It is with great sadness and regret that we share the news of the passing of Karen Bruce, on Monday 19th June 2023.
Karen was - among innumerable other things - the Finance Manager of HISEZ CIC and one of the co-founders of Impact Hub Inverness. She was an integral part of the team, working to support the social enterprise sector for the last 15 years. In these roles she was a colleague, a friend, and a support to the team and the social enterprise sector across the north of Scotland who now share in this loss. She approached each role and task with a smile, and that is how we should remember her. She will be missed by all.
Meet the team that make up Impact Hub Inverness - Polly, Brian, Kate, Karen M, Clarrie, Laura and Lauren!
Thanks to Paul Campbell Photography for the photos!
Thanks to Paul Campbell Photography for the photos!
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Polly Chapman, also Co-Founder of Impact Hub Inverness, joined its predecessor, HISEZ, from the Scottish Government where she successfully managed a number of grant programmes, including setting up and running the Third Sector Resilience Fund. Polly has a number of years' experience of research in rural Scotland. She has some great insights into what makes rural communities tick, and what doesn't, and how to support change in these places. She's also built up an impressive network of contacts with local and national agencies, community groups and third sector organisations. She has led on developing the relationship with Japan and developing the Impact Hub. Within the team Polly also works as a business adviser on the Just Enterprise programme, and with BIG Lottery applicant referrals from Scottish Investment Business. Polly works full time and acts as a volunteer host.
Karen Maclean-Yuille is our legal structures and governance guru. Karen has worked in the enterprising third sector for 12 years and is a former Chief Executive of Social Firms Scotland. Here she assesses applications for business support for the Just Enterprise programme and takes them to the fortnightly case conferences with our consortium partners and is one of our business advisers. Karen is also vice chair of a social enterprise providing support and training to young people in Highland who experience difficulties in the transition to independent living and/or work. Karen works part time from home. Like Kate, while she will not be an active host of the Hub, she will be a Hub champion, promoting the concept of the Hub through her contract work.
Clarrie Murdoch is one of the business advisors at Impact Hub Inverness with a particular interest in all things digital and marketing! Clarrie delivers the Just Enterprise contract and gets involved in our other contract work.
Clarrie has a background in marketing and communications and a First Class Honours Degree in International Business Management.
Clarrie is passionate about social enterprise and supporting the development and growth of the sector! In addition to being a Director for HISEZ/Impact Hub Inverness, Clarrie also sits on the Board for Social Enterprise Scotland.
Clarrie is full time and works mostly from the office and acts as volunteer host.
INFORMATION SYSTEMS GRADUATE
Lauren Geddes has recently completed her last year of university with a First Class Honours Degree in Business and Management and a HNC in Events Management. She has a passion for social media, marketing, events planning and anything creative. With five years of retail experience in various Inverness stores, Lauren takes a particular interest in local businesses and their customers. As an Information Systems Graduate, she will be reviewing our financial, operational and membership systems and supporting the transition to more efficient processes. She joined Impact Hub Inverness in May 2023.
It's primarily thanks to Brian's leadership that HISEZ grew from a small grant dependent 2 person team to an enterprising 7 person social enterprise that joined the Impact Hub network. Brian's main role is engagement and communication with various stakeholders working in the sector, and the delivery of business advice and business skills workshops. He has significant skills in crisis management, particularly for groups encountering trading difficulties, and helping boards develop and strengthen. He previously worked with HIE as its business starts manager and, before that, worked in the private sector where he successfully set up and ran a business. Brian works part time and provides a part time input to the office as a host at present, a role which he will continue to deliver for the Hub going forward. He is one of the makers and Co-Founder of the Hub here in Inverness.
Kate McKinley is a business adviser on the Scottish Government Just Enterprise programme and helps enterprising third sector groups with business and financial planning, marketing, board and governance training and strategic planning. She's also part of the team working on other projects including feasibility studies, options appraisals and development plans. Kate previously worked for 15 years in the private and public sectors in marketing what's grandly known as 'business to business communications', but which really means helping organisations use words more effectively. A big fan of finding ways for rural communities to thrive and not just to survive (she lives in one), Kate was, until recently, chair of a voluntary board of a charitable company and oversaw the redevelopment and expansion of her local village hall. Kate works four days a week from home. While she will not be an active host of the Hub on a regular basis, she will be a Hub champion, promoting the concept of the Hub through her contract work. She will also deliver some of the outreach Hub activity.
Laura Shewan has worked in the social enterprise sector in Scotland for more than 14 years and founded a successful social enterprise in Inverness 10 years ago. She has been involved in community consultation, investment decisions, fundraising, business planning and cashflow for start-up businesses ranging from community energy projects to cafes and health and wellbeing projects. She joined Impact Hub Inverness in Spring 2022.