Fiona whips up a successful business

Returning to a desk job after travelling Europe with her husband for three months made Fiona Gillis realise she didn’t want to work in administration for the rest of her life.


After completing her contract, she packed up her things and swapped her nine to five job for a career baking cupcakes.


Having signed up to the New Enterprise Allowance scheme before tapping into start-up advice from Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, Fiona launched Dainty Decadence Cupcakery six months ago.


Since then the business has grown from strength to strength, with Fiona baking cupcakes for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and baby showers throughout the Forth Valley area.


Fiona, who is originally from Tillicoultry, said: “Friends had told me in the past that I should set up my own cupcake business, but I’d never had the confidence. I’d always questioned whether I’d be able to make enough money and wondered if it really was for me, however, after we travelled Europe and I returned to a contract position I realised I didn’t want to work in an office. I wanted to work the hours that suited me doing something I loved and the idea for the business grew from there.


“Because my husband had been self-employed in the past I’d already been on a number of Business Gateway workshops with him. They’d been really helpful for his business so I went back and did a range of start-up workshops and a number of social media sessions. These helped refresh my memory and gave me an opportunity to meet other people at the same stage as me. The seminars gave me a good grounding and coupled with my background in admin they helped me get everything in place to get started.”


Mandy Campbell, Business Gateway Clackmannanshire, said: “Having an idea for a business is one thing; building the confidence to then make your plans a reality is quite another and that’s where our support is vital. Our workshop programme is designed to arm you with all the basic information you need to get started and then provide you with new skills and knowledge to grow your enterprise. With our help, Fiona refreshed her skills and set out a plan to launch her business and she also benefitted from one-to-one advice regarding marketing of her enterprise.”


In February this year, Fiona beat off stiff competition from across the country to be presented with the New Enterprise Allowance ‘New Business Start-up’ award. The award was in recognition of her hard work getting the business established.


Fiona said: “Getting started in business can be tough, but when orders are flowing in due to word of mouth recommendations and you then get an award it’s a great confidence boost. I’ve always loved baking, and remember baking with my mum and gran when I was young. I’ve also completed lots of cake decorating classes and have my NC in Practical Cake Craft. Now I am getting to use all the skills I’ve learnt over the years doing something I love for a living.”

For more information on Dainty Decadence Cupcakery visit


To find out how Business Gateway Clackmannanshire can help your business call 01259 208426 or visit