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Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the community interest company which focuses on the contribution women's enterprise makes to the Scottish economy, has welcomed the commitments to progress women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship made by the G20 leaders at the recent summit in Osaka, Japan.

Leaders of the most powerful 20 countries in the world met at the end of June in Osaka for their most important meeting since the summit was first convened to respond to the global financial crisis.

The summit produced the following declaration:

“Gender equality and women’s empowerment are essential for achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth. We reconfirm their importance in all aspects of our policies and as a cross-cutting issue at upcoming Summits.”

“We reaffirm the importance of taking measures to support skills development and provide access to funding to promote women’s entrepreneurship.”

Research undertaken by WES in 2018 for the Federation of Small Businesses found that women-owned businesses in Scotland contribute £8.8bn into the economy every year and have created over 230,000 jobs. These businesses are just 20% of the business base in Scotland, offering significant potential for future growth.

WES was the only Scottish organisation to participate in the T20, the think tank and “ideas bank” of the G20. The T20 Communique was handed to the G20 at the T20 Summit held in Tokyo in May. The Communique contained several recommended actions on women’s economic empowerment, including removing labour market barriers which limit women’s participation, mainstreaming gender in policy making and improving data availability and quality[1].

Anne Meikle, Policy and Parliamentary Manager at Women’s Enterprise Scotland said; “Gender equality and women’s economic empowerment are critical for delivering sustainable growth that is truly inclusive. We must ensure that gender equality thinking is at the heart of economic policy making and economic development if we want to deliver true, meaningful change.”

Lynne Cadenhead, Chair at Women’s Enterprise Scotland commented, “We were honoured to contribute our expertise and work alongside our international colleagues to progress this critical business area. We are delighted that the G20 have acknowledged the importance of women’s entrepreneurship and the need for improved support for women entrepreneurs. At WES we have an ambition for women-owned businesses and we look forward to further targeted action from the G20 nations and at home here in Scotland, to provide women with the dedicated support and resources they need to achieve their business potential and aspirations.

She continued; “It is very timely indeed that as the G20 places women’s empowerment at the heart of inclusive growth, Scotland is again leading the way with the Scottish Government’s recent acceptance of recommendations from the National Advisory Council for Women and Girls to drive forward gender equality. From education to visibility in public life, access to justice and parental leave, this bold agenda will do much to help unlock the untapped economic potential of women and girls across the country.”

[1] Communique, T20 Summit 2019, Tokyo, Japan




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