Argyll Enterprise Week 2017 – now open for bookings

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Argyll Enterprise Week will bring a host of free events to towns across Argyll and Bute from November 6-10.

The event programme has been published and tickets can be booked via http://argyllenterpriseweek2017.eventbrite.com

The week kicks off on November 6 with one of the main issues facing all growing businesses – securing funding for growth. Lochgilphead will host a series of briefings, a networking lunch and a chance to talk directly to funders informally at a funding marketplace.

On Tuesday November 7 in Oban, Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative (AITC) will lead an event focusing on emerging trends and practical advice on achieving  growth in the tourism sector. The day will be delivered by industry leaders and provides a rare opportunity for the industry to meet and share ideas.

Food from Argyll takes over on Wednesday November 8, this time in Inveraray, to look at how food tourism is playing such an important role in the local economy. Local food producers will hear about new initiatives for distribution, learn about digital marketing and branding and meet new producers and partners.

It will be time to get creative on Thursday November 9 when XpoNorth brings a one-day version of its leading creative festival to Dunoon. It offers the chance to meet a range of industry specialists, look at a range of challenges and opportunities and put your own questions forward.

There will events in Oban and Arrochar on Friday November 10. In Arrochar, communities can come together to share ideas and learning and hear the latest news on Right to Buy and community-led housing initiatives.

In Oban, businesses can get practical advice on why and how to trade internationally, including market access information and case studies, as well as sources of support and expertise.

Attendees will gain a clear understanding of how to successfully sell products or services overseas. Everyone attending this event will also receive their own bespoke international toolkit, to support and guide them through their export journey.

Throughout the week, there will be a range of exciting and practical seminars aimed at helping small businesses make the most of digital and social media to sell their business. From Campbeltown to Oban, and across to Dunoon and Helensburgh, with Lochgilphead in between, experts will be offering targeted tutorials, on a variety of topics, as well as question and answer sessions on getting your business online.

This second Argyll Enterprise Week will be delivered, like the first of 2016, in partnership with Argyll and Bute Council’s Business Gateway and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE), and the business community.

Councillor Aileen Morton, leader of Argyll and Bute Council, said: ‘We have worked with industry partners to target what’s most important to them and I hope the series of events on offer tackles the topics that you most want to talk about.’

David Smart, HIE’s head of special projects in Argyll and the Islands, said: ‘Last year, more than 400 participants representing at least 150 businesses or organisations took part in events across the week. In feedback, 97 per cent said they had made new connections and 96 per cent said they had been inspired by the event. We want to make sure that our events allow people to continue to make new connections and to be inspired by each other.’

For more information or to book your tickets go to http://argyllenterpriseweek2017.eventbrite.com  or phone the Business Gateway team on 01546 604555.

Argyll Enterprise Week 2017 is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programme.

BOW Fest success for new business

An award-winning company that creates a range of natural, 100% organic aromatherapy room sprays originally designed with women in mind, has found its products are now increasingly popular with men who love the sensual sprays.

Margaret Morrison-Macleod set up The Divine Hag in January 2017 after being inspired by her childhood beach in Oban. With a workshop in Oban and an office in London, Margaret handcrafts the room sprays using a mix of organic aromatherapy oils. Due to demand, Margaret is soon to release a range of reed diffusers and candles with the same signature scents.

With support from Business Gateway Argyll and Bute, Margaret now sells online at www.thedivinehag.co.uk as well as stockists in Scotland and London.

Margaret was one of six winners of a Business Gateway Argyll and Bute competition which saw her win a trade stand at the popular Best of the West festival.

Margaret said: ‘I was thrilled that my product was chosen to represent The Best of The West. I had a wonderful response to my products and to the beautifully-crafted Baby Bliss spray which launched on the day. It was wonderful to meet customers and get feedback, as a result I will be bringing forward the launch of my menopause relief spray as so many women asked if I made a product such as this and it is currently being tested.

‘I had a wonderful day, driving in the early morning sunshine from Oban and Inveraray Castle was a magical location. I am very grateful for the help and support given by Business Gateway.’

To find out how Business Gateway can help you set up and develop your own business call 01546 808363 or visit www.bgateway.com/argyll-and-bute