Boost for rural businesswomen in Liddesdale

Liddesdale is one of three rural areas to receive Scottish government backing for a new business creation project designed for women, which starts on Monday, February 15.

Claire Musson, learning and enterprise manager at Newcastleton and District Community Trust
Claire Musson, learning and enterprise manager at Newcastleton and District Community Trust

The Rural Business Creation Project, designed to develop enterprise skills and encourage business start-up ideas amongst women based in rural areas of Scotland, is initially running in three target areas: the Small Isles; New Cumnock in East Ayrshire; and Liddesdale.

For the Liddesdale community, the free course is being run by Newcastleton and District Community Trust (NDCT), in partnership with Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) and Development Trusts Association Scotland.

It will run over a 10- week period with weekly sessions held by zoom for 1.5 hours each week, working with a combined cohort of around 30 women.

Claire Musson, learning and enterprise manager at NDCT, said: “We want to provide learning opportunities and enterprise support in the local community and will be the first of many courses to be delivered by the trust at the new Digital Learning and Enterprise Hub in Buccleuch House.

“The Business Creation Course will be delivered by the expert team at WES and will provide women with the confidence and information they need at the very beginning of their business start-up journey.

"It is the perfect combination of national training, backed by local knowledge and support, and we are looking forward to seeing the benefits being realised with new business and new jobs created in the local area.”

Topics covered on the course will include business planning, attracting customers, pricing and managing finances.

Participants will get the opportunity to meet other local women interested in starting up a business, as well as networking with women from areas across Scotland during the zoom sessions.

Louisa Macdonell, chief executive of Development Trusts Association Scotland said: “Covid-19 has placed the role of Scotland’s development trusts truly centre stage.

"Across the country, these community-led organisations have been working relentlessly to support local people and we are delighted to be bringing this crucial business start-up training to an initial group of three rural areas.

"Development trusts are all about improving places and spaces. Their work in empowering local communities can help unlock economic potential and support the creation of new businesses, which leads in turn to new jobs.

“It is particularly important, given the many unique challenges which rural communities face – from inconsistent broadband coverage, to poor transport links and greater distances to food supplies and health services – that we do as much as possible to help these communities recover from the pandemic.

"Business creation leads to job creation. With less than 16% of SMEs in Scotland currently being women-owned employer businesses, it is vital that we inspire, motivate and inform women in rural communities on what is involved in starting and running a business, thereby unlocking their untapped economic potential.”

You can find out more about the Rural Business Creation Project for Women by clicking here.