The Design Hub

07 November 2023

Product innovation, reverse engineering, prototyping. The Design Hub can help you produce all manner of parts and products from a range of materials, down to strict margins of just 0.1mm thick. And all locally, from Ramsey. We sat down with Mike Clague from Design Hub to chat about his experience setting up a business in the Isle of Man and using the Micro Business Grant Scheme offered by the Department for Enterprise.


I’ve had a business idea for years and I have been building towards starting it for a long time. I really wanted to use my skills set to help people who had a product idea but didn’t know how to progress it further. In February 2021 I decided to take the leap and start planning to set up for real and I registered my business in April. The Design Hub offers a range of CAD and 3D printing services, from product design, reverse engineering, rapid prototyping and manufacturing.

I love a technical challenge, when a customer comes to me and says “I’m not sure if you will be able to help” or “I’ve been told this is not possible”, being able to use my experience and knowledge to help people really is a key part of the enjoyment for me. I’ve lived on the Island my whole life and felt that my business could offer something new here. I love this Island, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.


Starting your own business is daunting and those first few months are really difficult as you need to dedicate so much time to getting your business off the ground. The Micro Business Grant Scheme has helped my business by taking some financial pressure off my family while the business grows as well as offering great advice to help the business develop through the mentoring that I have received. The training course was very helpful, with the course leaders providing a wealth of knowledge and experience. The best part to me is the one to one advice I get from my mentor. She has been brilliant to bounce ideas from and make sure that I’m heading in the right direction.


Yes, I would absolutely recommend it. My advice to anyone applying would be to do so early, even if the idea you have is still in development. The advice and training that is offered really will help make sure you are on the right path and if the idea is viable but also to ensure from a financial aspect that the support kicks in when the business will most need it. When you register your business, together with the certificate is a form to apply with, so there’s no chance of missing the opportunity.