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Funded by the Scottish Government, the rural business start-up programme is designed to provide participants with information on starting up a business and help with ideas generation and skills matching. Through the provision of expert support, women will be encouraged to assess the value of skills they have already and consider how those skills or interests or hobbies could be converted into a business idea. Participants will be part of a group of rural based women, including those from an agricultural background, all joining in the course with the aim of identifying a business idea and starting up a business.


The course will be delivered over a 10- week period with weekly sessions held by zoom for 1.5 hours each week. The sessions will be delivered by Women’s Enterprise Scotland and local Development Trust Association Scotland member facilitators will also join each session. Participants will receive handouts electronically to help them get the most out of each session and to keep the momentum going between each session as they put the learning into practice.

There will be the opportunity to meet other local women interested in starting up a business, as well as meeting women from another two areas in Scotland during the zoom sessions.

The session dates and topics are:

  1. Mon 15th February: What is an entrepreneur?

  2. Mon 22nd February: The Business Idea

  3. Mon 1st March: Will Your idea Work

  4. Mon 8th March: Business Planning

  5. Tues 16th March: Attracting Customers

  6. Tues 23rd March: Creating Your Brand

  7. Tues 30th March: Pricing & Managing Finances

  8. Wed 7th April: Customer Service

  9. Mon 12th April: Support & Networking

  10. Mon 19th April: Managing and Launching Your Business


Benefits for Participants

During the 10-week training programme participants will assess their own skills, identify or develop a business idea and turn that idea into a business. Applying existing skills and gaining business skills to create the opportunity to earn an income from starting up a business. Participants will gain support from local facilitators, have the opportunity to meet (via zoom) other women who have started up their own business and meet staff providing local business support for new businesses. Plus meet other like-minded women learning to start-up their own business.

Speaking about the programme, previous participants have said:

“It has given me the skills, information and contacts that I will need (and use) in the future. I'm aiming to launch my business in the Spring for definite! This course (and the success of other participants) has made starting a successful business seem very achievable.”


“The course has given me the confidence to start my business. I had a basic idea before, but you have given me the information needed. I found every week useful with all the information that was given, but the pricing week really helped me to value my products. Oh, and I've made £288!”


“I am so grateful for this amazing course and the guidance it has given me on running and expanding my lovely business. If someone told me a year ago while I was making a little frame for my house that it would turn into this successful business I would have laughed! Now all I can do is smile, say thank you for all your support and do a little happy dance!”

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