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Growing interest in entrepreneur programme 'sign of the talent' in the Highlands

By Philip Murray

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Highlands and Islands Enterprise runs a programme to boost young people's business skills.
Highlands and Islands Enterprise runs a programme to boost young people's business skills.

Increasing interest in a young entrepreneur development programme is a sign of the talent in the region, a senior figure at Highlands and Islands Enterprise believes.

Lizi Blackwood, a development manager with HIE’s Northern Innovation Hub, was speaking after the hub welcomed 19 young business leaders onto its latest year-long support programme – IMPACT30.

It was the programme’s biggest intake yet. The scheme, which is fully funded, offers bespoke support from industry specialists. It is open to people aged 35 and under who are in key decision-making roles in young ambitious businesses.

Participants receive leading industry advice and training, as and when they need it.

Ms Blackwood 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.”

The Northern Innovation Hub is led by HIE and has been funded with £11m from the UK government and £1.7m in European Regional Development Fund support as part of the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal.

The deal is a joint £315 million initiative supported by both the UK and Scottish governments.

Visit www.hie.co.uk for more details.

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