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Lews Castle

Outer Hebrides Youth Enterprise Programme (OHYEP)

Funded by UK Government Logo

Objectives and Assistance

 The Outer Hebrides Youth Enterprise Programme (OHYEP) is financed by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and administered by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar’s Business Gateway Service.   It is open to business owners in the Outer Hebrides aged 18-40 and aims to help them become the best entrepreneur they can be through access to mentoring support, resources and funding.

The Youth Enterprise Programme can include access to the following:

  • 1-to-1 adviser support;
  • Aftercare & mentoring support;
  • Revenue grant of up to £3,000 (at a maximum of 75%);
  • 1-to-1 specialist support, including digital;
  • Free accounting software, including training (depending on package);
  • Business skills webinars;
  • Access to other financial support and programmes.

The support is primarily targeted at key sectors, though it is open to businesses in all sectors (excluding visitor accommodation).  Applicants are normally required to sign up to the aftercare programme.

Levels of Grant available

Full-time businesses

Maximum £3,000, towards revenue costs.

Part-time businesses

Maximum of £1,500 towards revenue costs.

Level of Support available

Normally up to 75% of eligible costs.

The revenue grant can include any of the following activity: business/marketing plan; website; advertising and promotion; initial premises costs; training; trade show attendance; employee subsidy; initial stock; learning journeys.

Eligibility and Conditions

The Outer Hebrides Youth Enterprise Support Programme is subject to the following conditions:

  • Open to new and existing businesses based in the Outer Hebrides. The upper grant limit for full-time businesses is normally £3,000 and £1,500 for part-time.
  • Applicants eligible for other public funding may also access funding from this scheme, though the total funding amount must be within Subsidy Control guidelines.
  • The grant award can go towards revenue activities only. Your adviser will be able to provide further advice on what aspects of revenue costs can be included.
  • Applicants must normally sign up to the aftercare programme.
  • Business owners/applicants must be based in the Outer Hebrides.
  • Sole-traders, partnerships, limited companies, co-operative groups, social enterprises or other legitimate business trading entities can apply for support.
  • Activity must satisfy the key aims of the scheme, which is to support young entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses;
  • 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 received.
  • Applicants with income from other employment are likely to be considered part-time.
  • Individual items grant funded by other public sector agencies will not normally be considered eligible.
  • There is no guarantee of receiving the maximum award, as the scheme gives priority to high impact projects.
  • 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.

The following will be required:

 New businesses: business plan and financial projections (three years). 

Existing businesses: accounts, business plan (or business/project overview) and financial projections.

In addition, applicants will be required to complete an online application form, provide copies of bank statements, a credit check and any other supplementary information considered necessary to assess their application fully.

Scheme terms and conditions apply and may change from time to time.

For further information, please contact us on