Craft skills revived

Transmit support helps carve out new furniture venture

Rory MacDonald: Transmit got us off the ground

Keen recycler Rory MacDonald is reviving old craft skills after turning to a lender which supports businesses that can’t access traditional finance. 

Start Up Loans totalling £20,000 from Transmit Start-Ups has helped Golden Oak Restoration get off the ground in Greenock, where the company turns used and unwanted whisky barrels into unique pieces of furniture.

Mr MacDonald also aims to use the business as a vehicle to give second chances to those struggling to find work. 

He said: “I’ve had my own health struggles so know how hard it can be to find work you love if you live with illness or disability – especially in an area of high unemployment. Yet there are some incredible craftspeople here and I’d love to give as many as possible the chance to use their skills again. 

“Our first two team members, Matt and Scott, are superb craftsmen who had given up hope of using their skills because of health issues and were working in jobs that had no need for such creativity and passion. 

“It’s fantastic to be able to invest in people in this way and we are committed to creating further positive impact in the local community. We are working with social enterprises to help develop people’s confidence and skills by giving them a chance to expand their crafts and eventually we’d like to launch our own apprenticeships programme.” 

Golden Oaks’ clients include destination pubs, high end hotels and corporate clients and Mr MacDonald has his sights set on exporting a little slice of Scottish history to America. 

He said: “Put simply, we would not be here if it weren’t for Transmit Start-Ups. The investment got us off the ground, by paying for tools, rent and hiring staff, but it was about so much more than just money.

“Transmit not only believed in me, but also my business, and that affirmation really gave me the confidence to pursue this ambition. The way payments are structured and clients are dealt with shows they really understand the path of the entrepreneur and that flexibility and empathy can be the difference between someone failing or succeeding.”

Transmit Start-Ups is a provider of Government-backed Start Up Loans and has backed the business plans of 1,168 entrepreneurs in Scotland with more than £13 million of support. Transmit’s loans offer entrepreneurs an alternative to traditional finance, with low interest repayments and high-impact mentoring.

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