Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme 2019/20

Are you an ambitious farmer, rural business manager or employee involved in running or working in a small to medium sized business in Scotland?

  • Are you looking to develop your leadership skills and grow your business?
  • Do you want to do something positive for your sector or rural Scotland?
  • Do you think you are too busy to take time off to develop your skills?

If your answers are yes, then the Scottish Enterprise’s Rural Leadership Programme is absolutely right for you. Join us by applying for a place on the eleventh run of a programme that now has a network of over 550 graduates.

Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise have joined forces to fund another three year run of this unique and challenging programme, which is aimed at business managers and employees from rural businesses who have a desire to develop their skills and grow their business.

Facilitators SAC Consulting are leading the drive to recruit 45 applicants from the Scottish Enterprise area and 15 applicants from the HIE area for a 6-month series of workshops and events running from late October 2019 to early March 2020.

Whether you are a young person early in your career or a managing director, you will benefit from the programme.

The main requirement is ambition and a strong desire to improve your business and the rural sector.

The Programme

Thirteen days of activities between late October 2019 and March 2020.

These include;

  • Leadership coaching workshops
  • One to one business focus sessions
  • Business Strategy workshop
  • Team working on rural innovation projects
  • Learning journeys to Edinburgh, Brussels and London parliaments

Participants will initially join 4 regional groups around Highland (near Inverness), North East (near Aberdeen), East and South East (near Edinburgh) and South West (near Ayr) Scotland, then join one large group for later workshops and Learning Journeys.

Eligibility – Priority will be given to those involved in small to medium sized rural enterprises.

Participants fee – the bulk of the costs are covered by Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Island Enterprise with participant fees set at £900+VAT. (Described by many programme graduates as “the best money we have ever spent”).

To apply for this year’s Programme, or have a discussion about eligibility, please contact:

General enquiries – Aileen Carr, 01307-464033,

Contact facilitators for more detail on programme:

Highland – Siobhan MacDonald,

North East – Kirsten Williams,

East/South East – Iain Riddell,

South West – Robert Ramsay,

What participants said:

“The programme has lit a fire under my entrepreneurial spirit and the opportunity to meet so many accomplished people has been inspiring.”

“A fantastic experience all round that has boosted my confidence dramatically”.

“Having completed the course, I feel I have a renewed sense of ambition and optimism about the future of my business, and I feel better equipped to bring about the changes necessary to realise that ambition”.

“I am definitely more open to stepping outwith my comfort zone in terms of coming up with a new idea”.

“I’m still absolutely buzzing from the Learning Journey trip. Such a fantastic opportunity. Such a great overview of the institutions that create our laws and how to influence them. I’m inspired”


Closing date – Applications must be submitted by Friday 30th August 2019

Don’t delay! Previous programmes have been oversubscribed