"Nothing ventured, nothing gained," as the popular saying goes - and the award ceremony that took place at Ormicleit, South Uist on April 14 was in celebration of six young people who had ventured to enter Enterprise On The Edge's Inspiring New Business Competition.
Cothrom, the Community and Development organisation based in South Uist, launched Enterprise On The Edge, funded by RBS Inspiring Youth Enterprise, to help young people in the Outer Hebrides enter the business world.  The Inspiring New Business Competition was organised as a way of reaching young people with ideas and to help them develop their idea to the point where they were ready to submit an application for funding to get their business going. 
Judges Richard Tarves, Business Growth Advisor for Business Gateway, Stornoway; Theona Morrison, Skills and Enterprise Team CNES based in the Uists; Sarah MacLean from Hebridean Living, Barra; and David Bryan of Social Enterprise Academy, Inverness analysed the business plans presented by each entrant and selected four talented young entrepreneurs as winners and commended another two entrants.
First prize of £500.00 went to Gemma Campbell of South Uist for her business, Hebridean Gin - a micro-distillery producing small batches of gin, flavoured with classic and local botanicals to give it a truly Hebridean flavour.  The £500.00 will contribute towards some of the key distilling equipment.
Three prizes of £250.00 went to Barra and Vatersay based Adam Bari and Oran Boyd for Barra Paintballing; Charlotte Hughes from South Uist for Barking Mad, an environmentally-friendly cat and dog home set to be located in Howmore, South Uist; Isle of Scalpay based Lauren MacSween for Odyssey Audio Tours, providing a series of commentaries to help visitors explore the Western Isles.  Sarah MacLean, one of the judges, distributed the awards and each winner gave a short presentation about their business. 
The two entrants commended by the judges were Rose Blaney of South Uist for her Rare and Indigenous Breeds Riding School and Kieran Henshall from Lewis for his Pub & Brewery, an online independent news website and community forum for the brewing and pub industry. 
Thomas Fisher, who leads the Community Economic Development team at Cothrom, gave a speech at the event about mentoring and coaching.  Speaking to EVENTS, Thomas says: "Mentoring and coaching is very important to help young people identify and progress their business ideas.  There are young people out there who have little or no contact with agencies, but who have good ideas.  With a little bit of support, they can really develop those."  So, if you have a business idea you've always dreamed about, why not visit  http://www.cothrom.net/
and take the first step in making your business dreams come true?