Starting a new business can be a daunting prospect.  It is both exciting and rewarding, but it is also full of challenges.

Ensuring business start ups get the best possible advice to be a success in Caithness and North Sutherland, the Highland Council set up Highland Opportunity Ltd (HOL) as an Enterprise Trust for the Highlands. Its purpose is to stimulate economic activity; promote the start up and growth of business ventures including social enterprises; to help create jobs and foster business activity and trade.

HOL has three business streams; financial investments; business advice and training and practical business support.  It runs a number of business training workshops for those starting out in commerce or setting up small businesses or SMEs.

Highland Opportunity Limited is also the local Business Gateway contractor for service delivery.

Caithness Chamber of Commerce is the lead ‘voice’ of business in the area. It arranges a number of events throughout the year to facilitate this vital interaction between businesses.  It offers tangible assets in the form of dedicated full-time staff, a range of member benefits and the support of a national and international brand which has the ear of government.  It also offers intangible assets in the form of networking events, promotional activities and member to member discounts. It provides the vital promotion a new business needs.

Through a project jointly funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and Dounreay Site Restoration Limited (DSRL), the Chamber can also offer business support and mentoring to those looking to start up a new business, or who have started a business which is less than six months old.

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