Gap in the market helps Rachel prosper
A young island businesswoman has hailed the role of Business Gateway in helping to establish her new tourism venture.
Rachel MacKenzie established two high-end log cabins in the summer of last year, in close proximity to the popular historical attractions Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Dun Carloway Broch and Calanais Standing Stones.
Business Gateway helped Rachel develop her business plan and worked with her to secure a grant of £1,250 through the Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneurs Fund, which is funded by HIE and delivered by Business Gateway.
Rachel was also able to access a £10,000 loan through the Comhairle’s Revolving Loan Fund, also delivered by Business Gateway, which gave her the ability to begin operating immediately. There are now plans for a third log cabin.
Rachel said: “Knowing how popular the nearby tourist attractions are, I realised that there wasn’t much on offer in terms of accommodation in the area, so I set about creating the perfect getaway for visitors. The cabins were then finished in August, and we were almost fully booked throughout the whole of September.
“The 1:1 advisory support and variety of resources available at Business Gateway were crucial, not only in securing funding for our cabins, but also for helping me to think and plan for other elements of operating a business that I had not yet considered. We are looking forward to welcoming more visitors and tourists, and with the continued help of Business Gateway and support of a social media consultant, we are also focused on growing our social media presence.”