Scottish Enterprise is on the lookout for people wishing to take part in its 2012/13 Rural Leadership Programme.

The programme is open to a range of people such as ambitious farmers and rural business managers, and it aims to help participants from small to medium sized enterprises develop skills and grow their businesses.

An SE spokesperson said that for some participants the programme has acted as a catalyst to take their business to the next level, and for others it has been a life or career changing experience.

The 2012/13 programme will be spread over 12 days with participation from late October 2012 to March 2013.

“It represents a fantastic opportunity for anyone working in the rural sector to develop the leadership skills, a network of contacts and rural and political knowledge that can enhance their business and the role they play in the wider rural community. 

“To date over 250 rural business people from a wide range of occupations including farmers, food and tourism operators sector auctioneers, processors, supply trade, energy companies, estate managers and many other rurally based businesses have graduated from the programme.

“There is clear evidence that the experience participants have gained by being on the programme is changing the way businesses are being led and managed, with a clear demonstration of a focus on strategy, staff motivation, and collaborative working towards clear and shared objectives.

“This in time will lead to more effective, efficient, competitive and sustainable rural businesses across Scotland,” said the spokesperson.

The programme is being delivered by SAC on behalf of Scottish Enterprise.

Although it is primarily intended for those running or involved in small to medium sized rural businesses, applications will be considered from individuals in the Scottish Enterprise area who work in the wider rural economy. 

It includes facilitated workshops, access to inspirational speakers, learning journeys to Holyrood, Brussels and London to gain an awareness of the Scottish, UK and European political process.

There are also individual coaching sessions, media training, new contacts and networks and a personal action plan for growth. 

Part of the programme is delivered in regional groups (NE, SE and West), part at central venues, and part through learning journeys with places limited to 15 per regional group. 

To apply for this year’s Programme or find out more, please contact EFRS Enquiries at Scottish Enterprise by contacting 0845 607 8787 or email

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