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New Businesses Get A Head Start

15th September 2001

People in the far north who are thinking about starting their own business are being given the opportunity to get their venture off to a good start by signing up for a series of courses organised by Caithness and Sutherland Enterprise (CASE) under the Network-wide HIE Starts scheme.

HIE Starts in an initiative which helps give new businesses support and financial assistance by providing a regular income over the first 12 months of trading - traditionally the hardest.

To compliment this, CASE is running a range of courses covering essential topics from business planning and book keeping to marketing and effective pricing. The courses begin next month and continue until February 2002.
Any person resident in Caithness and Sutherland can be considered under the HIE Starts scheme whether they are in employment, self-employed or unemployed. Qualifying businesses can also be started on either a full-time, part-time or seasonal basis.

The courses available over the next five months for those contemplating becoming their own boss are:

Introduction to Business - a one-day course on self employment. Is it for you and how do you go about it?

Business Planning Course - a three-day course covering all aspects of business planning from the business idea to marketing or financial planning.

Marketing - a one-day course studying the principles of marketing from market research to promotion.

Pricing for Profit - a one-day course on how to set prices and how to present them.

Financial Record Keeping - a one-day course aimed at providing participants with basic book keeping skills.

CASE has already helped several new businesses to get off the ground using the HIE Starts scheme. Danny and Janice Chretien received assistance to fulfil a long held ambition to run and own a French restaurant. 'Bord de Leau' has been open in Wick since April and already employs four part-time staff. In Helmsdale, Andrew Fairley has established a garden centre where he produces a range of shrubs and plants for sale to the public and local shops.
Commenting on the scheme, CASE business counsellor Ian Thomson said: "We are trying to target people who want to start their own business but are not sure how to go about it. The courses available are designed to help potential new business people discover whether self-employment is for them and if so, provide them with the basic skills required to get a new business off the ground.

"The financial assistance available under the HIE Starts scheme is of tremendous value for the first year of trading but support from CASE business counsellors and access to the type of courses on offer will give new businesses the best possible start."

For more information on HIE Starts contact Ian Thomson at CASE's Thurso office on tel: 01847 805229 or George Munro in the Golspie office on tel: 01408 633872.

 

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