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Rural Leadership Programme

Rural Leadership participants 2020

Rural Leadership Programme

We are now accepting applications for the 2021-22 programme. If you're a business owner or manager based in a rural location and want to develop your leadership skills and grow your business, our Rural Leadership Programme is for you.

What's it about?

This unique and challenging programme has a new blended format including both virtual and face to face workshops (subject to Covid-19 regulations). The programme is now in its 15th year with over 670 graduates.

The Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme is designed to equip rural business owners and managers with the confidence and skills to make bold decisions and to get the best from themselves, their business, and their team.

Through an engaging interactive format, our programme focuses on self-development and self-awareness to empower business leaders to effectively respond to the challenges and complexities of running a business and to enact positive change in the wider rural economy.

Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme Celebration of Success Event 2020 at Guardswell Farm in Perthshire

Who's it for?

Are you an ambitious farmer, rural business owner, manager or employee involved in running or managing a small to medium-sized business in Scotland? Are you pushed for time? Do you have a strong desire to improve Scotland’s rural economy and communities?

We are seeking rural business leaders or key employees who have ambitions for the future of their business. Those who recognise the need to change their business model, learn new skills, embrace digital technologies and a new way of working and respond to their customers’ needs. Our programme is designed especially for busy people and the blended approach means time away from your business is minimal.

Feedback and benefits

“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.”

“It’s such a powerful network. I know I could pick up the phone, and I do, to any fellow Rural Leader for advice or to bounce an idea.”

Feedback from recent programmes has been excellent and recognised by government and other rural institutions.

Real impact has been in the significant transformation of many graduates’ businesses:

  • Gaining the confidence to make bold decisions
  • Taking a step back to concentrate on leading as well as managing
  • Changing roles and delegating to others
  • Resolving family issues that hold businesses back
  • Taking on an important role within the sector
  • Lobbying parliament to change legislation
  • Unrivalled networking opportunity with other like-minded, ambitious people
Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme Celebration of Success Event 2020 at Guardswell Farm in Perthshire

Programme activities

Running from October 2021 to March 2022 and led by key experts in their field, the blended programme includes four days of face to face meetings (subject to Covid-19 regulations) and over 25 hours of virtual workshops, team tasks, group discussion and one-to-one coaching sessions over six months.

Participants will initially join one of four regional groups each with 10 participants - Highland, North East, South East and South West - with opportunities to come together as one large group throughout the programme.

Find out more

We highly recommend joining one of our introductory webinars to find out how the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme could benefit you and hear more from the facilitators and leadership coaches.

Evening webinar - Tuesday 13 July, 8pm

Lunchtime webinar - Wednesday 21 July, 1pm

Get an idea of what's involved:

Download our 2021-2022 programme flyer (PDF, 580kB)

Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme Celebration of Success Event 2020 at Guardswell Farm in Perthshire
Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme Celebration of Success Event 2020 at Guardswell Farm in Perthshire

Fees and how to apply

Most of the costs are covered by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and South of Scotland Enterprise with participants fees set at £630 +VAT.

To register your interest, have a discussion about eligibility, register for an introductory webinar and gain access to the application form, contact Alexandra Gibson: call 01334 654055 or email Alexandra.Gibson@sac.co.uk

Application deadline Monday 23 August 2021.

Previous programmes have been oversubscribed. Late applications will not be considered.