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Best of WES in 2021

2021 has been another eventful year, but this Christmas, we want to take the chance to reflect on the moments worth celebrating.

A manifesto for women entrepreneurs:

Drawing from almost a decade of research and frontline practical support, WES provided the government with

5 priorities to recover the missing millions lost to systemic inequality in our economy:

  1. Greater access to finance;

  2. A more gender aware business support structure across Scotland;

  3. Digital inclusion;

  4. Improved data collection;

  5. Investment in the social and care infrastructure.

A month after the release of this manifesto, we were delighted to see the Scottish Government pledge £50m for a national women’s business centre.

Tackling the gender data gap:

WES consistently calls for the use of gender-disaggregated data in policy-making and practical entrepreneurship support. In partnership with mnAI we published data , which highlighted the gender gap in Covid entrepreneurship relief funds.

Read the story here

Putting women at the forefront of policy:

2021 has seen WES Chair and Co-Chair, Lynne Cadenhead and Jackie Brierton, advocate for women’s position in Scotland’s economic recovery, as part of the Advisory Council for Scotland’s Economic Transformation.

We have continued to provide a platform for Scotland’s women entrepreneurs to be heard by policy-makers, holding two sessions of the Women in Enterprise Cross Party Group.

New strides in entrepreneurship education:

Carolyn Currie, WES CEO was announced as Queen Margaret University’s first ever Entrepreneur in Residence. We have begun a series of webinars in partnership with the university, which have been in very high demand. Our Women’s Business Centre continues to grow in membership, as we provide more expert resources for women entrepreneurs.

Innovation in training for women entrepreneurs:

In February our rural business creation programme supported 30 women across the Small Isles, New Cumnock and Liddesdale to start their own businesses.

In April, we partnered with First Sentier, to launch a program matching experienced business guides with women entrepreneurs, providing tailored support to tackle challenges and opportunities in their businesses.

We held two ‘Lead with WES’ programmes, in partnership with Fife Council Economic Development to foster entrepreneurship in the area.

Our Digital Leaders programme saw WES work to boost the leadership skills of women in the male-dominated tech industries at a critical period when the industry becomes increasingly influential.

Role models for women:

We called for women to join our prestigious WES role model Ambassador team. Our Ambassadors help inspire and encourage other women to shape ideas, start up and grow their own business.

Red more here

Growing support for women to start and thrive in business:

We continue to provide even more comprehensive practical support to our growing number of Women's Business Centre members. Our members continue to receive exclusive invites to webinar and events, as well as tailored content for their business needs.

Democratising angel investment:

Mint Ventures, a women-led business angel group has formally launched its investment activities as it finalises its first investment in a Scottish women-led growth company. The women-led business angel investment club has launched in response to research by Women’s Enterprise Scotland , which shows that access to finance remains the number one barrier for women starting and scaling their businesses.

Read more here

We hope to have even more to celebrate in 2022.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from WES!





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