Highlands and Islands Enterprise is the Scottish Government’s economic and community development agency for a diverse region which covers more than half of Scotland and is home to around 450,000 people.
Many of the businesses that HIE support are spread out in remote locations around the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. This makes attending training skills workshops to help grow their business challenging as it means taking a lot of time out of the office travelling.
I ran a Pitching Skills workshop for 12 HIE supported companies in Inverness as part of their Entrepreneurial Academy for the first time in May 2017.
The workshop was a great success and HIE asked if remote/Skype coaching was a possibility for businesses located further afield. A residential programme, ‘‘Can Do Scale Summer School’ for companies who are in a growth phase was due to take place in Stirling in July and HIE wanted to put several of the businesses they support forward for it. Each company would have to deliver a 2 minute pitch followed by 2 minutes of questions as part of the application process.
We set up 45 minute calls/Skype sessions with 11/12 of the applicants. I gave them tips on delivery and preparation of the content of their pitch.
9 applicants were delighted to get through to the programme giving them great opportunities to learn from business leaders, network and gain more business skills.