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Young Highlanders selected for new entrepreneur programme

Published: 24/10/2018

Eleven young Highland entrepreneurs have been selected to take part in a new business growth programme to drive their businesses forward to the next stage.

IMPACT30 is a 12-month fully funded business growth programme organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) Northern Innovation Hub in partnership with consultancy business Anderson Anderson and Brown (AAB).

The programme aims to support the next generation of entrepreneurs by providing mentoring support and tapping into industry leaders’ expertise. It has been co-designed by young entrepreneurs to meet their unique needs.

People under 35 in a key decision-making role within young ambitious businesses of less than three years old are eligible to take part in IMPACT30. It has been formulated to develop the new generation of talent by taking an agile approach to building and delivering their growth plans.

Applicants created a short video pitching themselves, their business and what they would like to take away from the programme. The winners were selected by a panel from the IMPACT30 coaching team, HIE, and AAB.

The successful entrepreneurs hail from a variety of backgrounds and industries, including the food and drink and property sectors. The programme will begin on November 12.

Felix Spittal, senior project manager at HIE, said: “We have been impressed by the drive, innovation, commitment and determination from the diverse range of applicants, all of whom exemplified the type of business acumen that will benefit from the high-quality support IMPACT30 offers.

He continued: “This programme will allow the entrepreneurs to remain in their locations whilst receiving tailored guidance and support from AAB, coaches, mentors, and peers throughout.

“I’m looking forward to watching these young entrepreneurs grow over the next 12 months and beyond.”

Claire Smith, consultant at Anderson Anderson and Brown said: “The successful candidates clearly articulated their business growth plans and objectives for IMPACT 30 and creatively used their video applications to give the panel insight into their venture. We can’t wait to kick off the programme next month and look forward to working closely with the young and exciting businesses to achieve their growth ambitions.”

Applications for the next round of IMPACT30 will open early in 2019.

The Northern Innovation Hub, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, is a set of projects in the Highland Council area seeking to support the biggest opportunities for the region to create a global competitive advantage.

The projects are targeted at supporting the long-term growth of small and emerging enterprises in sectors including life sciences, tourism, food and drink and the creative industries.

It was awarded £11m by the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, along with £3m from the European Regional Development Fund and £2m from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

The successful candidates are:

  • Finlay Macdonald of Chocolates of Glenshiel, Glen Shiel 

  • Julia Latif of Our House of Spice Ltd, Fort Augustus

  • Jonny Ingledew of North Uist Distillery, Uist

  • Ben Oakes of Isle of Skye Seaweed Company, Isle of Skye

  • Jamie Fletcher of Caora Dhubh Coffee Company, Isle of Skye

  • Gemma Ashdown of Skye Serenity, Broadford

  • Cecilia Grigor of Loch Ness Knit Fest, Inverness

  • Jo-Ann Clark of Emily's Bees, Cairngorms

  • Ian Smith of Tiree Whisky Company Ltd, Tiree

  • Kevin Clark of Heilan Loos, Grantown-on-Spey

  • Hannah Low of Handpicked Properties, Inverness