Since its formation in 1997, Blueshell Mussels Ltd, based at Brae in Shetland, has become one of Scotland’s leading producers of mussels.
After 13 years of steady growth, in 2010 CEO Michael Laurenson successfully applied to HIE to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) week-long Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) on a sponsored place. Participation on this high level executive education programme helped shape some major changes Michael made to his business model and strategy and accelerated the rapid growth of the company over the last three years.
MIT’s EDP is a globally renowned course which, in 2010, welcomed 160 ambitious entrepreneurs representing over 30 countries across the world. Whilst attending the programme, Michael was part of the winning team in the EDP “Business Plan Competition”.
On returning from EDP Michael also attended three further HIE led Enrepreneurship masterclass workshops delivered by MIT faculty and involved other Blueshell Mussels senior managers in order to develop and spread the entrepreneurial culture within the business and develop his team’s skills and aspirations.
Michael’s success at EDP was featured widely in national and industry-related press, including a half page feature in the Financial Times (26 April 2010).
Applying the learning from MIT EDP, Blueshell Mussels reported significant developments within the business since the end of EDP in February 2010, including:
Since 2011, Michael has continued to grow the company with ongoing investment in the management team along with further development in facilities. Blueshell is now among the largest rope-grown mussel producers in the United Kingdom.
Accolades include praise from celebrity chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, who hailed Blueshell’s rope-grown mussels as “the best in the world”.
other developments include:
Supported by HIE, Blueshell acquired the assets of the Shetland Norse Preserving Company (SNPC), a long standing crab processor in Yell. As part of its expansion plans, Blueshell is moving these operations to a crab factory at Ronas Voe, Northmavine.
This is a significant investment for Blueshell Mussels Ltd and will broaden its product range which already includes mussels and scallops. The crab factory at Ronas Voe is to be upgraded with the help of a £150,000 investment by HIE.
This latest investment coupled with the disciplined and ambitious approach taken by the company looks to provide continued growth for the company over the next three years. This includes:
Michael Laurenson’s entrepreneurial journey is an example of how successful, world class businesses can be grown and developed in all parts of the Highlands and Islands. Michael’s drive and ambition to succeed coupled with the knowledge, tools, network and inspiration derived from participation on HIE’s programme of entrepreneurship support has accelerated his growth.
The link below show an interview Michael talking about what impact EDP had on him and the developments that were put in place during 2010.