HIE has teamed up with the member network and leadership development organisation, Entrepreneurial Scotland, to enable additional enterprising individuals in the region to access its full range of activities and services. These include networking events, talent matching and management and advice.
The new initiative is set to benefit businesses in the region looking to accelerate growth and become more competitive.
Charlotte Wright, HIE chief executive, opened the event by discussing economic challenges in the region and how organisations work together to achieve success.
Freda Newton, managing director of Loch Ness by Jacobite, shared her thoughts on achieving success in the region. The company’s fleet of four boats attracts over 100,000 visitors a year to Inverness from across the globe.
Paul Grant, Chair of Mackays Ltd and of Scotland’s Dairy Growth Board, discussed what success means for his business. Paul acquired Mackays from United Biscuits in 1995 and has grown the firm from a small jam and marmalade factory with 18 employees to a global brand with an annual turnover of over £18m, 150 employees and exports to over 80 countries.
Charlotte Wright said: “The Highlands and Islands region is becoming increasingly recognised as a region of entrepreneurship; something that is vital for future prosperity and economic growth. In teaming up with Entrepreneurial Scotland we will be able to extend the range of support to innovative and entrepreneurial people across the region.
“We were delighted to kick off this programme of tailored events, featuring leading entrepreneurs who shared best practice, future trends and lessons learned from starting, growing and scaling businesses. These will encourage greater collaboration among entrepreneurs within the region and across the country.”
Sandy Kennedy, chief executive of Entrepreneurial Scotland, said: “Scotland is doing something truly special. People are beginning to sit up and take notice of our ambition to become the most entrepreneurial society in the world, but we have lots more to do at a regional level to help make this a reality – and we’re making progress. Our partnership with HIE will help us to achieve this shared ambition.
“One of our key aims is to work with partners such as HIE to help the entrepreneurial movement become much more visible at a local level as well as a national level.”