Murdo Macsween, Astar Media
Astar Media was founded by Murdo MacSween in late 2021 after he spotted a gap in the market for project management services to be delivered by Gaelic professionals for Gaelic organisations. Astar provides project delivery, project support and event management, as well as marketing, digital and media communications support.
The business uses digital media, graphic design and video production to deliver contemporary Gaelic communications, to encourage more interaction with the language, especially with young people.
Murdo was introduced to Business Gateway by local representatives from Highlands & Islands Enterprise early in 2022, and with support from a dedicated adviser, he developed a business plan and received guidance on funding options.
Through this direction, Murdo applied for a grant and was subsequently awarded funding from the Outer Hebrides Young Enterprise Support Scheme (OHYESS) which is fully funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and delivered by Business Gateway.
Murdo used the funding against his initial start-up costs, allowing him to purchase laptops and other office equipment to aid the sustainable growth of Astar Media. Additional equipment, including banner stands, lighting options and a 360 video camera, was also purchased to help deliver projects more effectively.
Less than one year since launching, the business already employs four members of staff, with a fifth joining in October, and has secured several high value projects including the delivery of the long-running Gaelic short film competition, FilmG, the public consultation of the national Gaelic language plan, and the publication of this year’s Mòd programme.
Murdo was born on the Isle of Lewis and has operated as a media professional, with more than 15 years of experience working for Scotland’s broadcasters. He also holds a Master of the Arts in Gaelic language from the University of Glasgow.
Murdo MacSween, Founder of Astar Media, said: “I am passionate about my native language and proud that Astar is the first Gaelic media and project management business in Scotland. I’ve surrounded myself with excellent young employees, all Gaelic speakers, and all invested in the importance of working to support Gaelic and ensuring it remains part of Scotland’s fabric.
“Business Gateway offered me professional, organised and straightforward advice and I would recommend them to anyone seeking support. As well as helping to set my business plans in place with consultation, I received guidance on funding which was a vital step in getting Astar off the ground.”
Derek Maclean, Business Gateway adviser, said: “Murdo already had a clear vision of what goals he wanted to achieve and I was particularly impressed with his desire to support the Gaelic speaking business community. The concept, a first for Scotland, is very intuitive and we were delighted to assist him on his journey.
“Like Murdo, we would encourage anyone that spots a gap in the market, or those with an initial idea, to contact Business Gateway, as we can help business owners navigate those initial stages and set them on a course for growth.”
To find out more about Business Gateway and its services, please visit their website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).