Budding rural entrepreneurs are to get the chance to develop their business ideas by participating in a new development course run by the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
Places on the bank’s pre-accelerator entrepreneur programme will be made available to up to 30 rural applicants in October under a joint initiative with the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs (SAYFC), the Rural Youth Project and the NFU Scotland (NFUS) next generation group.
Previously based only in Edinburgh and Glasgow, the pre-accelerator course will be rolled out to satellite towns and online working to give people living in rural areas access to what RBS describes as “learnings to help them begin their enterprise and entrepreneurship journey”.
“This is a great opportunity for inspiring entrepreneurs to get their foot on the ladder or expand on key skills when running their own business,” said NFUS next generation group chairman Colin Ferguson.
“In a time of great uncertainty, it has never been more important for farmers to future-proof their businesses and increase their resilience in the current climate and this programme provides a fantastic network of support and a route to improving key business skills.”
Individuals joining the eight-week pre-accelerator course will be required to complete modules in subjects such as mindset, early stage business model canvas and development. They will then get the opportunity to participate in a fuller 16-week course provided by the bank.
SAYFC chief executive Penny Montgomerie said: “We see the ambition and drive of our members across Scotland and the appetite to diversify and develop is there.
“It is the support to nurture that ambition that is needed and the pre-accelerator eco-system can help provide that support and allow people to cultivate their skills and their business.”