Business support

Training Workshops

A range of workshops are tailored towards either helping you to establish your new business or to help you to grow your existing one. Each workshop is designed to specifically cover the key considerations faced by the entrepreneur:

  • VAT registration for new businesses
  • Developing a business plan during your start up phase
  • Sourcing funding and finance
  • Employing staff
  • Marketing, advertising and promotion
  • E-commerce
  • Social media

If there is demand for a particular topic, we will do our best to deliver a workshop on that topic.

One-to-one advice is also available from our team of business advisers.

Business Gateway Outer Hebrides is part of the Economic Development team at Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council). We offer a variety of initiatives which provide support for new and existing businesses in the Outer Hebrides. These include the following:

Micro Business Loan - (CnES - RLF)

This 'Interest-Free' loan of up to £2,000 aims to encourage the creation and growth of small businesses, which can contribute to new jobs in the local economy. The loan programme is funded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Business Loan - (CnES - RLF)

This loan of up to £50,000, repayable up to 7 years at an interest rate between 4 and 6%(depending upon amount/security), is to encourage business start-up and enable business and community developments by assisting with long-term sustainability in the Outer Hebrides. The loan programme is funded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar.

Outer Hebrides Fisheries Investment Scheme

Funding available for the purchase of fishing vessels. Loans of up to £100,000 (commercial interest rates apply.

The Prince's Trust

Through The Prince's Trust, free advisory and business planning support is available to anyone thinking about starting or developing their own business. There is discretionary loan & grant assistance for the 18-30 age-group, with special concern for anyone who is particularly disadvantaged. For those who access this funding, an Aftercare Advisor is provided to assist you in tackling the first two years in business.

Community Support

The Community Regeneration team www.cne-siar.gov.uk/business/economic-development-and-business-support/regeneration/ offer tailored advice and support to new and developing community businesses and social enterprises.

Business Property Portfolio

A range of business units, properties and land for lease / sale by the Comhairle available www.cne-siar.gov.uk/business/vacant-property-and-land/. Highlands & Islands Enterprise may also have business units for lease and should be contacted on 01851 707 300 for further information.

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