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Support Programme Takes Young Entrepreneurs To The Next Level

1st February 2024

Dynamic business support programme, IMPACT30, is aimed at nurturing and empowering the next generation of innovative leaders.

The fully funded programme is for people aged under 35 in a young enterprise and in a key decision-making role.

Led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and delivered by business skills training consultancy, Skillfluence, the eleventh group to join the programme comprises diverse talents from various sectors. The group recently met for a one-day workshop at Eden Court, Inverness.

The participants are one-month into the programme and have already been receiving comprehensive guidance and support tailored to their individual aspirations.

Through mentorship, workshops and networking opportunities, the budding entrepreneurs will refine their skills and also forge connections that will play a pivotal role in shaping their business.

So far, 192 enterprises have already benefited from the programme.

Emma Macaulay of Macaulay Travels is part of this latest cohort. She said:

"As a new business owner I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work through the IMPACT30 programme to gain expertise and bespoke support on how to turn my passion into profit. The networking opportunities that the programme provides will also help to build relationships in the local area with other professionals across different sectors, which all helps us to gain exposure."

Nathan Jones, who runs a small mountain guiding company on the Isle of Skye, has also joined this cohort. He said:

"In my sector, lots of people run their own business but very few of us have ever had any input on how to run a business successfully. I applied for IMPACT30 to add skills and knowledge to my business, to learn from experienced professionals with proven track records and to meet with other people my age who understand what it's like to start a business in the Highlands. So far it has met all my expectations and more. I've been really impressed with the way the cohort has bonded and I feel like I have made friends for life."

Declan Ramsey from Inverness-based business consultancy, DramCo_, said:

“This programme has been a great experience to get out and talking about DramCo_. The network that IMPACT30 created has been valuable, connections that have been made are ones that will support the business into the future. The team at IMAPCT30 are very supportive of businesses out there looking to take the first steps into business management and introduce you to the basics - there is lots to learn for yourself. Any business owners out there looking to get their business known - IMPACT30 is the place for you.”

Deborah Tait, development manager with HIE's Northern Innovation Hub team, said:

“Once again, I’m delighted to see the growing levels of interest from our young entrepreneurs wanting to join our IMPACT30 family.

“The programme provides a platform for these young people to cultivate their business and lay the foundations for a robust and sustainable future.

“Since the programme began in 2018, it has proved extremely popular and we would urge any young entrepreneurs who have not yet taken part to explore how IMPACT30 could benefit them.”

IMPACT30 forms part of the Northern Innovation Hub (NIH), which is funded with £11m from UK Government, £1.2m ERDF and £2m from Scottish Government through HIE. NIH is part of the Inverness and Highland City Region deal, a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.

The IMPACT30 programme was originally offered to enterprises in the Highland Council area. HIE has provided additional funding to ensure that the programme is now offered to organisations across the Highlands and Islands.

The programme provides 12 months of support and the opportunity runs till 2025.

More information is available on the IMPACT30 page of HIE’s website


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