Case Studies

Business Gateway offers a helping hand to budding entrepreneurs

Young people are key to our future economic success, and Business Gateway is right on hand to help rising talent develop their business ideas and navigate through an ever-changing business environment.

The effect of life under lockdown has undoubtedly been hard on everyone, however it’s clear that the latest generation to enter the workforce have fared much worse over the past 18 months. The pandemic has limited entry-level jobs for those looking to take the first step in their careers, and according to official figures almost two-thirds of all people who lost jobs in the pandemic were under the age of 25, knocking many off track.

However, despite the unique challenges brought about by the pandemic, it also unearthed exciting opportunities for many young individuals up and down the country. As young people had more time at home, many explored alternative career options and a new type of lifestyle, such as starting up a business.

In response, particularly throughout the areas of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, Tayside & Lanarkshire, Business Gateway has launched a dedicated programme specifically tailored to young people aged 16 to 25. The Young Entrepreneur Starter Pack provides young individuals with the inspiration, tools, and knowledge to start their own business. Delivered through a series of webinars, this specialist programme is divided in two stages, guiding individuals from creative idea generation and conducting market research, to the practicalities of structuring a business, legal requirements, and how to finance and fund a business start-up venture.

Success stories emerging from these specific regions, with the help of Business Gateway support, include a digital marketing start-up based in Aberdeenshire, a coffee venture in Tayside and a sushi company in Lanarkshire. Keep reading to discover how Business Gateway could help you.

Following a variety of support from Business Gateway, Creo Digital hits the ground running

About the business

Based in Aberdeenshire, Creo Digital provides a full range of digital marketing services for a variety of businesses across the world.

Creo Digital
Funding gave me the ability to hit the ground running with my business, ensuring I was able to get necessary equipment and successfully launch.

How Business Gateway has helped

When 24-year-old Kathryn Symmonds, Founder of Creo Digital, found herself unemployed during the pandemic, she decided to set up on her own and launched a digital marketing business in April 2021. 

With the help of Business Gateway, Kathryn built a strong business plan with solid financial forecasts. She was then awarded over £2,000 from the Aberdeenshire Council Young Person’s Seed Fund in May 2021.  Since, Kathryn’s business has gone from strength to strength as she has built a growing portfolio of global clients across various sectors. 

Kathryn Symmonds, Founder, Creo Digital, said: “Funding gave me the ability to hit the ground running with my business, ensuring I was able to get necessary equipment and successfully launch. 

“Creo Digital has grown faster than I could have imagined, and I now have two members of staff and am looking to launch a website.”  

Support Provided

1:1 Business Adviser or Support

Advice & routes to funding

Market Research Reports

With support from Business Gateway, EH9 Espresso are a brewing success

About the business

Based in Tayside, EH9 Espresso is a speciality coffee bar offering an outstanding quality of coffee within the city of Dundee.

Eh9 Espresso 3
The support I received from Business Gateway was crucial in bringing my idea to life and my passion into the market.

How Business Gateway has helped

When 25-year-old Fraser Smith, Founder of EH9 Espresso, found himself furloughed from his job in hospitality, he decided to launch his own business.

Working with Business Gateway, Fraser developed a strong business plan, marketing strategy and financial projection which enabled him to establish the commercial viability of his love for good coffee. The support and guidance he received was ultimately imperative in the success of his business.

Fraser Smith, Founder, EH9 Espresso, said: “The support I received from Business Gateway was crucial in bringing my idea to life and my passion into the market. I had the knowledge of coffee and knew exactly the type of service I wanted to provide and although I had a very vivid idea of how the business should operate, I required guidance with some of the technical aspects, such as employing staff.

“I already have my sights set on opening more coffee shops, integrating and building upon the coffee community, and ultimately launching a coffee festival.”

Support Provided

1:1 Business Adviser or Support

Advice & Routes to Funding

Property Searches, Company Reports & Credit Checks

Sushi company, Kokki, rolls onto greater things following support from Business Gateway

About the business

Based in Lanarkshire, Kokki offers contemporary sushi; the perfect alternative for sushi fans who are looking for a different yet authentic new experience of flavour.

Team Kokki
Through working with the Business Gateway team, we have grown our business considerably and now have our sights set on moving into premises that will double the size of our current location.

How Business Gateway has helped

Founded back in May 2019 by husband-and-wife duo, Rafael and Adriana, Kokki began as a home-based sushi delivery business for Venezuelan immigrants. Despite trading throughout periods of enforced lockdowns due to the global pandemic, Kokki has not only continued to operate but has impressively increased its turnover significantly.

With the help and support of Business Gateway, Kokki has grown substantially, obtaining significant commercial premises in Hamilton town centre, and employing eight members of staff.

Rafael Montenegro, Co-Founder, Kokki, said: “Through working with the Business Gateway team, we have grown our business considerably and now have our sights set on moving into premises that is double the size of our current location.

“From what started as making sushi in our kitchen at home, Kokki has come a long way and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and diversify our offering.”

Support Provided

1:1 Business Adviser or Support

Advice & Routes to Funding

From strategic advice on business plans, signposting routes to funding and facilitating connections with wider support networks, Business Gateway offers a wealth of services in tandem with the Young Entrepreneur Starter Pack webinar series.

Roz Taylor, Operations Director, Business Gateway, said: “It is fundamental that young people are supported, and Business Gateway is proud to offer a range of professional resources, support and tools to allow young budding business owners to learn new skills and to create new opportunities for themselves.

“This Young Entrepreneur Starter Pack is a fantastic resource for those ready to start on their own entrepreneurial journey and I urge youngsters to reach out to see how we can help.”

Sign up to the Young Entrepreneur Starter Pack series here.

Get the support you need right now

You can connect with us through the contact form, call us or contact your local Business Gateway office.