WES launches online Women’s Business Centre to help budding entrepreneurs

Women’s Enterprise Scotland has launched a digital platform to help women at the pre-start-up and start-up stage of their business journey.

The resource offers dedicated, needs-based content for women starting up in business. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.
The resource offers dedicated, needs-based content for women starting up in business. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto.

The Women’s Business Centre is backed by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Back Her Business, and offers dedicated, needs-based content for women starting up in business.

The free resource provides support on topics such as accessing finance, juggling work-life balance, support networks, mentoring and having start-up ideas taken seriously. There is business guidance alongside tips from women who have started businesses all over Scotland, including rural locations and remote island communities.

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There has never been a greater need for this kind of support for women, says WES boss Currie. Picture: Malcolm Cochrane Photography.

WES chief executive Carolyn Currie said: “A number of studies have already identified women as one of the groups worst-affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. At a time when many women may not return to the jobs they once held, starting up a business can ensure women utilise their skills and play a leading role in Scotland’s economy.”

WES also cited the Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education finding that mothers are 47 per cent more likely to have permanently lost their job or quit since the start of the crisis, for example. WES also noted that the launch of the centre comes in the wake of a report by the Scottish Government led by Benny Higgins, which has called for new borrowing powers to plough £6 billion into the Covid-19 recovery.

Susan Fouquier, MD of business banking at RBS, flagged how last year’s Rose Review, led by RBS chief executive Alison Rose, highlighted the disparity between male and female entrepreneurs and the £250bn in untapped potential for the UK economy.

Fouquier added that RBS is pleased to “help address some of the unique challenges faced by Scottish female-led businesses, helping maximise their potential and offer the support to give others the confidence to ask for more and turn their ideas into a reality”.

WES Ambassador Jo Macsween, former chief executive of Macsween Haggis, welcomed the launch of the centre, describing it as a “very welcome” resource, and stating: “I am looking forward to seeing the creation of a new generation of women business-owners who will be inspired and supported by the Women’s Business Centre to unlock their potential and play a vital part in reviving Scotland’s economy.”

Currie concluded: “With Scotland facing an uphill struggle towards economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, there has never been a greater need to provide expert, needs-based business support for women. By creating a more diverse, gender balanced business landscape, we will be able to take Scotland into a new era of business growth.”

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