Business Gateway helps pave the way home for Isle of Lewis graphic designer
A graphic designer has moved back to the Isle of Lewis to launch his business following support from Business Gateway.
Originally from Lewis, Donald Smith recently relocated back to the island from Aberdeen to pursue his dream of running his own graphic design company. The business, Donald Smith Graphic Design, offers a broad range of services for both private and commercial clients including logo design, posters, books, gifts, custom illustrations and animations.
With a wealth of relevant experience and passion under his belt, business owner Donald contacted Business Gateway in 2020. Through the service, he successfully applied to the Outer Hebrides Young Entrepreneurs Start-up Scheme (OHYESS), which supported him through setting up Donald Smith Graphic Design locally. OHYESS is fully funded by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and delivered by Business Gateway.
Introductions to the local network and access to the OHYESS grant funding accelerated his plans to go self-employed, where he benefited from a network of new clients, as many businesses in the industry were forced to close or relieve staff. As well as investing in a drone and 3D printer, the funding enabled Donald to cover 50% of his start-up costs, allowing him to expand his offering and capitalise on these opportunities presented during the pandemic.
As well as connecting Donald to other local businesses and suppliers on the island, Business Gateway’s 1:1 advisory support served as an invaluable sounding board to help pursue his passion of creating illustrated prints of Scottish locations and cult movies, available to purchase on Etsy.
Donald Smith, owner, Donald Smith Graphic Design, said: “Business Gateway has been excellent throughout the entire start-up process. They have helped lay the foundations of my business on the island and enabled me to invest in high quality equipment. Their local knowledge has been a precious resource and I am confident they will continue to be there to provide support going forward.”
Derek Maclean, Business Gateway, said: “Our advisers are primed to support start-ups with the acquisition of essential equipment that will drive their business forward. This paired with in-depth local knowledge, business expertise and valuable connections has enabled Donald to start a new venture on the Isle of Lewis.
“If, like Donald, you are seeking guidance and funding to launch your business, or looking for support with an existing one, please get in touch with your local Business Gateway office to see how we can help.”