STEP

Stepping up for rural Stirling: Appointment of new Rural Co-ordinator

Rural Stirling is bustling with vibrant entrepreneurial communities. In fact, according to STEP, the enterprise trust which has been supporting businesses in Stirling for nearly 40 years, rurally based businesses make up 47% of the business community, is ideal for innovative new companies and has rapid growth potential.

Since 1991 and the launch of their Rural Roadshows STEP has been dedicated to supporting rural businesses throughout the Stirling region and is now investing further in their Rural business support provision.

Today, through the delivery of Business Gateway Stirling, STEP supports on average 1400 rurally based businesses each year and are delighted to announce the appointment of a Rural Co-ordinator to expand this support further.

The leading business support organisation has appointed Jenny Davidson to create a central point of contact for rural businesses.

The newly created role will see Jenny coordinate rural business support and develop new support opportunities driven by local demand.

Business support activity across the region includes Business Gateway Stirling’s Meet the Rural Adviser one-to-one appointments, available in rural business hubs including Callander, Drymen and Strathard. STEP’s popular Rural Forum, playing a crucial role in shaping the rural business support available and connecting businesses to our ecosystem support partners including Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER, Stirling University, and more. Businesses can also access specialist rural HR, Recruitment, Marketing, IT and Digital Infrastructure support through Jenny.

Jenny said “Rural Stirling is made up of a varied range of businesses both starting up and growing. STEP together with Business Gateway Stirling provides these businesses with support, training, advice, and a connection to our diverse support partners. I am delighted to now be focusing on driving and making accessible the support these businesses need.”

Mike Barclay, Business Support Manager said “Rural businesses make up almost half of Stirling’s Business economy and each have their own set of unique challenges versus their urban counterparts. The area is the ideal environment for business growth and with recent Council investment in rurally based business hubs we are delighted our advisers will have the opportunity to work out of these hubs and centre themselves in the rural community more. With more and more rural support being provided the investment in this new role will give these businesses a direct contact to ensure they get the bespoke support needed. Traditionally it’s not as easy to access business support in rural areas as it is in the city, this role together with being physically present in the rural hubs will make accessing support easier.”

For more information about STEP, please visit www.stepscotland.co.uk

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