Our team has a range of skills and experience which it can offer to community groups who want to undertake local community planning. HISEZ is also able to operate flexibly and offer a service tailored to the needs of the community, providing support as and when needed. We can work with the community so that skills and knowledge are gained by the group, or we can carry out the work entirely on your behalf.
Community consultation – from deciding who and what to consult on, through planning and facilitation of consultation, to understanding the results and identifying priorities for the future
Advise on implementation of plans
Business planning support for aspiring community enterprises and developments
Community capacity building
Support for business start-up, development and sustainability
An independent critical friend, mentor and mediator
If you are interested in finding out more about how HISEZ can support your community then please get in touch with us on 01463 715533 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Owen David is the chair of HISEZ and our man in a crisis. When social enterprise businesses get into trouble we send in David to help boards navigate their way through the practical and legal implications of trading difficulties. As a former chartered engineer, he has extensive career experience in both the public and private sectors. From 2001 - 2011 he was chief executive of Highland Opportunity Ltd, a public sector enterprise agency owned by the Highland Council, delivering investment and business support to small and medium sized enterprises in the North of Scotland. In particular he introduced the Business Gateway advisory service to the Highlands and Moray in 2009. He retired from that post in 2011 to become a business development consultant and business adviser for HISEZ. David has particular expertise in business and financial planning, legal structures, governance and crisis management.
Jo Crawford Based in the remote community of Glenelg on the Highland's west coast, Jo has invaluable knowledge of social enterprises, particularly in rural communities. Jo is the Development Manager of the hugely successful Isle of Skye Ferry Community Interest Company and is a keen supporter of social enterprise as a business model.
Brian Weaver Brian was CEO of HISEZ CIC for 11 years before stepping down in 2018. He continues to work for the company on a part time basis, delivering business advice on many of the contracts and also working for Impact Hub Global 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. .
Nicholas Gubbins Nicholas is Chief Executive of Community Energy Scotland and works very closely with HISEZ as the CES team work out of the HISEZ office! As head of Community Energy Scotland Nicholas leads all aspects of the organisation's work in helping communities in achieving sustainable energy. A topic which affects many of the community groups HISEZ work with on a weekly basis. Previous roles have included Head of Community Regeneration at HIE and Head of Special Programmes at Scottish Natural Heritage so he has plenty of experience of working with community groups striving towards financial sustainability in the Highlands and Islands.
Karen Maclean-Yuille Karen has worked in the social enterprise sector in Scotland for the past 15 years. As a previous Chief Executive of Social Firms Scotland she was responsible for the strategic and organisational development of the company. Karen was commissioned by Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the then Scottish Government Agency, Communities Scotland, to develop Highlands and Islands Enterprise Zone. Since 2010 Karen has worked as an associate business advisor for HISEZ CIC and she is also on the board of several voluntary organisations a number of which are involved in social enterprise activity.
Denise Clark Denise is General Manager of Highland Blindcraft based in Inverness. In this capacity she has maintained a valuable source of employment for disadvantaged people, kept the business viable and produced a high quality product for consumers. Highland Blindcraft is both a charity and a social firm. Since 2010 Denise has also been Executive Director of Sight Action in Inverness which supports blind and partially sighted people in the Highlands and Islands. Karen Bruce Karen is the Board Secretary and as with her day job at HISEZ she makes sure that Board meetings are run appropriately and efficiently. Karen has worked with HISEZ for 8 years and has been on the Board for the majority of that time. Karen brings her financial management skills to the Board and her experience of dealing with social enterprises in this area for the last 8 years. Before joining HISEZ Karen worked in a senior management level in the banking sector where she gained significant experience in financial planning and management, human resources and customer care.