AccelerateHER, the sister organisation of Scotland’s first all-female angel investment group Investing Women Angels, said that since it launched its Awards programme in 2015, the number of female founders raising investment north of the Border has increased by 400 per cent, with finalists raising a collective £34.5 million and creating around 375 jobs.
It added that through its alliance with Scottish Enterprise, it will extend its existing support programme to benefit up to 63 additional female-founded companies across Scotland through a range of growth-focused initiatives.
These include additional places for female company founders on international market-building missions. The first of these, being staged as a virtual trade mission, will take participants to Berlin in December with a follow-up to the US planned for early 2022.
The programme will also feature a number of "money can’t buy” sessions connecting aspiring Scottish female company founders with leading business figures. Over recent years AccelerateHER has staged similar events with the likes of Jim McColl, chief executive of Clyde Blowers Capital, and Susan Preston, the US’s “First Lady” of female business angels.
The launch of the new partnership follows research showing that equalling the rate of women-led businesses to those headed by men would boost the Scottish economy by £7.6 billion.
Scottish Enterprise said the tie-up furthers its commitment to gender equality and adds to its existing initiatives to help “disruptive, sustainable and inclusive” female-led businesses in Scotland with high-growth potential.
Victoria Carmichael, director of strategic investments at the organisation – Scotland's national economic development agency – said: “AccelerateHER is well-connected and highly regarded and has a formidable track record in helping female-led companies scale for growth, secure investment, and access international markets. We look forward to working together to help these businesses fulfil their ambitions while inspiring other women on their business development journey.”
AccelerateHER chief executive Jackie Waring said the new partnership with Scottish Enterprise "now means we can support more female founders through our established mentoring programmes and global, market-building missions”.
She added: “We’re excited to be extending our services to benefit Scotland’s top female-led businesses to help them maximise their full global potential.”