Case Studies

Supporting Small Businesses and Social Enterprise

Case Description

Firstport is Scotland’s agency for start-up social entrepreneurs and social enterprise. It is a registered charity that supports individuals across Scotland to start, develop and grow their ideas into businesses with social impact at their core. I have been working in partnership since 2018 to support their grant awardees at various stages of their development, from start-up to growth.

Similarly, I began working with Business Gateway around the same time, with the first workshop supporting women returners to explore self-employment as a career option.

Both programmes offer a combination of group workshops and tailored one-to-one coaching.

The support has received positive feedback throughout, and topics have included:

  • Networking
  • Resilience and confidence
  • Adapting to change
  • Communication and influencing skills
  • Leadership and management
  • Business planning and roadmaps to develop a vision
  • Time management and focus
  • Support through the pandemic as the situation evolved

Since Anna Bell Coaching was founded in 2015, I have supported hundreds of entrepreneurs and small businesses in various settings, and these close relationships with Firstport and Business Gateway have complemented and enhanced my understanding and facilitation of clients’ needs.



“Whether she’s dealing with a room full of nervous would-be networkers, or one-to-one resilience training, Anna delivers her sessions with sincerity, empathy and patience, and even the most resistant of attendees have left her workshops positive and prepared for anything. For those weary of corporate, jargon-filled workshops, Anna presents a refreshing alternative: coaching that actually works.”

– Ray Banks, Programme Manager, Firstport

“I can't recommend Anna highly enough. She has a gift for putting everyone at their ease and making each person attending feel a valued individual member of the group. This feeling of security and calm encouraged everyone to share their own experiences and feelings. Anna has a unique comprehensive range of skills and experience, which has enabled us to provide our clients with workshops on a whole range of topics, including self-employment as a career option for women, boosting confidence and the practical requirements of launching a business.”

– Anne Macintosh, Business Gateway Adviser

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