Project to boost armed forces partners in business

Unlocking the entrepreneurial talent of wives and partners of armed forces members is the aim of a business-creation project launched by Women's Enterprise Scotland (WES).

From left: WES chief operating officer Carolyn Currie, Aimee King and her daughter Sophia, unit welfare officer Scott Shaw and Sam Craig with Aimee's daughter Emily. Aimee and Sam plan to start their own business, running the cafe at Scots Corner Community Centre. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane

The free ten-week course starts in August, backed by about £20,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant, and will be delivered by WES, supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, Business Gateway, the Army Families Federation and HIVE, the information network for all members of the service community.

The initiative hopes to help up to 70 spouses and partners receive support from WES “to generate a business idea, meet other like-minded women, and benefit from ongoing connections within the local business community”.

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WES chief executive Margaret Gibson said: “We want this project to serve as a pilot scheme in unlocking the talents of more women, with a view to rolling it out with the support of our partners and stakeholders throughout Scotland.

“We know that if the number of women-led businesses in Scotland increased to equal those of men, our national bank balance would be at least 5 per cent better off. That’s equivalent to a £7.6 billion boost to the economy.”