En­ter­pris­ing project will ben­e­fit econ­omy of Ar­gyll

The Oban Times - - Business - LOUISE GLEN lglen@oban­times.co.uk

A NEW event to sup­port Ar­gyll and Bute’s busi­ness com­mu­nity and en­cour­age en­ter­prise was an­nounced last week.

High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise (HIE) has teamed up with Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil’s Busi­ness Gate­way to host the first Ar­gyll En­ter­prise Week, in Oban from Oc­to­ber 31 to Novem­ber 4.

Busi­nesses, so­cial en­ter­prises and po­ten­tial en­trepreneurs across Ar­gyll and the is­lands will be in­vited to take ad­van­tage of free work­shops, sem­i­nars, net­work­ing events and dis­cus­sions to pro­vide sup­port and in­spi­ra­tion in achiev­ing their busi­ness goals. Cen­tral to the week will be a busi­ness sup­port trade fair, bring­ing to­gether a wide range of pub­lic and pri­vate or­gan­i­sa­tions that can pro­vide sup­port.

Ar­gyll En­ter­prise Week will cover a range of themes sup­port­ing eco­nomic growth, in­clud­ing fi­nance, in­ter­na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, dig­i­tal and in­no­va­tion, as well as fo­cus­ing on the po­ten­tial for growth in the tourism, food and drink, cre­ative in­dus­tries and so­cial en­ter­prise sec­tors within Ar­gyll.

Coun­cil­lor Aileen Mor­ton, pol­icy lead for sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, said: ‘Ar­gyll and the Is­lands has been recog­nised as one of Scot­land’s most promis­ing re­gions. Our ge­og­ra­phy alone gives us a num­ber of key niche busi­ness sec­tors, from tourism to re­new­ables. Re­gen­er­a­tion is cre­at­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties across the area. Tal­ent and am­bi­tion is in ev­i­dence in our peo­ple and in our com­mu­ni­ties. Ar­gyll En­ter­prise Week is about build­ing on this prom­ise. It’s a chance for busi­nesses to come to­gether, share ex­pe­ri­ences, stim­u­late new ideas and cre­ate con­nec­tions. I would en­cour­age every­one with a busi­ness to get in­volved.’

The Ar­gyll and Bute Eco­nomic Fo­rum re­ported in Fe­bru­ary this year that the re­gion has real strengths par­tic­u­larly in ar­eas such as food and drink, tourism, cre­ative in­dus­tries and life sci­ences.

David Smart, head of spe­cial projects at HIE, said ad­dress­ing pop­u­la­tion de­cline and re­al­is­ing the re­gion’s po­ten­tial needs a joined up ap­proach.

He added: ‘It is vi­tal Ar­gyll and the Is­lands is home to sig­nif­i­cant num­bers of con­fi­dent, grow­ing en­ter­prises that pro­vide se­cure, well paid jobs. We need to recog­nise and cel­e­brate the en­ter­prise we have here, en­cour­age more of it and make it con­ta­gious. That’s what Ar­gyll En­ter­prise Week is all about.

‘ We want the event to cel­e­brate ex­ist­ing en­ter­prise across Ar­gyll and the Is­lands, stim­u­late fresh ideas and cre­ate new con­nec­tions and col­lab­o­ra­tions.

‘We are con­fi­dent peo­ple in­ter­ested in en­ter­prise will be in­spired by the range and con­tent of the ac­tiv­i­ties and look for­ward to shar­ing more de­tails soon about what’s planned for Ar­gyll En­ter­prise Week.’

The event pro­gramme will be pub­lished at the end of Au­gust, when the ac­tiv­i­ties will open for book­ings. For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.hie.co.uk/ ar­gyll en­ter prise week or call the lo­cal Busi­ness Gate­way team on 01546 604555.

Aileen Mor­ton: tal­ent and am­bi­tion are ev­i­dent in Ar­gyll.

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