scottish rural leadership programme participants

South business leaders signed up to Scottish Rural Leadership Programme

Eight South of Scotland rural business leaders have been selected to take part in an initiative which aims to foster innovation, growth and resiliency across Scotland’s rural economy.

The Scottish Rural Leadership Programme, a collaboration between Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise is being delivered by business support organisation Elevator, recognised for its expertise in supporting start-ups and scaling businesses.

As businesses of all sectors face unprecedented financial and operational challenges, it is imperative that Scotland’s rural leaders are equipped with the skills to embrace rapid change and future-proof their businesses.

What is the Scottish Rural Leadership Programme?

The Scottish Rural Leadership Programme is designed specifically to support this vital cog in Scotland’s economy, arming participants with the confidence and tools to innovate, adapt and thrive.

Organisations from the South included:

Helen Keron, Executive Manager of Glenkens Community and Arts Trust, said:

“I was delighted to be selected for the Scottish Rural Leader Programme, both for myself and also as an acknowledgement that the South's charitable organisations add a huge amount of financial and social value to our economy.

“I am already looking forward to learning more about how the Glenkens Community and Arts Trust can contribute even further to rural growth and consolidate its own position in what is an ever-more challenging environment for businesses, charities and individuals alike."

Trevor Jackson, Director of Charlesfield Farms Limited, added:

“The Scottish Rural Leadership Programme has been at the forefront of supporting Scotland’s rural business sector for many years.

“Charlesfield Farms is excited to embark upon the 2023/2024 course, to challenge and refresh our thinking, learn new skills and meet like-minded people looking to strengthen, promote and grow our hugely diverse sector.”

Susan Harkins, Head of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SOSE, said:

“We want to establish the South as a place that embraces innovation, with businesses who can adapt to change in order to become more resilient and flourish.

“The Scottish Rural Leadership Programme is an excellent opportunity for business leaders in the South to learn these skills, for the benefit of not only themselves but also their employees and the wider regional economy.

“SOSE looks forward to working with each business leader from the South over the course of the programme.”

Rachel Ross, Strengthening Communities Director for Elevator, added:

“I have no doubt that our cohort will see huge benefits from working together to share insights, solve problems and take much-needed time to reflect on their business’s growth plans.

“Scotland’s rural sector is incredibly diverse, spanning many industries – this is the programme’s superpower. We harness this collective knowledge to bolster rural growth, influence and change from the ground up, benefiting individuals, communities and the country as a whole.”