CB&S Marketplace

Culture & Business Marketplace Scotland FAQs

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1. What criteria must culture organisations meet when applying to sell products or services on the C&BS Marketplace?


Any not-for-profit culture organisation registered and based in Scotland can apply to list and sell a product or service on the C&BS Marketplace. This includes (but is not limited to) registered charities, SCIOs, CICs and social enterprises. Applicants must be properly constituted organisations, with a constitution or Articles of Association, and hold a company bank account.

Additionally, culture organisations making an application to become a seller on the C&BS Marketplace must be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity to complete all aspects of the application as well as all aspects of the sales process, including evaluation.

All applicants must be working towards becoming a Fair Work employer, as outlined in the Scottish Government’s Fair Work First Policy. We expect culture organisations applying to sell on the C&BS Marketplace to demonstrate that they are delivering fair pay, creating opportunity and have a clear approach to creating dignity at work.

The following list defines areas of culture (arts and heritage) activity that applicants should be involved in, in order to be eligible to apply to sell on the C&BS Marketplace.

Animation | Archaeology | Archives & collections | Art & health | Combined arts | Community heritage | Craft | Dance | Design | Fashion | Festivals (including youth, community, film, general, literature, military, music and ethnic) | Film & TV | Galleries | Historic buildings & monuments | Industrial, maritime & transport | Intangible heritage (including stories, traditions & concepts) | Land & biodiversity (including urban green spaces &  parks) | Libraries | Literature | Music |  Museums | Street arts | Theatre | Visual arts

2. Are all culture organisations eligible to apply to sell products or services on the C&BS Marketplace?


Unfortunately not. Only not-for-profit culture organisation are eligible. Culture & Business Scotland is not an economic development agency that supports commercial business with income generation opportunities. Our remit and funding are designed to support not-for-profit organisations within the culture sector to become more sustainable through the development of entrepreneurial initiatives.

We cannot accept applications from:

  • individual artists or creatives, however, individuals who have a concept for a potential C&BS Marketplace product or service can work in partnership with a not-for-profit organisation who can function as the lead applicant (see 11.)
  • profit-making culture organisations (ie. private limited companies, sole traders, partnerships, LLPs etc)
  • organisations that are not constituted or don’t hold a bank account

3. Are all business organisations eligible to buy products or services on the C&BS Marketplace?


Yes. Buyers can be from any industry discipline within the business sector and could be from the culture sector too. Any organisation can browse the C&BS Marketplace and make an enquiry, via Culture & Business Scotland, to open a conversation with a culture sector seller.

4. Are there any costs associated with selling on or buying from the C&BS Marketplace?


At the moment, in the pilot phase, no. There are no costs associated with the application process, training or listing for culture organisations. There are also no costs for business buyers using the C&BS Marketplace, beyond the cost of the product or service commissioned, which is paid directly to the culture organisation (see 15.).

5. What criteria must products or services listed on the C&BS Marketplace meet?


Products and services suitable for listing must:

  • be appropriate and reflective of the skills and knowledge of the supplying organisation (eg. a dance company offering movement for wellbeing workshops)
  • focus on and provide a creative solution that meets defined business (including public sector organisation) needs
  • aim to diversify the income stream of the culture organisation

Please note that the C&BS Marketplace is not

  • a place to profile sponsorship opportunities
  • a place to promote services or products to the general public

6. When can applications be made to sell products or services on the C&BS Marketplace?


We aim to have regular application openings. However, how often and when Culture & Business Scotland can invite applications is dependent on a number of factors, including funding for the C&BS Marketplace and our staffing capacity to support recruitment and training of applicants.

To be aware of when the C&BS Marketplace is open for applications, we recommend that you subscribe to our Training & Events bulletin or register your interest in applying here, without subscribing to our newsletter, when we’re not open for applications.

7. What commitment do applicants need to make to sell products or services on the C&BS Marketplace?


As a culture organisation, becoming a seller involves developing a suitable product or service, creating a listing that will appear on the C&BS Marketplace and taking part in training. Successful applicants, prior to their listing going live, must attend all the training sessions (see 8.) and meet all the application deadlines. In addition, once a supplier’s listing is live on the C&BS Membership, we expect there to be significant work in dealing with incoming enquiries via Culture & Business Scotland, creating quotes and negotiating contracts and, of course, the delivery and evaluation of products and services.

8. What commitment do applicants need to make to sell products or services on the C&BS Marketplace?


Culture organisations interested in listing a product or service on the C&BS Marketplace will need to attend the following training sessions:

  1. Application writing workshop
  2. Making the pitch
  3. Sales fundamentals
  4. Constitutions and legal trading guidance*
  5. VAT and tax guidance*
  6. Insurance and risk management guidance*

*These are ‘technical training sessions’ delivered by our specialist partners.

The person that the culture organisation notes as the ‘main contact’ for the C&BS Marketplace on their application form must attend all training sessions noted above, although we encourage one or two additional colleagues to come along too, as this supports collaborative working and ensures a wider understanding, within the culture organisation, of the value of the opportunity. Attending training also helps to develop transferable skills, relevant beyond the C&BS Marketplace itself.

For the technical training sessions only (*), a representative from the culture organisation’s finance department and/or the organisation’s Chief Executive (or similar post holder) should attend, as well as the ‘main contact’, as these sessions are relevant to safeguarding and overarching governance and management issues, as well as potential risks from commercial trading on the C&BS Marketplace.

Each training session will last for between one and three hours, with breaks included for longer sessions. We aim to offer at least two options for in-person training, in two separate locations, plus one online session. In-person sessions will be held in accessible venues and dietary requirements, if applicable, will be catered for. Online sessions will be recorded, but this is for reference only; it is essential that those opting for online training take part in the live session to benefit from peer discussion, shared learning and interactive elements.

9. Can culture organisations promote venue hire as a product or service?


Yes, but only if they are also selling a product or service that offers a creative solution to meeting defined business needs. Applications that only offer venue hire will not be considered.

10. Can culture organisations promote sponsorship opportunities on the C&BS Marketplace?


No, however, we hope that establishing commercial relationships with business organisations through the C&BS Marketplace will potentially lead to deeper engagement opportunities, such as sponsorship.


11. Can culture organisations work in partnership with, or subcontract to, another organisation or individual to supply a listing for the Marketplace?


Yes, but the main contract and contact for Culture & Business Scotland, and for the business client, must be the culture organisation who will be responsible for the safe and satisfactory delivery and evaluation of the product or service listed. Individual artists or makers may, for example, be recruited by the culture organisation to support the product or service delivery (see 2.).

12. How long will listings on the Marketplace remain live?


We plan to hold regular review meetings with sellers to ascertain if their product or service offer has been successful and is still relevant, or if it needs to be amended to meet evolving business buyer needs. Listings will remain live on the C&BS Marketplace until a seller advises that they want their listing to be removed or replaced.

13. Can culture organisations add new products or services or amend existing ones?


Yes! Following successful delivery of products or services and the completion of the evaluation form (see 20.) culture organisations can request that new images or testimonials from a business client who has commissioned their product or service are added to their listing on the C&BS Marketplace; small adjustments to the product or service listing can also be made and the logistics and timing for doing this should be discussed with the C&BS Marketplace Manager.

Culture organisations wishing to list an entirely new product or service will be required to go through the formal application process although, at Culture & Business Scotland’s discretion, may not be required to go through the full training again unless, for example, the ‘main contact’ named on the application form is an individual who hasn’t attended training before.

14. What is Culture & Business Scotland’s role once listings are live?


A dedicated C&BS Marketplace Manager will continue to drive this resource and tap into our network to promote the C&BS Marketplace widely to business users; this may include the delivery of awareness raising events with partners (such as Chambers of Commerce) to reach potential new buyers.

We will provide ongoing support to sellers as and when required and, where appropriate, we will work directly with buyers who require support in selecting the product or service most suitable for their needs, facilitating introductory meetings between buyers and sellers as required.

15. How do businesses organisations purchase creative solutions through the C&BS Marketplace?


Businesses will be asked to register some basic details before being able to explore the C&BS Marketplace.

When a business is interested in a listed product or service, they click ‘enquire now’ to generate an email to Culture & Business Scotland. We record the enquiry and follow it up to establish business requirements, providing advice or support as required. We then pass the enquiry on to the main contact in the culture organisation, who must respond to the business organisation within one working week.

Once the culture organisation and business organisation have agreed the product or service to be delivered, they negotiate a contract (see 17.) which is agreed and countersigned by both parties.

The culture organisation then informs Culture & Business Scotland of the delivery date and provides a copy of the signed contract, prior to delivering the product or service to the business organisation.

16. How are prices set for the products and services listed on the C&BS Marketplace?


Culture organisations are responsible for setting the price for their product or service so that it covers costs and delivers a sustainable source of income for their organisation. Training on pricing is supplied (see 8.) and all sellers are encouraged to have a consistent and standardised process in place for pricing.

17. Should a contract always be drawn up between the seller and the buyer?


Absolutely – no matter how big or small the product or service, a contract or letter of agreement is critical. Training on contracting is provided to culture organisations (see 8.) and, at a minimum, a contract should include:

  • the names of both parties
  • as much detail as possible on what will be delivered and what won’t to be included
  • price and payment terms
  • mutual commitment to evaluation
  • cancellation policy
  • photography policy

Providing as much detail as possible allows expectations to be managed, respectful relationships to be established and provides protection should any aspect of the product or service delivery go awry.

18. How and when does the business organisation pay for the product or service they commission?


Payment terms will be part of the negotiation between seller and buyer. However, we would normally recommend that a deposit is paid in advance with the balance on completion. Invoices will be raised by the culture organisation and payment should be made directly to the culture organisation and not through Culture & Business Scotland.

19. Can a culture organisation turn down a request from a business organisation?


Yes, sellers are free to decline requests from business organisations to buy their listed products or services. We would, however, ask both the culture organisation and the business organisation to notify us should this happen so we are aware of the situation and the reason for the request being turned down (for example, a perceived mis-match in values or behaviours).

20. Will Culture & Business Scotland evaluate the success and impact of products and services delivered?


Yes! Within two weeks of delivery, the culture organisation and the business organisation must jointly complete an evaluation form and supply this to Culture & Business Scotland. We will evaluate the delivery and outcome of every product or service that’s commissioned through the C&BS Marketplace. This encourages the seller to ask for helpful feedback from business clients and learn from each delivery experience. As the C&BS Marketplace is subsidised by third-party funding, evaluation also allows us to review how different creative solutions are working against the business needs we’ve defined, and to report on positive impacts to secure ongoing investment.

21. Can culture organisations promote their C&BS Marketplace listings on their own websites and social media platforms?


Yes, the C&BS Marketplace listing reflects the culture organisations’s own product or service and they retain the right to sell this outwith the C&BS Marketplace platform. We would, however, ask that sellers inform us of any direct enquiries, or sales of products or services that are listed on the Marketplace, so that we have a full understanding of the potential value of culture sector solutions provided to meet business needs.

The product or service offered on the C&BS Marketplace remains the intellectual property of the culture organisation. However, where this product or service is then listed elsewhere, as outlined above, there is a requirement to credit Culture & Business Scotland and the C&BS Marketplace in all related instances.

Any questions not addressed in this FAQs sheet?


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