Our priorities

Supporting businesses and social enterprises to shape and realise their growth aspirations 

Stimulating growth and fostering ambition with the businesses and social enterprises that operate across the Highlands and Islands lies at the heart of our remit. Growth businesses create employment opportunities and attract people and investment into the region. Social enterprises do likewise and play a key role in our most rural areas, bringing both economic and community benefit.

How we work with businesses and social enterprises

Through our account management approach we provide bespoke solutions and a wide range of support, including access to national and international services and expertise.

Building on this holistic approach we will promote and encourage adoption of the Scottish Business Pledge, articulating the benefits to both businesses and to the wider society.

We focus our efforts on organisations that aspire to grow and develop, helping to improve their competitiveness and productivity, leading to an increase in their turnover, the size of their workforce, their appetite for innovation, research and development, and increasing activity in international markets. 

Working with existing exporters, as well as helping others to export for the first time, is a core component of our work.

The support we provide complements that of Business Gateway and other partners to ensure that we maximise the impact derived from public sector assistance across the region.

HIE account management is geared towards supporting ambitious businesses with plans for growth which will have an impact on the regional economy.  Representatives of businesses and social enterprises who wish to explor the possibility of becoming account managed by HIE are welcome to contact their local HIE Area Team.  Staff there will be happy to provide guidance. 

We plan to enhance our support to businesses, with increased focus on those issues that directly affect productivity. The following are therefore the priority areas for our support to growing businesses and social enterprises, and through our account managers and specialist advisers, we will work to build further growth and resilience in our business base:

  • Leadership and entrepreneurship 
  • International trade and investment
  • Innovation
  • Sales and marketing
  • Digital opportunities 
  • Access to finance 

Find out more using the menu on the left. 

Building our future 2016-19 we will:

  • Increase annual turnover in supported businesses by £80-£100m
  • Support the creation/retention of 700-900 FTE jobs per annum
  • Stimulategrowth across the Highlands and Islands through intensive innovation support to individual companies
  • Promote the Scottish Business Pledge and work with clients to encourage its adoption
  • Facilitate closer engagement with the network of Scottish Innovation Centres, pursuing opportunities for commercialisation of research and development
  • Deliver quality leadership and entrepreneurship programmes to businesses and social enterprises
  • Continue to encourage early stage exporters as well as promoting intensive growth through international trade for key companies
  • Implement recommendations of the Scottish Manufacturing Action Plan to support investment and development across the Highands and Islands
  • Optimise the benefits of superfast broadband and enhance the sales and marketing expertise across the region.
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