Rural Perthshire-based enterprise support organisation GrowBiz has signed up its 1000th client.
The Coupar Angus-based group has attracted businesses and entrepreneurs at a rate of more than one a day since it was formed in October 2016.
GrowBiz hosts training and events to inspire entrepreneurs and also offers individual support to people in Eastern and Highland Perthshire, Strathearn and Kinross-shire.
The team of experienced and skilled facilitators has advised and supported people of all ages, from all walks of life and at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey – from those who have had just the inklings of an idea, to established enterprises looking to further develop or change direction.
Chief executive Jackie Brierton said the popularity of GrowBiz showed there were a growing number of rural entrepreneurs.
She said: “We were delighted to welcome our 1000th client.
“Rural enterprise is worth an estimated £36 billion to the Scottish economy each year, nearly 25% of Scotland’s overall economy, and with the right kind of investment and business support, this figure can only increase.
“The rural economy offers huge potential for economic growth, but it’s a bit different from the ‘urban’ economy.
“There are more small and micro-businesses, and fewer medium and large enterprises. More social enterprises and, increasingly, more businesses using digital applications in innovative ways which weren’t possible even five years ago.”
GrowBiz receives the majority of its funding from Rural Perth and Kinross Leader, an EU programme. Other funding sources include Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government and Perth and Kinross Council.
Council chief executive Karen Reid said: “The GrowBiz model is simple but effective, offering advice and practical support, with regular networking events across rural Perthshire.”