Case Studies

Social enterprise gets ready to launch after accessing start-up support

A social enterprise that seeks to equip young adults with transferrable skills through the renovation of powerboats has successfully launched after receiving start-up support from Business Gateway.

About the business

Launched in December 2020, Vital Spark Racing CIC is a social enterprise devoted to providing young adults with a range of both transferable and practical skills through the construction and renovation of powerboats.

Thanks to the initial start-up support from Business Gateway and the experiences gained from competing in Business Gateway Forth Valley’s #THEHEAT21 competition, we have been able to successfully launch our training programme and we are ready to welcome a range of young adults who will be able to benefit from our training scheme.

How Business Gateway has helped

Founded by John Young, Vital Spark Racing is devoted to assisting young adults find employment by providing them with skills across a range of sectors, including manufacturing, renovation, administration, IT and graphic design.

The pilot project, which was initially due to start in early 2020, was put on hold due to the pandemic. However, after receiving initial start-up support from Business Gateway which included one-to-one business advice and HR support, John was able to identify ways to adapt to restrictions, modify the project and enable its launch.

The team also came second in the recent #THEHEAT21 competition, a ‘Dragons’ Den’ style competition for the Forth Valley region, run by Business Gateway, in which they received the next boat for Vital Spark’s participants to renovate. This expanded John’s business network and provided the business a strong platform to promote the enterprise both online and amongst the local community. The business now has their very own workshop at Castle Street, and thanks to #THEHEAT21 and Colin Clark of Steps Scotland, Vital Spark Racing’s website is now live.

John Young, Founder, Vital Spark Racing CIC, said: “Business Gateway and their service has helped me adapt and respond to the challenges of the pandemic, ensuring I could pivot my project to the current environment. Now we have launched, it was a great opportunity to be part of #THEHEAT21 competition which helped raise awareness about what we are trying to do at Vital Spark Racing.

“We are excited to have successfully launched the programme and we look forward to working with a range of young adults across the local community to develop them develop a range of practical skills that will help them in a future role.”

Mandy Campbell, Business Gateway adviser, said: “John came into this process with the right attitude and is reaping the rewards with a successful business launch. He has developed an understanding about how to adapt to an uncertain environment by providing a modified offering, and this experience will only help his business grow from strength to strength over the coming weeks and months.”

Support Provided

1:1 Business Advice

Advice on HR issues

Accessed Business Gateway Website

The Heat Competition

Want to speak with your nearest Business Gateway team?

Your local Business Gateway can offer you free 1:1 advice and online support to help you with anything to do with your business or if you are just thinking about starting up then we can support you with that too.

Fill in the form below and we will get back to you to help.

Enter your postcode

How we use your data

We will use the information you provide to respond to your request, and to provide business advice and support services to you. For more information please view our privacy notice.