Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme 2018/19 open for applications

Hannah Downey

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have joined forces to fund another three-year-run of this unique and challenging programme, which is aimed at farmers, managers and employees from rural businesses who have a desire to develop their skills and grow their business. The programme can specifically help those that are looking to make a positive change for their sector or rural Scotland, and it also provides a development opportunity for those who feel too busy to further their skills.

Facilitators Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) Consulting are leading the drive to recruit 45 applicants from the Scottish Enterprise area and 15 applicants from the HIE area for a 6 month series of workshops and events running from late October 2018 to early March 2019. There are no boundaries to application – previous applicants include everything from young people early in their careers to managing directors. The main requirement of successful applicants is ambition and a strong desire to improve your business and the rural sector.

The Scottish Enterprise's Rural Programme is now on it's eleventh run, and encompasses a network of over 500 graduates. The feedback on recent programmes has been excellent and the impact of this group of highly motivated rural leaders has been recognised by government and other rural institutions. However, the real impact has been the significant transformation of many graduates’ businesses, with one such graduate testifying:

"Having completed the course, I feel I have a renewed sense of ambition and optimism about the future of my business, and I feel more equipped to bring about the changes necessary to realise that ambition"

Participants will initially join 4 regional groups around Highland (Inverness), North East (Banchory), East and South East (near Edinburgh) and South West (near Ayr) Scotland, before joining forces into one large group for later workshops and Learning Journeys. Some of the activities organised by the programme include:

  • Leadership coaching workshops

  • One to one business focus sessions

  • Business Strategy workshop

  • Team working on rural innovation projects

  • Learning journeys to Edinburgh, Brussels and London parliaments

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, visit the Scottish Enterprise website.