Round up of our International Women's Day Campaign

As part of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, WES called for an end to the status quo where women-owned businesses are just 20% of the business base and less than 5% of account managed growth companies.

Women-owned businesses currently contribute £5bn GVA to the Scottish economy, yet if women in started up in business at the same rate as men, the economy would be boosted by an additional £7.6bn. Tackling the enterprise gender gap would see women-owned businesses contribute a total of £12.6bn to the economy.

WES is calling for all business support providers to recognise that women face specific challenges when seeking to grow their businesses. It’s time to collaborate to move past the one size fits all model and provide the needs-based support which will enable women to achieve their business growth aspirations. Enabling more women to start up and grow their own business, will create greater gender balance in the business ecosystem – a key ingredient for radical innovation. The status quo lacks diversity and is hampering innovation and competitiveness.

At just 4.7%, the UK trails other nations in terms of the proportional population percentage of women in business. Canada is more than double that level at 13.5% and has just announced a further strategic investment in women’s entrepreneurship in their 2018 Budget. Measures include over $100m to provide gender-specific business support and $1.4bn of specific financing.

Change is coming and it’s time for Scotland to act.

Thank you to everyone who joined our campaign for change. Check out some of the tweets about our campaign here and watch some of the videos we shared below:

Momentum is building and WES is calling time on the status quo and the gender gap in enterprise

More and more women are choosing to start up their own business. Hear how Lynn Mann of Supernature Oils started up a successful rural business #ChangeisComing #PressforProgress

Businesses with diverse leadership teams are more profitable. WES is calling for more gender balanced leadership teams and for more women to lead #ChangeisComing #PressforProgress #IWD2018

Michelle Smith of Value Add Business Solutions benefited from networking when she started up and today her business is well established and providing employment for others

Shelagh Swanson raised money through crowdfunding and started up her artists studio

Role models have inspired Dr Bharti Rajput of SoleBodySoul to aim high as she builds her business and provides employment for others

Our Policy Manager, Anne Meikle says, "If you can’t see it, you can’t measure it". WES calls for better access to gender-disaggregated data to tackle the gender gap in enterprise

There is no shortage of female business talent. WES is calling for women-specific business support to harness that talent and realise the £7.6bn opportunity #ChangeisComing #PressforProgress

It’s time to tackle gender stereotypes and the media has a crucial role to play #PressforProgress #IWD2018 #ChangeisComing

Creating the learning environment where women-owned businesses can thrive helps growth and sustainability

Jeanette Forbes of PCL Group is a serial entrepreneur and talks about the importance of mentoring to enable the next generation of women to achieve their business aspirations

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