Calls have been made for a dedicated national women’s business centre, to deliver the specific support women need to start and grow their own businesses.
Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) has said that “concerted, meaningful” action to establish a national women’s business centre is essential.
WES chief executive Carolyn Currie said much has been achieved since women first being able to vote – but there is plenty more to do.
“Whilst we still have a gender pay gap, maternity discrimination, male-dominated company boards and just 21% of Scottish SMEs being majority-owned by women, we are consigning a wealth of talent and opportunity to waste. Enough is enough – the time for concerted, meaningful action is now.”
She also cited recent research revealing that the contribution women-owned businesses make to the Scottish economy has increased by 76%, from gross value added of £5 billion in 2012 to £8.8bn.
“The moral and economic case for driving gender balance in enterprise is obvious,” Currie added. “What we need now is a dedicated national women’s business centre to deliver the specific support women need to start and grow their own businesses.”
WES has joined forces with female entrepreneurs at the new Accelerator Hub in Glasgow from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The facility will help up to 70 businesses at a time through a programme of free mentoring, insight and bespoke coaching for entrepreneurs.