Following significant growth, the leading business support organisation has appointed Rachel Ross to take the reins as it expands its operational activities across the country’s rural industries.

Elevator works across Scotland to help facilitate the start-up, acceleration and growth of new and existing businesses through its unique delivery of Business Gateway services and a range of accelerator programmes.

Providing Business Gateway services across three Scottish regions – Aberdeen City and Shire, Tayside and Lanarkshire – Elevator is Scotland’s largest provider of these services supporting some 3,500 new businesses to start up each year while working with 10,000 businesses across Scotland each year.

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The newly created role will see Rachel drive Elevator’s rural development strategy and explore new strategic business opportunities. Her appointment highlights Elevator’s commitment to supporting the breadth and diversity of businesses across the entire country.

A well-known rural business advocate, Rachel owns the iconic Loch Melfort Hotel on Argyll’s West coast and has held other senior industry positions including Board Director at Scotland Food and Drink.

Most recently she was a Director at leadership consultancy Peoplematters. Supporting individuals from diverse sectors across the Highlands and Islands region, Rachel’s role focused on delivering leadership training and development, and coaching and business mentoring for SMEs, rural and high growth Scottish businesses.

With an estimated 80 per cent of Scotland's land area designated as rural, Elevator’s CEO, Professor Gary McEwan, said Rachel’s appointment is a pivotal step in the social enterprise’s rural development.

“Despite the pandemic induced difficulties, we have pushed on with our growth strategy and I am delighted to be welcoming Rachel to our senior leadership team. She has the passion, capability and aspiration to build on our success, expanding our presence and services into new territories.

“Our vision for rural town centre regeneration includes enterprise hubs and community hub satellites that support and encourage local networks and collaboration. This is key for the rural sector, to help re-build our economy and strengthen job security,” concluded Professor McEwan.

On her new role, Rachel commented: “A diverse range of new businesses are starting up all over rural Scotland, Elevator provides the support, training and connections to allow these businesses to achieve long-term growth, resilience and adaptability. With improving broadband and the increase in desire for remote working, there is a whole new audience emerging and needing support within the rural community – from agriculture to marine, food & drink and tourism

“It’s an exciting time for the business and I am delighted to be joining Elevator on this next chapter of its growth journey.”

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