Over the last year Ruth Stewart has been working towards starting her foot health and nail care business. Ruth made the decision to take the big step into starting her own business after working as a Health Care Assistant on and off for the past 19 years, where she became aware of the need for a foot health care service in the Falklands.

Ruth investigated the route to become a qualified Foot Health Practitioner and received funding from the CDS to help her with the training costs of becoming a qualified FHP. The majority of her studies were undertaken here in the Falklands by distance learning with The College of Foot Health Practitioners in Birmingham, only needing to go overseas for the practical training. Now Ruth is fully qualified and also registered with the Alliance of Private Foot Health Practitioners in the UK. Alongside her studies, Ruth continued to work closely with the Business Development Team at FIDC, receiving advice and support to build her business case, as well as financial support to purchase the specialist equipment needed.

Previously the only foot health care in the Falklands had been a visiting Podiatrist Mr Duran who comes twice a year for two weeks. Ruth aims to provide a domiciliary foot health care service to the community. This service will complement the service provided by the visiting Podiatrist.

Regarding the support that she has received along this journey to starting her own business, Ruth said “I have been very fortunate, and I am very grateful to have received advice and financial assistance from FIDC and the CDS. As a single parent I could not have done this without that support. Therefore my thanks go to FIDC and the CDS staff and committee members, for all the assistance I have received.”

Here at FIDC we are sure that Ruth Stewart Foot Health and Nail Care will be well received and will prove to be a beneficial service to the community and we will continue to offer Ruth business advice and mentorship.


FIDC, Chamber of Commerce and Training Centre host first Business Breakfast for returning students, apprentices and school leavers.

This morning a group of 20 candidates, consisting of students returning from overseas study, apprentices and school leavers looking to continue their training or seek employment and development opportunities attended a Business Breakfast held at the Malvina. The attendees met with 45 business representatives made up of members from the private sector from 12 different primary and secondary industries and a number of FIG departments.

For many of the younger attendees this was their first opportunity to ‘network’ with potential future employers and ask questions regarding the different careers within the represented industries – from specialist areas through to business support services. The candidates were initially matched with businesses where they had expressed potential careers aspirations, and throughout the session were directed to speak with representatives of other sectors where they had either transferable skills or similar areas of interest.

The Business Breakfast was a joint initiative with input from the Training Centre, who coordinated student attendance, the Chamber of Commerce who promoted the event with its membership and FIDC, who sponsored the event via the YES Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme.

The Malvina laid on a delightful spread of breakfast favourites and the room was full of lively discussion, interesting debates and informative perspectives on offer. Many of the attendees impressed the business representatives with their engagement, aspirations and growing confidence.

Farrah Peck of WoolCo, a representative of the agricultural sector said:

“It was really worthwhile, providing a setting for those who came along to interact with the business community and an opportunity for businesses to explain career pathways in their sectors. It allowed us to get to know who is out there and potentially interested in working within our industries. I hope it gave them inspiration and the confidence to make contact in future.”

FIDC announce Lou Ellis is new Development Manager


At the start of year the Corporation began recruiting to fill the role of Development Manager following the departure of Michael Poole in December 2018. At the closing date a strong field of local & overseas applicants were shortlisted.

Business Development Officer Lou Ellis was one of the successful applicants shortlisted for the interview process.  The day after her interview, Lou and family hopped on the Airbridge for her six week holiday England.  While soaking up the summer sun, Lou received word that she had been successful in her application and would be the new Development Manager - subject to signing a contract on her return.

Lou has now settled into her new role as Development Manager, and is embracing this new challenge, or, as the Development team like to put it “just getting on with it.”


Skills for Enterprise is FIDC’s initiative to bring top-quality business training to the Falklands.

Its programme is responsive to commercial needs here, identified in the FIDC/FICC Business Climate Surveys plus other cross-sectoral consultations on skills, training and its support – such as CDS funding.

The subjects offered, and our approach is based on earlier trial programmes and FIDC’s considerable success in course delivery since 2016.

Skills for Enterprise sees the Corporation launch three brands – extending provision from the ‘basics’ across to high-level skills for the Islands’ business leaders.

Business Class

Top-level leadership skills development - helping local enterprise to compete on the world stage.

Courses will include Project Management. Change Management. Quality Standards. Corporate Governance.

Business Growth

All you need in management training – preparing your team for commercial excellence.

Expect to see courses in Finance for Small Business. Customer Care. HR Basics. Social Media for Business.

Enterprise Essentials

The core skills set for start-ups and small enterprise.

Develop a Business Idea. Entrepreneurship. Understanding Business Finance. Marketing Skills.


FIDC is building the prospectus, offering a mix of classroom and video-link teaching and combining its own ‘in-house’ course delivery with other sessions by top UK trainers. First up is expert international digital marketing tutor Luan Wise, and the Corporation is delighted to have secured the services of Jackie Hewitt to teach PRINCE2 project management later in the year.

pdf Skills for enterprise e flyer (84 KB)

Local distillers open for business after detailed planning and preparation.

The FIDC Development Team are delighted to see the official launch of Richard McKee’s Falkland Distillers enterprise – and their Darwin’s Botanicals Gin brand available to connoisseurs.

Richard McKee made the decision to turn an interest into a business about six years ago. Since then, he has been studying for a postgraduate Diploma in brewing and distilling with Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh, now almost completed. This technical grounding gives him a super advantage in the competitive – and ‘on trend’ boutique gin trade.

The FIDC team has supported Richard over the last three years - for start-up business advice including assistance with the legal aspects of trademarks, and finding a base for the distilling and retailing. His attractively refurbished showroom – the old Philomel Store next to the jetty – now gleams with burnished copper stills, and displays of the beautifully bottled gins. This eye-catching waterfront property should be the ideal location to attract customers from the cruise ships next season. 

Louise Ellis, FIDC Business Development Officer and self-described “gin connoisseur”, commends Richard – and his gins: “The botanicals are well balanced, making a smooth, light and interesting gin. The taste is not heavy on juniper, with floral tones and a pleasant aroma, making this a very easy drinking gin, too easy in fact!  I paired it with a Lamb and Watt’s tonic water and garnished with strawberries and cucumber, as they are both very mellow flavours that would complement the delicate botanicals rather than overpower it”.

The Corporation wishes the business great success and looks forward to the product finding overseas buyers too, while the gin market goes in search of excellent and different offerings.

Following Rural Energy Advisor Andrew Crighton's vist to the Islands back in February we are publicizing his final report which can be seen below.

pdf Final Report (36.19 MB)

Good to see interest in FIG’s Shaping Communications for the Future Communications Week events – and thanks for keen attendance at the FIDC-supported workshop sessions.

We hope that the discussions carried out over the week by the Regulator and Sure gave them usable insight on what the community needs here. Certainly, FIDC took interest in parts of the programme showing what can be done in ‘connected’ territories; demand ought to lead to change and improvements - helping us to compete in a digital economy.

We hope FIDC demonstrated support for the business community in digital awareness.

At the event, Louise Ellis showed the importance of Managing Your Social Media Presence. Her workshop explained how to create and curate a strong personal brand using social media and the benefits of doing so using the most appropriate social media platforms to reach a target audience. Terms such as ‘mindshare’ were explained and we saw how to protect social and intellectual capital, and how to keep your message/brand consistent.  Given the extensive use of Facebook here, I think we call saw the need to professionalise social media usage.

In the second workshop - The Worldwide Digital Market – Gordon Ackroyd looked at how digital communication empowers the consumer, the buyer, in a really new way – and it is this we need to consider in development and communication  of our brands, products, and services.

Now, brands are stories, and people ‘out there’ i.e. beyond your business and the efforts of its promotional agencies, are the storytellers.

You, and your brand, can and must engage in the 5 communications channels  (the five grey wedge shaped segments shown in PowerPoint slide ( document Communications Week GFA Digital intro presentation 13 03 2019 (1.93 MB) ). The risk, if we see it that way, is that your brand is more malleable, in the hands of others; the mitigation? that we construct our digital marketing communications such that our message is going to engage the customer, that they ‘socialise’ that message, and that the brand conversation is reflected back to us – to measure and work upon.

We were also grateful to RFIP for sending their presentation on Internet Safety. As Louise in fake-police guise explained, the more we use the digital channels, the more mindful we need to be of risks in sharing, and there were useful lessons for the good of our families, as well as our businesses.

We promoted FIDC’s upcoming season of training events which will include digital basics and more on social media – dates to follow, so watch this news section.

The slides linked here:

document Managing your Social Media Presence (1.20 MB)

document Communications Week GFA Digital intro presentation 13 03 2019 (1.93 MB)

And to reiterate that FIDC is keen to help any FI enterprise with their digital engagement; either working one-to-one or via training events.

See you at our next training event

Gordon Ackroyd

Strategic Projects Manager


About the FIDC

FIDC acts as the national economic development agency for the Falkland Islands and is tasked to develop the commercial sector of the Falkland Islands by being one of the principal partners delivering the Economic, Rural and Tourism Development Strategies.

To help drive sustainable economic growth and assist in the creation of new jobs and opportunities, FIDC provides various forms of support and assistance to the Falkland’s business community.