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Highland Business Women Awards recognise social enterprise contribution to the north

By Calum MacLeod

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Social enterprises play an important role in the economic and community life of the Highlands.

These not for profit organisations often step in to provide services when other businesses or charities are unable to and play a particularly significant role in rural Scotland, with around a third of the country’s social enterprises in rural areas.

This is reflected in the Highlands and Islands, where there are more than 1200 social enterprises putting social, community and environmental benefits rather than profit at the heat of what they do.

Equiom’s Inverness office is already closely involved with this expanding sector, so it is only appropriate that the global professional services provider is supporting the third sector category at the 2021 Highland Business Women Awards next month.

“We are pleased to sponsor the best third sector organisation category in the 2021 Highland Business Women Awards,” Equiom’s Inverness managing director Sarah Weir said.

“As a local employer of over 70 staff, we feel that our core values of passion, trust and the empowerment and development of our staff are very much mirrored by the growing number of organisations within the third sector in the Highlands.

“It is hugely important to recognise the work these organisations do within our community and the role they play. I wish all entrants the best of luck”

The award is open to social enterprises, charities, or other non-profit organisations who can show how they meet their social or charitable objectives.

Innovation and creativity, as well as effective leadership and management and a commitment to future sustainability will also be considered.

While social enterprises perform many valued services in the community, the economic success of the region is underpinned by the vibrancy of its private businesses, making the most enterprising business award one of the most prestigious of those handed out by HBW on the evening.

The award is open to established businesses which have been in operation for three years or more.

While size is not a factor, judges will again be looking for innovation and creativity, along with an effective marketing and business development strategy, sustained financial performance and examples of the organisation’s achievements over the past year.

Sponsoring the award this year is one of the Highlands’ own most enterprising businesses, Inverness headquartered construction company Tulloch Homes, which employs around 150 staff directly and supports a further 600 jobs through its sub-contractors.

A company spokeswoman said: “Tulloch Homes chose to sponsor most enterprising business category because successful local businesses are the backbone of the Highland economy and provide inspiration and much needed employment within the community.”

The deadline for entries for both these awards and the other categories at the 2021 Highland Business Women Awards is 5pm on Friday, August and all entries should be submitted to info@hbw.scot.

The awards ceremony, hosted by journalist and broadcaster Nicky Marr, will take place online on Thursday, August 26.

For more information, visit www.hbw.scot/awards or the HBW Faceboook page.

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