Outer Hebrides Young Enterprise Support Scheme (OHYESS)

Objectives and Assistance

OHYESS is funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and delivered by Business Gateway.   It is designed to fill the gap for business start-up funding for entrepreneurs and development funding for early-stage companies.

Please note that tourism accommodation developments are not eligible for support.

Projects should be in key sectors including:

  • Renewables and energy related activity;
  • Recycling;
  • Tourism (excluding accommodation projects);
  • Creative and culture-based activity;
  • Food and drink;
  • Information technology;
  • Life and health sciences;
  • Research and development;
  • Innovation;
  • Manufacturing and processing;
  • Traditional industries indigenous to the Outer Hebrides.

Levels of Grant available:

Full-time businesses

Maximum £5,000, towards capital costs.

Part-time businesses

Maximum of £1,500 towards capital costs.

Level of Support available:

Normally up to 50% of eligible costs.

Up to 70% is available to projects that include any of the following:

  • Applicants under 30
  • Net zero
  • Cruise market product development
  • Uist repopulation zone

Eligibility & Conditions

The Outer Hebrides Young Enterprise Scheme is subject to the following conditions:

  • Open to new and existing businesses based in the Outer Hebrides that have been trading for no longer than five years.
  • All grant funding support will be towards capital costs only.
  • Business owners/applicants must be based in the Outer Hebrides.
  • Sole traders, partnerships, limited companies and other legitimate business trading entities can apply for support.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their business is commercially viable.
  • The development of tourism accommodation is considered ineligible.
  • Applicants must be able to fund the project until the grant can be claimed. Grant payments will be released only upon submission of proof of payment.  No money should be spent until an application has been approved and an official letter of offer provided.
  • Applicants must be able to evidence the requirements for financial assistance. Projects over £50,000 will not normally be eligible.   
  • Individual items being grant funded by other public sector agencies will not normally be considered eligible.
  • Businesses must register with HMRC as soon as trading has commenced.
  • Each application will be considered on its own merits. However, projects in areas which are adequately served by similar existing businesses are unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Applicants must demonstrate that they can afford to purchase the items initially as the grant can only be claimed after the costs have been incurred and proof of payment provided.
  • Funding must only be spent on the items agreed as per an approved application or approved change request.
  • Individual items over £1,000 will require three quotes.
  • All successful applicants must operate their business within the Outer Hebrides for a minimum of two years from receipt of award or Business Gateway may seek to recoup the grant.
  • Applicants must be prepared to submit to Business Gateway details of the projected benefits and impacts which have been achieved as a result of the grant support.
  • By making an application, applicants are agreeing to all information being shared between Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
  • Business Gateway will make details of all grant approvals available to the public.

The following will be required:

Business plan, financial projections (3-years), application form, bank statements, proof of ID, a credit check and any other supporting information as required.

Contact Details

Contact us for more information