Venture would make tracks in producing opportunity for rural youngsters

THERE is seldom a clear-cut path to getting an entrepreneur, but choosing to turn into a younger small business operator in a rural group can appear to be like an unlikely aspiration for quite a few.

To tackle this challenge head on, Jane Craigie, a chartered marketer, co-established the Rural Youth Task (RYP) in 2018 – an international grassroots movement that functions to empower youthful men and women and provide their concepts to fruition.

Ms Craigie will work with men and women aged in between 18 to 28 to establish leadership, enterprise and activism capabilities to aid make rural places more interesting and feasible for young people to reside and do the job. “I feel there is real electrical power in multi-generational communities,” Ms Craigie acknowledges. “As before long as that will get out of balance, then you get started to see that erosion of energy and expert services.”

As very well as investing her time, cash and power into the RYP not-for-gain organisation, Ms Craigie operates her very own marketing and advertising agency, Jane Craigie Marketing primarily based in Aberdeenshire.

The 52-yr-outdated entrepreneur also sits on a quantity of boards committed to agriculture, younger individuals and management programmes, together with the Global Federation of Agricultural Journalists, the council of the British Guild of Agricultural Journalists, she is a board member for Lantra, and extra just lately was appointed to Scotland’s Rural University (SRUC) board.

Ms Craigie admits she was “delighted” soon after listening to that the two RYP and Jane Craigie Marketing and advertising have been shortlisted in the forthcoming 2020/2021 Rural Business Awards, the final results of which will be introduced on line at the Countrywide Ultimate on February 25. “Scotland is gaining a track record by means of the perform that we’re performing that we are truly starting to deal with this endemic difficulty of young folks leaving rural places,” states Ms Craigie.

“One of the attention-grabbing points we’ve learned by every little thing we have been doing, which features managing strategies festivals, leadership schooling, tips cafes during lockdown, the one particular detail that regularly will come back again about Gen Z and the millennials is that they are driven by a perception of intent, a perception of belonging and that energy of a collective.

“They will forgo profits, a first rate area to dwell and endure very poor electronic connectivity if they’re dwelling in a spot they appreciate and performing one thing that they come to feel is whole of intent and value.”


Ms Craigie had relatively of an unconventional upbringing that gave her a loaded world wide standpoint. “I’m not from a farming or a rural history, I was introduced up abroad,” she explains. “My dad was a spy, he labored for GCHQ, so I was introduced up in Cyprus, India and Turkey.

“I feel that is provided me a genuine desire and passion in men and women and the electricity of folks and neighborhood. Which is one thing that has been an embedded element of my lifetime. I’m very inquisitive and I’m pretty fantastic at searching at how a rural location in yet another place is applicable to listed here. I feel we, as individual citizens and living in rural communities, can arrive up with our individual remedies. We can spend our very own time and cash in coming up with the right issues where we are living and not always count on that governments really should do it.”

The RYP was started by Ms Craigie and co-director Rebecca Dawes, 30. The pair self-funded the motion for its initial very first 6 months. “Starting a thing from scratch is generally difficult,” claims Ms Craigie. There ended up occasions I was paying much more money on this and concerned how long I would be ready to continue to keep it up.”

Right after this period of time, rural improvement programme Leader (a French acronym, Liaison Entre Steps de Développement de l’Économie Rurale, which roughly interprets as “liaison between actors in rural financial development”) turned the dominant funding companion to the Rural Youth Project, with supplemental support from Scottish Company. Nevertheless Ms Craigie admits the Chief funding will arrive to a close at the close of this month.

“If I don’t get substitution funding from other sources then I’ll carry on funding the venture myself, for the reason that it is a little something I experience strongly about,” she suggests.

The RYP has a core group of four and a steering committee of 10, all on a voluntary foundation, with a single complete-time personnel equal.  One particular project Ms Craigie is fired up to assistance start is “the initial focused rural youth Smart Village in the world”. Scotland’s RYP is established to start the digital platform which aims to aid young individuals link, network, trade, and develop their organization, by the conclusion of February.

The consequences of the pandemic are getting felt in Scotland’s rural communities, she admits. “We conducted a Covid-19 survey not too long ago, and even though the ranges of optimism about their future in rural sites had fallen as a end result of Covid (from 72% to 40%), pretty couple of of them envisaged moving absent from those people rural places.

 “Younger individuals are not very good at inquiring for assist but as shortly as you open up the doorway to offer you them aid they are there and seeking support, and that is recognition that what we’re carrying out is valued and necessary.

“I hope in Scotland, as a result of our get the job done and the work of many others that focus on youthful persons, that we get a standing as a state that upholds, supports and encourages young entrepreneurial persons to actually develop a foreseeable future in rural sites.”