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A Hypothetical Case Study - A fishery in Scotland

July 2007 (School for Startups)

This is a fictional study intended to highlight the variety of governmant grants and other assistance available to entrepreneurs. Hamish, an Inverness-based ex-fisherman is an entirely fictional character, and any similarity to any persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


Hamish identified a gap in the market for an organic salmon farming and smoking business in the north of Scotland, but had no real idea what to do about it. After some preliminary research, Hamish set about securing funding for his idea. His first stop was the Highlands and Islands Enterprise website, through which he was able to find the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust . Being under 25, he received help drawing up a thorough business plan, and managed to secure a £500 grant from the trust to investigate the viability of his idea.

With help from the contacts he had made through the Trust, Hamish was able to identify the ideal property for his prospective venture. With the aid of his business plan, he was able to persuade the banks to lend him a further £10,000, but this was not enough to cover the cost of the land he wished to purchase. He therefore went back to the Highlands and Islands Enterprise Agency. In part because Hamish’s idea overlapped with the industrial sectors the Enterprise Agency wished to promote, he was able to obtain a further loan to match his finance from the bank. He therefore bought the land and established his fish farm.

After six months of success, Hamish was ready to take on more staff. He therefore returned to the internet, but this time visited instead his council website, where he discovered the Employment Grants Scheme , which provides financial assistance as an incentive for employers to take on new workers from unemployment. This enabled him to take on three new members of staff, and by the end of the year business was firmly established.

In seeking to expand to another fishery and processing plant, Hamish now applied to the Scottish Executive’s Aquaculture Scheme . This project aims to finance commercial fishing projects that stimulate new employment and could not otherwise have been undertaken, and it was felt that Hamish’s proposal was perfect for its support. Hamish was thus able to set up two further plants, and has subsequently become Scotland’s leading wet fish producer.


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