Matchmaking service to accelerate growth of Scotland’s creative industries

Kieran Daly (SIS)

RESPONSIBLE finance provider, Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has joined forces with Creative Scotland to support the growth of enterprises in Scotland’s creative and cultural industries.

The CultureXcelerator Programme will provide eight ambitious cultural and creative leaders with free one-to-one strategic business support over the next six-eight months from SIS’s selected team of experienced business associates. They include entrepreneurs and experts in finance, the third sector, retail, and strategy and board development.

The new matchmaking initiative has been specifically designed for leaders looking to grow and develop creative businesses, matching each of the eight leaders with one of the programme’s expert associates.

As well as offering bespoke and tailored coaching to help shape their plans for growth, the programme also includes online workshops on defining vision and mission, developing leadership skills and advice on exploring investment options and different revenue streams.

The team of experts includes Marcella Boyle, CEO of Hymans Robertson Foundation, Jane Bruce, experienced social enterprise CEO and leadership coach, Jan Wild, former business performance and planning consultant at Aberdeen Standard Investments, sustainable and community-led housing expert, and former Ethical Property CEO, Peter Allen, and Keith MacDonald, senior partner at executive coaching businesses, the Rubicon Partnership.

One such enterprise which has previously benefited from the experience and expertise of being coached by a SIS business associate is Vanishing Point – a charity and theatre company.

Speaking about the experience, executive producer at Vanishing Point, Severine Wyper, said: “Working with our SIS-matched associate offered us a magnifying glass to identify areas we needed further help with. They were incredibly supportive. Our associate challenged us and asked key questions to help us gain clarity on what we were looking for in relation to our plans for the Creation Centre.” 

Kieran Daly, head of market building at Social Investment Scotland, added: “Creative and cultural industries play a hugely important role in the Scottish leisure and tourism ecosystem, but growth and development can be a challenge for many enterprises. Often, it’s a case of not knowing where to start but with tailored, one-to-one support from our expert associates we hope those taking part in our CultureXcelerator will get a valuable boost to turn ambitious plans into reality.”

Morgan Petrie, Creative Industries Manager, Creative Scotland said: “This new programme extends our partnership with Social Investment Scotland, offering support to creative and cultural organisations with a focus on trading. We hope that access to the expert advisors will provide new avenues for sustainability and investment options to explore for the selected creative businesses. We look forward to engaging with the programme and sharing learning with the wider sector.”

Leaders interested in securing a place will have been trading for over two years and must complete a short application at by 31st May at 12pm.

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