – 4pm.

  • MANAGING CHANGE – 16th May
  • LEADING FOR GROWTH – 5th September

To Book

Call Business Gateway Fife on 01592 858333 or email








Business Loans Scotland

Would your business benefit from a loan of up to £100,000?

Small and medium sized businesses in Fife could be eligible for loans of up to £100,000 as part of a funding programme delivered by Business Loans Scotland.

Applications are welcome from limited companies, social enterprises and partnerships with four or more partners. Sole traders and partnerships with three or fewer partners can also submit applications for loans of over £25,000. The funding can be used for working capital and to help buy plant, equipment and business property.

The loans are intended to provide gap funding, and are only available where other public sector funding (including the Business Loans Scotland’s contribution), come to no more than 50% of the total funding package.

Businesses applying need to demonstrate that they have explored all other available funding options. This includes personal funds and borrowing, bank funding and the potential for equity from venture capitalists. Support and advice is available from Business Gateway and Midlothian Council’s economic development team to help local businesses reach this stage.

Applicants are also required to demonstrate what their business or business project will bring to the local or Scottish economy.  As a guide, the following business sectors are likely to be eligible for support: manufacturing, services to manufacturing, construction, wholesale, transport and distribution, software, agriculture linked to farm diversification, tourism and tourism infrastructure. 

Certain other businesses may also be considered, such as restaurants which support local tourism; retail activities in isolated settlements where there is no suitable alternative provider or which have a tourism focus; specialist business activities where key skills could be lost, and some service-based businesses. Those which are unlikely to be eligible for support include businesses involved in the sale of motor vehicles, real estate, speculative property development, professional services, social and personal services and local services.

For more information, and to find out how to apply for a loan, visit

Screening of Resilience : The Biology of Stress & the science of Hope

FREE screenings of the film RESILIENCE on Wednesday 21st February 2018, 7pm-9pm in Glenrothes

Apex Scotland's RE:SET - REvising youth mindSET service and its fellow members on Fife's Voluntary Sector Children's Services Forum are hosting the first of 2 screenings of the film Resilience in Glenrothes on Wednesday 21st February, 7pm-9pm, to deepen our understanding of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and support cultural change. The screening is followed by Panel Discussion, interfacing with the audience through Question and Answer session to explore insights and action, with fantastic speakers:

•Karyn McCluskey, Chief Exceutive of Community Justice Scotland

•Chelsea Cameron, Young Scot and Young Hero Award Winner, 2017

•Jennifer Knussen, Headteacher Pitteuchar East Primary School

•Eugene Adams, Child Adolescent Mental Health Services

The event is preceded and concluded with refreshments and market place of support organisations, where delegates can network, ask questions and share experiences. Please find link to the eventbrite registration below if you are interested or know anyone who would be interested in attending. (A second eventbrite link will be made available shortly for our daytime screening on Wed 14th March.)

  • Members of Fife's Voluntary Sector Children Services Forum, supported by Fife's Health and Wellbeing Alliance, invite you to join them at the first of two screenings, to deepen our understanding of the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences and support cultural change. 'The original research was controversial, but the findings revealed the most important public health findings of a generation. RESILIENCE is a one-hour documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and the birth of a new movement to treat and prevent Toxic Stress. Now understood to be one of the leading causes of everything from heart disease and cancer to substance abuse and depression, extremely stressful experiences in childhood can alter brain development and have lifelong effects on health and behaviour. RESILIENCE chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education

Disability Confident

A New Year’s Resolution for Business Success

We would like to encourage you to make “Disability Confidence” your New Year’s resolution. 

The Disability Confident agenda has replaced the Two Ticks Symbol.  The principles are the same; to become a business that embraces equality and diversity in the recruitment and retention of people with disabilities and health issues in the workplace. 

Building a reputation as a Disability Confident Employer is a proven marker for business success; and you could discover someone your business just couldn’t do without.

Fife Council’s Supported Employment Service can help you become a Disability Confident Employer.  Our Disability Confident Consultants will provide you with free and confidential advice about:

  • Recruitment, training and retention solutions that allows you to recruit and keep the right people for your business

  • Financial support to pay for adjustments or equipment to help people stay in work through the Access to Work Scheme

  • Funding to help recruit and retain people with disabilities and health issues in the workplace

  • Support available to help existing employees who might be struggling to stay in work

  • Equality and Disability Awareness Training for staff and managers

Working alongside one of our Disability Confident Consultants opens up a world of free specialist recruitment and retention solutions for your business. 

We look forward to hearing from you.

Next steps: Contact us for more information on or 01592 583142 and one of our Disability Confident Consultants will be in touch.

Congratulations, you’ve taken your first step to becoming Disability Confident. 


Tourism Masterclass and support for development of ideas

Scottish Enterprise is supporting the Social Enterprise Tourism Masterclass programme in Scotland. This programme is being run in Dundee for those in the Tay Cities Deal region.

The half-day workshop is an interactive event, aimed at helping you to better understand the Tay Cities Area Tourism Market and how your Social Enterprise could benefit. It is a professionally facilitated session, whereby tools and techniques will be used to ensure businesses are thinking about how the development of their products/services could aid their ability to take advantages of the opportunities in the region/or further afield. The session is complemented by a 121 follow on surgery with Scottish Enterprise advisors, this is often used to progress the discussion and ideas from the masterclass, with a view to accessing Scottish Enterprise Innovation support and grants.

It is open to any third sector organisation (social enterprise, charity or community group) that are looking to develop customer facing business for the visitor market. If you have an idea that you want to develop then this is the programme for you.

Participants will learn from existing work, meet others in the sector as well as have the opportunity to develop their own goods and services. This support is provided at no cost to the participants. The workshops will be held in early February 2018 and it is hoped to hold and end of programme event at the end of April to bring together the ideas and plan future actions. 

Places are limited and so to register an interest and for more information please contact Susan Smith: 07928 688207 as soon as possible.

Supporting Social Enterprises get to Market

This weekend saw two Fife Social Enterprises excel at trade shows, with the assistance from  Fife Council Economic Development's "Market Development programme".

Freedom Unlimited, a Dalgety-Bay based Social Enterprise, took a stall at the Country Living Fayre in Glasgow and West Fife Enterprise, based in Newmills, had a trade stand at the Build-it 2017 trade exhibit.

Both report excellent results from attending the respective shows.

For information on how Fife Council can help your Enterprise access new markets or develop existing ones to help make your enterprise more profitable and sustainable, through the Market Development Programme, please contact


FSEN Network Meeting -13th December

I’m pleased to tell you that we have a date for the long awaited FSEN meeting on 13th December at New Volunteer House, Kirkcaldy.

It’s only 2 hours out of your day and I know you’re all busy so we have kept presentations quick (with a chance to find out more if you’re interested) and we can spend quality time networking and making connections.

So pop along to our Fife Social Enterprise Network (FSEN) meeting on the 13th December - book your space here:- 

You will meet a lot people involved in social enterprise from across Fife.

We also have some excellent speakers and Mince pies.




Future Town Design Competition- 2 Fife towns nominated

A shortlist of designs with the potential to transform 12 communities across Scotland has been revealed ahead of the third annual Scotland’s Towns Week.

The FutureTown Design Competition invites organisations and members of the public to submit sketches, photographs or short written descriptions of how urban spaces could be renewed.

After receiving applications, Scotland's Towns Partnership has shortlisted entries, and the winner will be decided by a public vote held during Scotland's Towns Week, 20 - 26 November 2017.


Fife has two towns nominated:- Cowdenbeath and Kincardine. Full details here:-

Get your vote in now!


Strumming along in West Fife

When Art meets music.

no longer can a shovel be called a manually operated earth moving equipment , thanks to West Fife Enterprise it can now be called a guitar.

The prototype is being played here by Anthony Gormley outside the Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh.

Dead easy to play and it sounds fabulous!  

To join in with the West Fife Jam please view their website :-