Piotr Gudan

Outdoor Explore offers bespoke kayak tours across central Scotland on lochs, rivers and the sea, as well as archery sessions, guided hill walks, mountain bike trips and paddle sport courses.

It is run by outdoor enthusiast Piotr Gudan who set up the Alyth-based company just four years ago, turning his passion for encouraging people to experience the outdoors into a viable business.

Piotr, who chose east Perthshire as his base because the Ericht, which runs through the heart of Blairgowrie, is his favourite river in the whole of Scotland, spotted a gap in the market for adventure activities in the area, and contacted Jackie at GrowBiz to get some advice.

He said:  "The advice was always specifically tailored to me and my business needs, which was really helpful."

GrowBiz helped Piotr through one to one support, peer support, mentoring and networking events, and he found it valuable to get to know other people going through the same experience of setting up a business. Mentoring and networking allowed him to ask further questions and get answers specific to his business. It also helped Piotr make many valuable business connections and Outdoor Explore has since partnered with Perthshire Wildlife, another GrowBiz client, to provide kayak-based beaver safaris. And in February 2017, again in partnership with another local business, Alyth Cycles, Piotr opened The Barony in Alyth. The former church is now a busy and vibrant hub

providing tourist information, bike hire and sales, an indoor climbing wall and a café. The venture now employs local people, having a positive impact on the community in Alyth.

Piotr, who has also helped GrowBiz with interpreting for new migrants in the area interested in starting an enterprise, hopes to continue to attract visitors to the area and help grow the activity sector in Eastern Perthshire.