Rural business community invited to apply for transformative leadership programme


THE Scottish Rural Leadership Programme has launched its 2024 initiative to boost entrepreneurial ambition and economic growth in Scotland’s rural economy. Recognised for its expertise in supporting start-ups and scaling businesses, Elevator has been appointed once again by Scottish Enterprise to deliver this transformative programme for rural leaders across Scotland. 

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. The Scottish Rural Leadership Programme is designed to empower rural business leaders with the skills and vision necessary to drive transformative change in Scotland’s rural economy.

As Scotland’s leading private sector business support organisation, Elevator is dedicated to supporting the entrepreneurs, inventors, disruptors, game changers and business leaders of today and tomorrow. Scottish Enterprise, in partnership with Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, have designed an inspiring Rural Leadership Programme which will support rural communities, fostering a new generation of leaders equipped with the skills and mindset necessary to drive economic growth and sustainability. By providing a comprehensive framework for innovation and development, the programme supports participants in reevaluating and transforming their business strategies, ensuring they remain competitive and resilient in a rapidly changing world.

Elevator and Scottish Enterprise are now looking for applicants from the rural community for the 2024 programme. This is a unique opportunity for rural business leaders to gain the skills and support necessary to drive innovation and growth in their communities. Participants will benefit not only from the workshops, 1-2-1 coaching and peer support, but also in joining a now 800-strong network of graduates. 

Commenting on the benefits of the Programme, Rachel Ross, Strengthening Communities Director for Elevator said “This year’s Scottish Rural Leadership Programme promises to be another transformational journey for our participants. We are thrilled to have fantastic speakers such as James Withers and Alison Milne, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience. The programme offers a unique opportunity for our cohort to step away from their day-to-day business operations, allowing them to reflect and reassess their strategies in a supportive environment. By connecting with like-minded rural business leaders, participants will gain invaluable insights and forge strong networks.

Scotland’s rural sector is incredibly diverse, and this programme is designed to cater to all types of rural businesses, from agriculture and tourism to renewable energy and beyond. We are committed to empowering our rural leaders with the skills and confidence to drive innovation and growth, ensuring that our rural economy continues to thrive and adapt in these challenging times.” 

A unique collaboration between Scottish Enterprise, Highlands & Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise, the next Rural Leadership Programme for the Class of 2024/25 will start with a Welcome Conference in Central Scotland in October. Recruitment for this programme has now begun; for more information contact 

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