The Entrepreneurial Academy

About the Entrepreneurial Academy

Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) has launched the Entrepreneurial Academy to support entrepreneurs in the region. The Entrepreneurial Academy provides a suite of practice-based workshops on topics essential to accelerating growth and scaling-up. The workshops are delivered by experts in their field with practical experience of supporting entrepreneurs. The Academy is a unique initiative to help you develop critical skills and equip you with the tools and techniques to implement the learning in your business. You will also gain from working alongside other entrepreneurs and learning from their experiences.

Workshop format

The workshops provide businesses with the opportunity to drill in to the detail of the subject as it relates to your company. With ‘Chatham House Rules’ in place, those attending can feel comfortable troubleshooting their latest challenge with the support of the expert provider and with the input of the other entrepreneurs in the room. 

Participants should leave each workshop with a deeper understanding of the topic and a plan for how to turn this knowledge into action.  

Who's it for?

The Entrepreneurial Academy is aimed at:

  • New entrepreneurial companies with growth potential
  • Entrepreneurs with the ambition to scale up their business
  • Entrepreneurs who want to equip themselves with the skills, knowledge and tools to accelerate their growth

Workshops coming up

  • Topic: Pitching Skills
    Date: 28 February 2018
    Venue: Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness
    Duration: 1 day
    Delivered by: Maryanne Johnston
    Cost: Free
    Book Now

You can attend one workshop or several workshops depending on your business requirements. Links will be active next to each event above, when we're ready to take bookings. 

Workshop details

Executing a Digital Strategy – delivered by NS Design

This workshop will help you identify and prioritise what you are looking to achieve through digital channels – such as more sales, brand awareness or better customer support – and will explore the techniques and tactics to achieve these goals. You will be given an overview of best-practice use of digital platforms (website, social media and email) to build market intelligence, engage with your customers and gain business insights to inform your digital strategy. You will learn how to monitor and evaluate your efforts and will leave the workshop with an action plan for your business.  

Entrepreneurial Sales – delivered by Future Sales Factory

This two day workshop will help you to understand the selling cycle from initial research to generate leads to post-sale account management. It will provide you with practical tools and techniques to use the six step sales process to build rapport with potential customers, understand buyers’ motivations, present the features and benefits of your product or service, handle objections and close the sale. You will learn the theory of selling and gain the practical skills to gain profitable sales for your business.

Entrepreneurial Finance – delivered by Johnston Carmichael

This workshop will provide a structured approach to developing a financial strategy for your business. You will learn the importance of producing a robust and credible business plan that clearly articulates assumptions. The workshop will cover the key aspects of profit and loss and balance sheets, working capital and financial controls. You will learn about financial modelling, financial management for growth and how to raise investment. The workshop will also cover key aspects of good governance. You will leave the workshop equipped with the tools for effective financial management.  

Pitching Skills – delivered by Maryanne Johnston

You are pitching every day without sometimes realising it! You pitch to your customers, suppliers, staff, business community and your bank or other investors. This workshop focuses upon helping you to get your message, personality and credibility across clearly and consistently in every pitch.   The workshop gives you practical tips and techniques and assists you to structure your presentation for maximum impact. At the end of the workshop you will understand how to ensure that your pitches and presentations are simple, clear and memorable for every audience. At the end of the workshop you will have a compelling and engaging sixty second pitch for your business.

Brand Development – delivered by Spreng Thomson

This workshop gives you the ability to evaluate your own brand and consider how best to communicate the vision, mission and values of your business. You will gain knowledge on building a brand architecture that reflects your company’s operations and your customers’ experience and how to develop brand guidelines. At the end of the workshop you will have an improved knowledge of what a brand is and why it should inform decision making and understand how a powerful brand can help you differentiate and stand out from your competitors. You will leave the workshop with a structured plan to implement.


How much is charged to attend the workshops?

Attendance at the workshops is free of charge but, in order to comply with European Union Regulations, the support is awarded as De Minimis Aid or Start Up Aid, as appropriate. This means you will be sent an application form to complete, including a State Aid declaration, before being offered a place at the workshop. After you have attended the workshop, you will receive a State Aid letter outlining the value of this support. The State Aid value of each workshop varies from approximately £340 - £600. 


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