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In order to create an environment where women can start up in business and thrive, it is critical that everyone can access business support that is appropriate to the needs of the business. Support often requested by women in business includes the kind of support which enables them to see – and access – services such as - business role models appropriate to their type of business; access to mentors; financial advice, appropriate to their age, stage and size of business; and key information on important issues of investment and market opportunities.

In research undertaken by Women’s Enterprise Scotland in 2017, 46% percent of women-owned businesses participating said they had experienced discrimination as a woman business owner. To deal with this challenge, initiatives women valued included gender-aware training programmes and gender-aware business support services.

Business account managers taking part in this 2017 study identified that a gender-aware support toolkit would be of benefit to them in the delivery of their services. 87% of business support staff thought that services should be more aware of the differences between men and women in business and 75% said training on the provision of gender-aware support would help.


Partners in the Scottish Framework and Action Plan for Women in Enterprise are committed to –

  • Working with business support organisations to raise awareness of the needs of women-owned businesses and activities which encourage more women to access business support provision.

  • Sharing best practice and solutions that improve staff awareness of gender aware business support considerations.

  • Initiating a collaborative learning programme to develop an understanding of gender proofed best practice within the context of the Scottish ecosystem.

  • Ensuring a more cohesive signposting of the support available to women, including the development of a digital road map.


Women’s Enterprise Scotland works with many organisations to assist them in the delivery of accessible and appropriate business support for women. 


In Scotland WES has delivered training to Business Gateway staff, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and bank staff across Scotland.  

Information for women who are considering starting a business can be found on the Women's Business Centre.

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At WEgate, you can find information on access to finance, access to business networks, where to get help in your region, tips, training and learning opportunities, and finding mentoring programmes, WEgate also provides evidence of good practice, case studies, success stories and related news and events.  The WEgate platform also acts as a hub for online networking, exchange and cooperation among aspiring and current women entrepreneurs and stakeholders.

Visit WEgate here.

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