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Rural Enterprise News: 21 September

September is a time of change, and never more so than this year. But it also brings a sense of transformation, and as the trees put on their glorious new colours, we can think about what we need to do for ourselves and our businesses to get ready for winter. Here's some news and opportunities that may help:

Connect with Purpose XChange Networking Event, Thu, 29 September, 18:00 - 19:30: Join GrowBiz and business owners from across rural and Highland Scotland for this fun, fast paced evening where celebration and collaboration will be the order of the day. At this online 'speed networking' event, you'll learn a simple approach to putting together an impactful introduction, then be let loose to meet as many folks as possible during the event. Before you attend, we encourage you to think about who you'd like to meet, what they do, how they can help you and how you can help others. Sign up for free.

Cairngorms Community Led Vision Fund: Funding is now available through the Cairngorms Trust, in partnership with the Cairngorms National Park Authority, and is open to a wide range of organisations in the area. It has clear aims to deliver inclusive community-based activities and services to help tackle rural poverty, net zero and climate emergency, covid recovery. Full details of the funding requirements and application process are available on the Cairngorms Trust website under ‘Apply for funding’.

Short-Term Let Licensing: Find updated information on the Short-Term Let Licensing scheme, including what evidence that will be required and the fee structure, on this page of the Highland Council website. An online application form will be available by 1 October.

Scottish Apprenticeship Awards: Nominations for the Scottish Apprenticeship Awards are now open. This year’s awards will showcase Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprentices from across the country and in a range of sectors. If you know of individuals and organisations who demonstrate excellence in the delivery of apprenticeships, consider putting them forward before 12 noon on Wednesday 5 October here.

Scottish Community Pubs Network: This free event on Monday 26th September at 6:30 is hosted by the Plunkett Foundation and funded by Dulverton Trust. It is open to all community groups involved in a community owned pub project in Scotland whether you are at ideas stage or already open and trading. Find out more and book here.

Festive Market Opportunity: Murrayshall Hotel near Scone are running a 2 day festive market on Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th November and have a few stall spaces available for both days. If you’re interested please email with your company details and images of your work, and an idea of price range.

THRIVE Food & Drink Programme: This programme, delivered by industry experts from SRUC and Queen Margaret University, is free for SME’s in the food and drink industry. It will cover essential business skills and knowledge to support a new business idea, whether a new product or a food and drink-related rural diversification. For more information about THRIVE visit the website, or to register fill in the online application form. If you have any additional questions please email or

Catalyst Programme: Places on the Catalyst Programmeto start in October are offered through CREATE, Hub for Enterprise and Innovation and part of the Centre for Remote and Sustainable Communities (CRSC) based at Inverness College UHI. The programme provides training for small businesses and sole traders in the Highlands & Islands, Morayshire and Perthshire. Find out more here.

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