Scottish fundraising consultancy enjoys global success and over 60% growth in turnover following support from Business Gateway 

Cairney and Company

A SCOTTISH female-run fundraising consultancy advising global clients has seen a60% growth in turnover year on year in 2021/2022, after accessing specialist support from Business Gateway, Scotland’s national business advisory service.  

Cairney & Company specialises in fundraising strategy development, philanthropic advisory, and leadership coaching and skills development for the higher education and not-for-profit sectors.  

Through support from Business Gateway, Founder and CEO Karen Cairney, the only female leader running a global fundraising consultancy in Scotland, launched the business in 2016. She wanted to disrupt the sector and strived to offer a fresh approach to achieving philanthropic and income generation goals for her clients.  

As one of only 15.4%1 of female-led companies in Scotland and contributing to the high growth of female-led companies (Scotland has the highest growth in the UK at 12%), entrepreneur Karen benefitted from a full range of start-up support through Business Gateway, including a dedicated business adviser, as well as advice on her business plan,premises, and marketing. She also accessed the Planning To Start tool, exclusively available through Business Gateway, and made use of the range of webinars on offer, including maximising digital strategies, marketing and many others available during covid to support local business. This support was essential in the early stages of setting up and running a business for the first time. 

Business Gateway helped Cairney & Company secure its first premises in Kirkintilloch. Karen was also able to access specialist expertise from a business strategy consultant,which helped to develop a marketing strategy which the business continues to use to this day.  

Business Gateway also proved to be a critical support system as Cairney & Company navigated the challenges brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, with new marketing techniques, including regular blog posts on the business website, employed to engageclients all over the world,  

Since launching, Cairney & Company has evolved into a global business, with expert staff now placed all over the UK, the US, Canada and Hong Kong.   

Karen is a leader in her field and in 2021 won Scottish Businesswoman of the Year at the National Businesswomen’s Awards in London, in recognition of Cairney & Company’s exponential growth over the last six years.  

Karen Cairney, Founder and CEO, Cairney & Company, said: “Business Gateway was an invaluable resource in the early years of starting Cairney & Company in providing advice and access to resources. I have no doubt that our longstanding relationship has been an essential part of our growth journey over the years. I’d recommend their services to anyone doing business in Scotland.”

Colin Dunn, Business Gateway adviser, said: “It’s been a pleasure to watch Cairney & Company grow from humble beginnings to the global status it has today. We have been able to support Karen and her team over the years with a range of Business Gateway’s start-up services and will keep supporting the business as it continues to grow.”  

Cairney & Company have plans for future global expansion and in early 2023 their CEO, Karen Cairney will be part of a global leadership series speaking alongside Lisa Gable, CEO of several organisations and a former Presidential appointee, US Ambassador and advisor to Fortune 500 companies on the theme of “daring and caring leadership” and theimpact to address the many global challenges we face socially, economically and environmentally.  

To find out how Business Gateway could help your business, visit  

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