Social enterprise Elevator is launching two business accelerator programmes in Perth and Kinross, calling for local businesses to “be brave”.
Both programmes will bring together businesses and entrepreneurs from two different sectors.
The first programme, kicking off in January, will focus on the creative and food, drink and tourism sectors.
Manufacturing and low carbon are paired together for the second programme.
The programme is open to businesses with a Perth and Kinross postcode, or a plan to relocate to the area.
Accelerate companies to success
The 10 and 12-week programmes are open to any company at any stage.
Elevator commercial director Andy Campbell says drive and ambition are the most important factors for success.
He says: “The accelerator programmes are designed to do exactly that, accelerate these companies, give them momentum, direction and a greater chance of success.
“We identify innovation that we want to accelerate through the course’s different phases, discover, develop and deliver.
“Hopefully, when they exit after 12 weeks, they’re pointing in the right direction with the right skills and knowledge to succeed.”
Elevator has delivered accelerator programmes since 2014 throughout Scotland.
In Dundee, the social enterprise operates courses at University of Dundee and Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc.
In Perth, the social enterprise has had success delivering accelerators for the creative sector.
It also invites industry experts to offer specialist support during the programme.
Andy says: “What we find with the accelerator programmes is a lot of the magic happens when you bring people together.
“The peer to peer learning opportunities we facilitate is an important ingredient of the programmes.
“Because if you put bright folk in a room, their passion about what they do just comes out.
“All you need to do is channel that or help them take what they’ve come up with forward.”
Growth for Perth and Kinross
Elevator and Perth and Kinross council are looking at groups of 12 businesses from each sector.
With the Christmas period being the busiest of the year for many food, drink and tourism businesses, Andy hopes the January course will provide a fresh perspective.
While he guarantees the course will be rewarding, it will not be easy.
He says: “We’re there to challenge them, push them out of their comfort zones and highlight obstacles they’ll face along the way.
“But we’ll hopefully give them the determination to get over those challenges.”
As well as motivate the businesses, Andy hopes the accelerator will drive economic regeneration and growth in Perth and Kinross.
He encourages businesses to “be brave” and take the opportunity to work on their business.
He says: “Elevator will work hard with these companies and Perth and Kinross council offer a great environment of support.
“Because we know what success can look like and how transformative it can be to a region.
“If you really throw yourself at it and go out of your comfort zone, you’re going to get great results.”
Councillor John Duff says: “Our accelerator programme will support the development and growth of innovative and entrepreneurial business ideas and have a positive impact on the local economy, creating additional and higher value jobs and producing social benefits.
“By identifying small groups of individuals, enterprises and projects and inspiring, upskilling and supporting them, we hope that the growth and development created by the accelerator programme will expand to impact both locally and across the wider Tay Cities region.”
Elevator will be holding an information session for its accelerator programmes on November 9.