LOCHABER Chamber of Commerce have announced the programme for Lochaber Ideas Week 2015, a week of business development workshops, entrepreneurial competitions, open discussions, inspirational talks and networking opportunities that celebrate business, education and community in the Lochaber region, from Monday 16 to Saturday 21 November.


The annual Lochaber Ideas Week provides a unique platform of opportunities in which to provoke new ideas, stimulate fresh initiatives and ventures and inspire action.

Its goal is to create new connections and points of collaboration in which to to build a diverse community of practitioners who strive to develop new ways of activating, interacting, collaborating and marketing Lochaber, the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, as a great place in which to live, work, study and do business.

The event also encourages new business start-ups and assists existing businesses to improve their leadership and sustainability.

The highlights of the Lochaber Ideas Week celebrations in 2015 include:

The Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture at West Highland College UHI, on Friday 20 November 2015. Jim Wallace, Baron Wallace of Tankerness, PC, QC, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords, will deliver the inaugural Charles Kennedy Memorial Lecture, dedicated to a man passionate about Fort William and Lochaber.

XPO North: Gaming Playground on Tuesday 17 November at Lochaber High School. In what is a real coup for the region XPO North, one of Scotland’s leading creative industries festivals, will bring up to 20 leading gaming companies to Fort William; giving both school children and adults the opportunity to test out new and established games, have fun and give essential feedback.

Inspired by the BBC business show, Dragon’s Glen is a local business competition with £7,500 in prize money at stake, open to budding entrepreneurs with an idea for starting up or developing a business based in Lochaber. Three lucky finalists will be invited to ‘pitch’ their plans to the expert panel on Thursday 19 November at West Highland College UHI. Lochaber’s revered Dragons will listen, ask probing questions and pick the worthy winner.

In VisitScotland’s Year of Food and Drink a number of food and drink and tourism focused events have been programmed.

These include From Land and Sea to Plate, a ’Think Local’ workshop aimed at those who want to explore the provenance of Lochaber foods, from producer to plate, and the importance of the protection of food names.

Café of Ideas in Mallaig is a workshop facilitated by Scott Armstrong, Regional Partnership Director of VisitScotland in Mallaig, focusing on ideas to enhance and develop the tourist offering in Mallaig, a hugely popular tourist destination.

Textile, craft and fashion businesses will have a voice at Ideas Week this year.   Highlands and Islands Enterprise in partnership with Emergents, Lochaber Ideas Week and Scottish Development International are running a free, two-day workshop at The Ben Nevis Hotel – Creating new International Markets for Textiles, Craft and Fashion - on how to successfully prepare businesses operating in the creative industries to trade overseas.

Following on from this theme Celebrity belt designer and professional golfer, Christian MacLeod, will be the guest speaker at the Lochaber Ideas Week Dinner and Awards Ceremony on Friday 20 November at The Alexandra Hotel. He will deliver a fascinating insight into his strategy for building the CM brand, the hurdles he faced to be accepted onto the worldwide fashion stage and his resulting success.

Other events include HOT 100: Digital Marketing, 100 social networking tips in a 45 minute workshop; and Leading Change: Using Positive Psychology to Create an Engaged, Creative Workforce, an interactive workshop using the vehicle of fun to delve into motivation, focus and empowerment in the workplace. There is also a session entitled, Volunteering Ideas, on how to make the best use of local talent through volunteering in business.

This year, Lochaber Ideas Week runs in parallel with Global Entrepreneurship Week and Scotland’s Towns Week.

For the full programme and more information on Lochaber Ideas Week 2015: http://www.lochaberchamber.co.uk/partners/lochaber-ideas-week-2015/

Lochaber Ideas Week Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Lochaber-Ideas-Week-1615156148740910/timeline/

For tickets: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/d/worldwide/lochaber-ideas-week/?view=gallery

SOURCE: All Media Scotland

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