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Rural Enterprise News: 22 August

After a summer break we have a packed blog article for you this time, with lots of news and opportunities for rural enterprises and communities. So we'll get right into it:


XChange Networking Event, Thu 31 August 6pm - 8:30pm at Birnam Arts

This networking event in Perth & Kinross will feature Lucinda Bruce-Gardyne as our guest speaker. Lucinda made a career as a chef and food scientist, developing a fresh gluten free loaf to help people with diet restrictions. She then went on to found Genius Foods in 2008, which is now a major player in the production of ‘free-from’ products, with listings in all major retailers here and across the globe. She is currently Chair of Scotland Food & Drink and is a Women’s Enterprise Scotland Ambassador. Come along, be inspired by Lucinda's story and network with other business owners like yourself. The event will be hosted by GrowBiz CEO, Jackie Brierton, and there will be an opportunity for Q & A and discussion. A finger buffet and beverages will be provided at the event. Book here.


Highland Start Up Grant

If you're based in the Highland Council area and are planning to start a business, or have started one within the last 12 months, you may be eligible for this grant of £1000, being delivered by Business Gateway for The Highland Council. Find out more here.


HIE Pathfinder Accelerator

Entrepreneurs in the Highlands and Islands region can apply for the next cohort of Pathfinder, designed to help you execute your idea and accelerate a new product or business. Applications for this funded programme close 28 August. Find out more here.


Study into the Resilience of the Craft Sector in Europe Craft makers, those delivering craft-related services (e.g. teaching) and people within craft organisations and businesses (e.g. galleries, retailers, event organisers, academic / training institutions, consultants) are invited to contribute to World Crafts Council Europe’s ‘Study into the Resilience of the Craft Sector in Europe’ questionnaire. They are particularly keen to hear from people in rural and island communities. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete here.


Meet the Buyer North 2023 Event

The Supplier Development Programme, in partnership with Scottish Government and the Commercial & Procurement Shared Services (CPSS) representing Aberdeen City, Shire and Highland Councils, are hosting Meet the Buyer North 2023 at the Music Hall in Aberdeen on 2 September 2023. Businesses and social enterprises are invited to come and speak directly to a wide range of purchasers and decision-makers. Find out more here.

Scottish Women’s Budget Group Childcare Survey

Scottish Women’s Budget Group have launched their Childcare Survey 2023. They are asking women across Scotland with direct childcare responsibilities about the impact of childcare. Participants will be entered into a prize draw, with 10 respondents receiving a £25 voucher. Fill out the survey and feel free to share with others.


Foraging Fortnight Webinars

SRUC has partnered with NatureScot to curate two free online events for businesses. The first ‘Working with Nature – building a sustainable business around nature’ is on Tuesday 12 September 2-3.30pm. The second ‘Wild Food Themes – an insight into the world of wild and foraged foods’ is on Thursday 14 September 2-3.30pm. Available here.


The Cairngorms Local Development Plan

An interactive map has been launched in order to gather views on the issues facing places within the Cairngorms National Park and ideas for what the Cairngorms Local Development Plan can do to address them. The map is open for comment from those in the area until the end of September. You can add yours here.


Scottish Tourism Alliance Autumn Conference

This event at the EICC on 31 October, from 9:15 - 17:00, has been designed to support and empower the tourism and hospitality industry and will bring together leading voices and experts for a day packed with speaker presentations, panel sessions, an exhibitor hall, and opportunities to catch up with colleagues and form new connections. More details available here. (Non-member tickets £100 +VAT until 31 August.)

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