RBS supports new female start-up in the Highlands

Eilidh Sykes (Beinn Nibheis Director)

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BEINN Nibheis is set to be the first Scottish outdoor sports retailer for women and owned by a woman when it opens in the UK’s outdoor capital, Fort William, later this May.  

Owner Eilidh Sykes secured funding of £47,500 from Royal Bank of Scotland to cover initial start-up costs, stock purchases, a lease deposit and shop fittings.

The store, located on the corner of Cameron Square, will predominantly stockfemale-owned brands and offer advice for women, beginners and pros, with an interest in outdoor pursuits. By proudly stocking select brands, the business hopes to encourage more women to take up sports and enjoy activities in the great outdoors.

Owner Eilidh also has ambitions to open a second location in Aviemore in the coming years, where she plans to manufacture and stock her own range of outdoor clothing aimed at women.

Eilidh Sykes, Beinn Nibheis Director, said: “I have been involved in the outdoor industry all my life, as a keen outdoor enthusiast and hillwalker and working alongside my father and the retail business he founded – Nevisport. I recognised a gap in the market for outdoor clothing designed specifically for females with most retailers simply providing male or unisex options at present.

“I was attracted to Royal Bank of Scotland following its ‘Ask for More’ campaign which supports women in business. It has been seamless working with my relationship manager, and it was an added bonus that my local enterprise manager, Mairi Macdonald, was a Gaelic speaker like myself. It felt very personal as Gaelic culture is something I’m keen to champion through my business.”

Allan Campbell, Direct Relationship Manager at Royal Bank of Scotland, said: “Supporting female entrepreneurs, especially those in rural communities, is something we are very passionate about, so it was a privilege to complete this deal for Eilidh. It is only the beginning for her and Beinn Nibheis, and I look forward to supporting them into a successful future.”

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