An independent business, offering a range of bespoke year-round guided outdoor activities on the Isle of Harris, has expanded their offering after working with Business Gateway.
Kayaking in Harris
Wild Harris launched in 2019 and offers a range of immersive outdoor activities and experiences on both land and sea, including wildlife and wilderness walks, mountain guiding, sea kayaking, snorkel safaris and mountain bike expeditions.
Founded by Kate Lewis and Daryll Brown, both experienced mountain leaders and wildlife observers, Wild Harris offers adventure and exploration for residents and visitors alike. Their expertise and intimate knowledge of the island enhance their excursions, which specialise in showcasing the many rare and beautiful species that can be found across the island’s lochs, bays, and wild lands.
To grow their services, Kate and Daryll approached Business Gateway for support and utilised a host of start-up services. With the support of a dedicated adviser, Wild Harris developed their business plan and received guidance on funding options. The business was subsequently awarded a grant through the Comhairle’s COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Scheme (CERGS). This let Kate and Daryll purchase a brand-new, larger sea kayak and trailer for transporting kayaks. As a result, the business is now able to offer kayaking activities for all customers and in a greater number of locations, with the added ease of being able to move the activity to a better suited area in changing weather conditions.
Additionally, to accommodate the growing popularity of snorkel safaris, the funding also allowed the business to purchase a range of wetsuits for customers to hire, opening the activity to those who previously were unable to provide their own.
Kate Lewis, Wild Harris
Kate Lewis, Co-founder, Wild Harris said: “We have such a deep-rooted love for the Outer Hebrides, and we approached Business Gateway for ways to bring our activities to a wider customer base. Our adviser couldn’t have been more helpful and was there to answer any questions we had throughout the funding application process.
“The help and guidance we received from the Business Gateway service has been fantastic, it has allowed us to invest and expanded our offering and we look forward to guiding even more locals and visitors around the island, whatever the weather.”
Fiona Chisholm, Business Gateway, said: “Both Kate and Daryll are extremely knowledgeable about Harris and have worked hard to build their business. They instinctively identified areas to develop their outdoor activities and, by working closely with Business Gateway, were able to expand their offering and secure assets to help them overcome the elements.
“We were able to support Wild Harris through a range of Business Gateway’s start-up services and they now present an even more exciting offering for adventurers on the island.”
To find out more about Business Gateway and its services, please visit their website (Opens in a new window or downloads a file).