The chief executive of Scottish Enterprise has revealed plans to “democratise” access to business support.
Steve Dunlop said bringing a variety of support agencies under one umbrella will make it easier for businesses to access advice and funding.
He said a beta version of a new online portal will launch by the end of this year.
It will act as a shop front for Scottish Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Business Gateway.
Speaking at a Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce event at Carnoustie Golf Hotel yesterday, Mr Dunlop said: “Scottish Enterprise currently has 2,000 account managed companies who have reached a certain size.
“It’s terrific if you’re one of those companies but there are another 177,000 companies in Scotland.
“Creating a single portal will democratise access to business support. In the not too distant future businesses will also be able to obtain grants through that portal.
“From our point of view it will be more efficient and make sure money and support will go to the right places.
“It will be a shop front and in the back office will be all the different agencies. That will help unite us and streamline and simplify our products.”
Mr Dunlop said encouraging international investment was a key focus of Business Gateway and that he wanted to create investment prospectus for each area of Scotland.
He said: “It means we can then be really precise about selling Dundee and Angus and the opportunities here.”
Meanwhile, he urged firms to be as prepared as possible for the consequences of Brexit.
“We harp on about preparing for Brexit and we see that the big companies are prepared,” he said.
“The ones that are international already are used to dealing with global disruption.
“However there are many, many companies who don’t have that experience.
“No one will really know what Brexit looks like – but as a system we need to be dynamic and ready to help.”