Top marks for SME bosses who took on pilot study programme
Eight Scots business leaders have graduated from Scotland’s first Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme set up by Fife Council and Edinburgh Napier University.
Paul Deery of Bridge Systems, Bill Kelly of Vozero, Roger Hunt of Discounted Office Supplies, Alison Brown of Furniture Plus, Errin Todd of Lobster Pod, Neil McIntosh of CluisTROM, Sam Fernando of Keela International, and Mark Jones of KDM Group have each completed the eight-month pilot designed to support SME leaders and create a community of innovation and enterprise between them.
The eight students embarked on the programme in October last year in a bid to enhance and develop their abilities to lead through the uncertainties, opportunities and challenges of a fast-moving environment.
Participant Sam Fernando said: “I have found this programme to be highly practical, giving useful insights into how I can develop as a leader and propose actions for the growth of my business, both in the UK and overseas.”
Cllr David Ross, Fife Council leader and co-chair of the Fife Taskforce, said: “This Entrepreneurial Leadership programme, funded by the Fife Taskforce, is part of a package of new activities to support business growth.
“The Fife Taskforce is focused on actions that support people, business and communities affected by recent closures and job losses to drive economic growth and employment creation. We are supporting this programme as entrepreneurs and enterprising leaders are a key catalyst to economic recovery and growth.
“Continuing to grow our vibrant SME base in Fife is vital for the long term benefit of our economy. By doing so they become fixtures in their local economies, creating wealth and providing valuable employment for local people. This new programme is one of the ways that we are seeking to maximise their potential through targeted business advice and training.”
Pamela Stevenson, lead officer for Enterprise and Business Development, Fife Council,said: “Working with Edinburgh Napier University on this pilot, has been very encouraging. Supporting Fife business leaders is integral to driving resilience and growth within our SME community. The Entrepreneurial Leadership Programme allows the business leaders to focus on themselves as leaders and on their businesses. This ensures they can enhance their capabilities, becoming more effective as a business leader and create opportunities for growth in their businesses.”
This flexible Entrepreneurial Leadership programme inspires business growth, encouraging and facilitating business networking and collaboration as well as greater access and signposting to the key economic agencies and initiatives available to SMEs in Fife.
Dr Susan Laing, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Edinburgh Napier University, added: “We have a strong track record of working closely with SMEs to encourage a creative and innovative approach to business leadership and growth. Our team combines academic experts and practitioners with extensive practical expertise in working with and understanding the needs of small businesses and their leaders within the entrepreneurial eco-system.”
Fife council is now on the lookout for other SME business leaders in the region who want to develop their skills to take part in the next Entrepreneurial Leadership course.