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Young Highland entrepreneurs set to tap business growth support programme led by HIE


By Calum MacLeod

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HIE Northern Hub development manager Lizi Blackwood said the response to the programme indicated the level of entrepreneurship among young people in the Highlands.
HIE Northern Hub development manager Lizi Blackwood said the response to the programme indicated the level of entrepreneurship among young people in the Highlands.

YOUNG Highland business leaders are to benefit from a year-long support programme giving them the skills to help their enterprise thrive.

The 19 young entrepreneurs are the latest recruits for the fully funded IMPACT30 business growth programme. Open to people aged 35 and under in key decision-making roles, the programme provides individual support from industry specialists from a broad range of business sectors.

It is part of the Northern Innovation Hub, led by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and supported through the UK Government and ERDF support as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.

This latest intake of young business leaders is the programme's largest since its inception in 2018 and follows a highly competitive application process.

Lizi Blackwood, development manager with HIE’s Northern Innovation Hub, said: “The response to IMPACT30 has been fantastic and indicative of the extent of entrepreneurship that exists among young people in the Highlands and Islands.

“It’s great to see the largest group yet get started on the programme, especially in the current circumstances, and we very much look forward to seeing them develop their ideas for growth.”

UK Government Minister for Scotland, David Duguid, congratulated the latest batch of IMPACT30 for their success in being selected.

“This fantastic programme is more important than ever for the prosperity of the region, and I am confident that many people will benefit from the jobs and investment that these entrepreneurs will attract," he said.

“This is just one element of the support the UK Government-backed Northern Innovation Hub has to offer, and I encourage businesses to take advantage of the opportunities available.

“The UK Government is investing £1.5 billion into City Region and Growth Deals across Scotland to create jobs and unlock the potential in our economy.”

The IMPACT30 programme recruits new participants every six months. More information is available on the HIE website.

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