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Published: 18/02/2019

15 young business leaders benefit from HIE's Impact30 development programme.

In October a chocolatier, an estate agent and a seller of Indian spices along with eight others became the first young leaders to be selected for IMPACT30.

IMPACT30 organised by Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s (HIE) Northern Innovation Hub in partnership with consultancy business Anderson Anderson and Brown (AAB), is now offering a further 15 businesses an opportunity to engage in this first of its kind support programme.

Julie Latif, of the House of Spice in Fort Augustus, who is part of the year-long fully funded programme’s first intake in November, said: “I have found IMPACT30 highly beneficial. The programme has helped me define future objectives for my business and realise how best to achieve my goals through its mentorship and support structure.

“I would recommend taking part in IMPACT30 to anyone who has high aspirations for their business to seriously consider it.”

IMPACT30 aims to support the next generation of entrepreneurs by providing various forms of coaching and mentoring support and tapping into industry leaders’ expertise. Each programme has been co-designed by the young entrepreneurs to meet their business’s unique needs.

People aged under-35 in a key decision-making role within young ambitious businesses formed in the past three years are eligible to take part in the programme. It has been formulated to develop a new generation of talent by building and delivering their personal business growth plan.

Applicants are being asked to create a short video pitching themselves, their business and what they would like to take away from the programme. Successful candidates will be selected by a panel from the IMPACT30 coaching team, HIE, and AAB.

Successful previous applicants have hailed from a variety of backgrounds and industries, including the food and drink, cosmetics, tourism, and property sectors. Applications should be sent by 24 February with the programme beginning in April 2019.

Felix Spittal, senior project manager at HIE, said: “The ideas, enthusiasm, and dedication demonstrated by the young people currently on the programme is inspiring.

“IMPACT30 gives participants an opportunity to take a step back and assess their vision for the business and provides them with the experienced coaches, mentors and experts they need to achieve their goals.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the next group of young people start the programme and receive the support and build successful businesses.”

Mark Bell, Director at Anderson Anderson and Brown said: “We are loving the early impact the first cohort have had on their businesses so far. They have jumped head first into the challenges, new tools, and different ways of thinking we provide. They are also gaining a lot from sharing their journey with fellow participants, even if just realising their own challenges are not unique.

We look forward to the next cohort joining the IMPACT30 family which will continue to grow into a strong network over the next few years.”

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.

The Hub was funded by £11 million from the UK Government as part of its £53 million investment in the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, and has also received £3 million from the European Regional Development Fund and £2 million from Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “I am delighted that new and growing businesses across the Highlands are benefiting from UK Government investment provided through the Northern Innovation Hub. It is vital that we build on Scotland’s strengths and support the growth of new industries that will provide high-value jobs for the future. That is why the UK Government has committed more than £1.2 billion to Growth Deals across Scotland and more investment will follow.”  

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