SE Rural Leadership 2014-15 Programme Now Open for Applications


22nd July 2014

Programme aims

Our programme brings together those who are passionate about helping rural businesses create additional wealth for Scotland by being ambitious, influencing others, building effective teams and developing your leadership capabilities.  We do this by further developing your confidence to take new steps in your business, widen your network and build industry and parliamentary links. We give you information about rural economic issues that will help you make informed decisions, identify and capitalise on future opportunities.  We help rural managers be the best they can be.


To date 339 rural leaders have completed the Scottish Enterprise Rural Leadership Programme and have reported many benefits including:

Gaining the confidence to make bold decisions

Resolving family issues

Changing roles within a business

Increased business focus/new direction

Delegating to others

Lobbying parliament to change legislation

Participants told us they would never have taken these actions without the new skills learned on the programme and encouragement from programme facilitators and other participants.  

 Don’t just take our word for it, here’s what previous participants said:

    • “I thought the Leadership programme was absolutely brilliant and well run by the facilitators”
    • “Would most definitely recommend the course to others – best £800 I have spent in a long time”.
    • “Invigorating, educational, inspirational”. 
    • “Great opportunity to meet people from all areas of our industry.  Money just could not buy the contacts gained through networking whilst taking part in this programme.”
    •  “I have described to many that the three day learning journey to Brussels and London have been the best engagement and life long learning experience that I have ever been on.   “
    • “You finish the programme feeling more confident and energized.”

 What it involves

The programme involves a total of 12 days of events plus 3 hour long individual Leadership Focus Sessions from late October 2014 to early March 2015.  You will be involved in a wide variety of experiences from business focussed workshops to identifying business opportunities and creating networks that stretch right through to the European Parliament. The basic programme is below:

Subject Area

Format and Duration

Welcome and Introduction

1 One day workshop –  late October


Leadership Skills Workshop

1 Two day workshop – November


Effective Communications Workshop

1 One day workshop – early December


Rural Innovation Workshop

1 Two day central workshop –  mid Jan


A Strategic Picture of Rural Scotland and

Visit to Holyrood

Edinburgh, parliament visit and presentations  – late January


Learning Journeys

1 Three day visit – London and Brussels – early Feb and early March



Leadership focus sessions

3 Individual (60min) sessions with coach – November to February


Closing Conference and Awards Ceremony

1 One day conference – March


 SAC Consulting and First Eclipse Consulting are facilitating the 2014/15 programme on behalf of Scottish Enterprise. We are looking for a total of 45 applicants across the Scottish Enterprise area initially forming 3 groups around:

  • North East and East Scotland

  • West Central and South West Scotland

East Central and South East Scotland

Each of the 3 groups will have their own dedicated facilitator who will act as a point of contact throughout the programme: Kirsten Williams (NE), Iain Riddell (SE) and Raymond Crerar (W).   The first three meetings are in regional groups based at a suitable venue – Banchory, Edinburgh and Ayrshire, with other events held for all participants at central venues, and learning journeys to Edinburgh, Brussels and London.

Throughout the programme we help you form your own action plan for an audacious goal you want to achieve.  It’s amazing what past rural leaders have achieved in such a short time.

 Cost and Eligibility

The participant cost is £800+VAT, with Scottish Enterprise meeting all other costs. This is incredible value including all the workshops, the three parliament learning journey, access to people you might normally not meet; interactions with rural experts; business and leadership experts as well as accommodation.

Participants have come from a diverse mix of rural occupations e.g. farmers, those involved in tourism,  food and drink sectors, vets, auctioneers, estate managers, the processing sector, the supply trade, accountants, bankers and businesses supporting the rural sector. The most important criterion is a desire to improve and grow your own business and/or the performance of the rural sector.

Information evenings

SAC Consulting will be running a series of informal information evenings for those who are interested in finding out more about the Rural Leadership Programme.  These meetings all start at 7.15pm and will be held on 21st August – Fenwick Hotel, Ayrshire, 27th August – Craigies Farm Shop, S Queensferry, 28th August – SRUC Craibstone, Aberdeen.  Notify Susan (contact details below) if you plan to attend.

To find out more or apply for a place

To apply for this year’s Programme, or to have an informal discussion about eligibility, please contact Susan Clark at SAC on 01343 548787, or e-mail  Applications must be submitted by 9th September 2014.  Previous programmes have been oversubscribed and we find we are continually raising the bar in our selection process.

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