Gender Aware Support & Best Practice

To create an environment where women can start up in business and thrive, it is critical that everyone can access appropriate business support such as, role modelsmentorsfinancial advice, 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 study also identified that a gender-aware support toolkit would be of benefit. In the survey of business support staff undertaken as part of the research , 87% said business support staff should be more aware of the differences between men and women in business and 75% of respondents said training on the provision of gender-aware support would help.

Partners in the Framework in Scotland 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. We have recently provided gender-aware training and consultancy services to the Welsh Government on the launch of their framework to support Women in Enterprise in Wales. Including training bank staff, business support advisors and publishing a best practice Guide to Business Support Delivery. 


In Scotland we have delivered training to some local Business Gateway staff, in addition to training staff at Highlands and Islands Enterprise and training bank staff across Scotland.  Click on the relevant image on the right to find out more about the expert gender-specific support we provide.

Business Gateway has produced a guide for women who are considering starting a business and you can access that here.

WE Gate

Access to finance, access to business networks, where to get help in your region, tips, training and learning opportunities, mentoring programmes, good practices, case studies, success stories and related news and events can all be found on WEgate. At the same time, the 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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