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Business leaders join IMPACT30 programme

Published: 09/04/2019

Twelve Highland business leaders have been selected to take part in the next IMPACT30 programme.

The programme aims to support the next generation of business leaders, by providing personalised support, coaching and mentoring responsive to their unique growth needs. Over the next 12 months, the participants will be part of a community of like-minded individuals who will share this journey and learn from one another along the way. 

IMPACT30 is a 12-month fully funded business growth programme, which is delivered by Anderson Anderson and Brown (AAB) in conjunction with HIE.

The programme is part of the HIE-led Northern Innovation Hub, and partly funded by Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, a joint £315million initiative supported by the UK and Scottish Government. This programme also receives financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the Innovation strategic intervention.

Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson said: “Developing an innovative and entrepreneurial mind set amongst Scotland’s young people is at the heart of our sustainable economic growth ambitions.

“It is fantastic that this programme, which includes funding from the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, will help to support future talent across the Highland Region.”

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 specifically designed to develop a new generation of talent across the Highland region by taking an agile approach to building and delivering their growth plans.

To be in with a chance of joining the IMPACT30 programme, 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 applicants originate from a variety of backgrounds and locations, including food and drink, lifestyle and outdoor sectors from Inverness to Skye.

Successful applicant, Fergus Thom, Founder of Cairn Candles said:

“It’s easy to start a business but it’s not easy to know how to develop it and drive it forward. IMPACT30 is the perfect opportunity for me to gain that knowledge and receive guidance. I was delighted to be selected for the next cohort and I am really looking forward to meeting everyone and getting stuck in.

Felix Spittal, Senior Project Manager at HIE, said: “It’s inspiring to see so many young professionals invested in their future, and it’s great to be a part of their success. IMPACT30 allows the next generation of business leaders to receive tailored guidance and support from expert coaches, mentors, and peers”

Felix continued:

“I’m looking forward to following their journey and watching them develop and grow together”  

Mark Bell, Director of Economic Development at Anderson Anderson and Brown said:

“This programme is specifically designed to support the next generation of business leaders and ensure they received valuable support and guidane. Each applicant showcased, drive, ambition, commitment and determination throughout their application video and that’s eactly what we are looking for.”

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

To find out more about Northern Innovation Hub and to apply for future cohorts for IMPACT30 visit

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