Shaping Scotland’s Future: Government Backing for Women in Business

In focus: Some government policies, schemes and initiatives for women entrepreneurs in Scotland

Scotland’s vibrant tech startup scene is making waves in the UK, with a notable 28% of high-growth businesses in the country emerging from the technology sector. Renowned for its entrepreneurial success stories, including the famous BrewDog based in Aberdeen, Scotland’s high-growth ecosystem moves ahead to flourish.

Despite the dual challenges posed by Brexit and the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK tech sector, particularly in Scotland, has displayed exceptional resilience and growth. In a recent development, the Scottish Government has approved funding for seven new tech hubs across the region, further solidifying Scotland’s reputation as a thriving hub for tech companies. Edinburgh, in particular, is gaining recognition as the potential Silicon Valley of Europe.

Scotland boasts a longstanding policy framework aimed at promoting women’s entrepreneurship. The COVID-19 crisis has brought both adversity & opportunities for women-owned businesses. Recognizing the unique challenges faced by women entrepreneurs during the pandemic, there is a growing need for policy actions to support their growth and resilience throughout Scotland.

Recent studies on the impact of COVID-19 and economic crises have underscored the importance of aligning government resources with robust policy frameworks to empower women entrepreneurs in Scotland, enabling them to continue driving economic growth.

Here, let’s explore various policies, schemes, and initiatives tailored to support and empower women entrepreneurs across Scotland, ensuring they can thrive in the dynamic business landscape.

#WomenEntrepreneurs #ScottishBusiness #EntrepreneurshipSupport #InnovativeScotland #EconomicEmpowerment

> The British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE)

The British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) in Scotland (an arm of the UK group) has grown rapidly in the last few years and is a source of networking and peer-to-peer support in Scotland’s female-led business sector. How does it work? Automatic membership to the FCEM World Association of Women Entrepreneurs – ie120 countries &100,000+ members. The women’s network focused on optimzing business opportunities including international
trade opportunities.

> Scotland’s Framework and Action Plan for Women’s Enterprise

It’s clearly in recognition of the need for women-owned businesses in Scotland, that Women’s Enterprise Scotland and The Scottish Government have been working with organizations across Scotland, to develop Scotland’s Framework and Action Plan for Women’s Enterprise.

A key outcome for the Scottish Government is to ensure that all of Scotland’s people are able to participate in and contribute towards sustainable economic growth. This Framework positions women’s enterprise as a mainstream economic activity and not a ‘special interests’ focus.

Other sources of support

There are many regional women’s business clubs in Scotland business ideas can be discussed with other female entrepreneurs; and this information is in the Association of Scottish Business women website. The Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB) is a membership organization that supports business and professional women throughout Scotland.

Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) is a one-stop-shop resource for all sorts of information and signposting to women-focused support. WES works in partnership with many organizations across Scotland, the UK and internationally towards: Inspiring more women in Scotland to set up and grow their businesses or social enterprises; Informing women in Scotland of help available and where to go for support; Providing a voice for women to influence and advocate for women’s enterprise to be at the centre of Scotland’s economic development policy and strategy; Influencing both the government & private sector thinking,
policy and strategy on the economic and business opportunities presented by increasing women-owned businesses; Promoting women’s enterprise in the media and breaking down any barriers and preconceptions which fails to recognize the full economic potential of women.

The Women’s Business Centre is a website designed to support women starting and growing a business, from idea creation to start-up and growth. The site provides support on a range of topics including: Identifying and shaping a business idea; Getting your business start-up ready, Starting and managing a business and also includes Advice, blogs, video and support for the challenges of running a business.

WEConnect Europe is the leading global supplier diversity initiative spearheading the connection of women-owned business and multinational corporations. It is Europe’s leading advocate of women-owned businesses as suppliers to global and national corporations and government bodies.

> Business Women Scotland

Business Women Scotland is an organization that focused on helping women find support and networking opportunities to allow them to strengthen their business, achieve their goals, build business relationships and provide a platform for learning and developing.

Besides organizing virtual events, Business Women Scotland hosts annual awards which are crucial in promoting the contribution women in business make to our economy, while celebrating and empowering them.

STV has joined forces with Business Women Scotland in a powerful partnership to strengthen female-led businesses. Both STV and BWS are focused on increasing the representation of women business leaders in Scotland, driving business growth through knowledge sharing and profile opportunities. STV’s involvement in events such as the BWS Growth Programme and Virtual Business Roadshow – ensures to not only share skills, knowledge & expertise; it
pushes to support the BWS network to grow their businesses & to build their profiles alongside premium content on the most-watched commercial channel in Scotland.

> Scotland CAN DO

The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) supports this by using investments, policies and leadership – to help create an education system with entrepreneurship & innovation at its core. It’s their contribution to an intent shared by many organizations in Scotland and brought together under the umbrella of Scotland CAN DO.

Whether you’re a business leader, an entrepreneur in the making, an academic or a student – they indeed, have an initiative that will help you to be involved in Scotland’s future as a CAN DO country.

SFC-funded Scottish Innovation Centres represent a long-term, £130 million investment in the values of Scotland CAN DO. They are business-led and unique in their ability to combine commercial knowledge with specialist expertise from Scotland’s world-leading universities.

SFC also provides Scottish Government funding for Ingenious and Enterprising Women in Scotland. Led by the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh, this programme supports female early career researchers in industry and academia – to develop entrepreneurial skills and realize the full potential of their ideas. The Scottish Government funded Bridge 2 Business & offers students opportunities – to engage with entrepreneurial role models and develop creative thinking and problem-solving skills.

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