SIS launches leadership programme to drive growth among Scotland’s mission-led brands

SIS launches leadership programme to drive growth among Scotland’s mission-led brands

Alastair Davis

Social Investment Scotland (SIS) has launched its latest leadership programme for mission-driven businesses, offering tailored support to both early-stage companies and established brands to help fuel growth and drive impact.

Ambitions 2021: Supporting Leaders, Building Growth is now open to applicants from social enterprises and entrepreneurs looking to enhance leadership skills and take their organisations to the next level.

With support from the People’s Postcode Lottery and Baillie Gifford, the programme comprises 16 weeks of online coaching, professional mentoring, and workshop activity, as well as providing access to a tailored package of funding support and advice.

The initiative will be delivered via two streams, with one focused on early-stage businesses looking to step up and develop their brand or service and another for more established organisations ready to scale and grow their operations and impact. Up to 30 participants will hear from a range of experts delivering masterclasses covering topics such as digital marketing, market trends, customer insights and e-commerce.

Participating leaders will be aiming to take advantage of a rising global demand for mission-led brands, with numerous studies highlighting the growing importance of purpose or mission as a key purchasing factor.

The “Strength of Purpose” study by New York-based Zeno Group of 8,000 global consumers and 75 companies and brands recently found that consumers are four to six times more likely to buy from, trust, champion, and defend companies with a strong purpose.

Alastair Davis, SIS chief executive, said: “Mission-driven businesses and social enterprises have the power to become a fundamental driver of economic growth over the coming years, particularly as we emerge from the pandemic and adjust to new ways or of working, with renewed focus on what truly matters to each of us. There is a real opportunity for goods and services that deliver a wider impact to help us to grow a more sustainable and resilient economy.

“The Ambitions programme is designed to support organisations at any stage, but this year we have developed two specific support packages for either established brands, or those at early stages, with tailored mentoring and guidance to help them to level up to the next stage. By offering expert advice and access to finance, we can ultimately support leaders to grow and increase the positive impact of their brands, businesses or social enterprises.”

Ambitions 2021: Supporting Leaders, Building Growth follows the success of Ambitions for Recovery which was delivered last summer to support social enterprises to recover from the effects of Covid-19 and develop strategies for future growth.

Lesley Compston from KLAS Care, a previous participant of the Ambitions programme, added: “With access to invaluable support and professional advice I was able to enhance my skills and confidence as a leader and help tackle some of the challenges we faced as a result of Covid-19.

“Sharing and communicating the wider vision and core values with my management team has enabled us to work strategically to grow the organisation, helping to expand our reach to even more communities and families, providing additional out of school care for children and young people.”

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