Media release: WES welcomes G20 commitments to women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship


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 last week’s 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 per cent 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.”

For further information about Women’s Enterprise Scotland, please contact Gaynor Simpson on 07790 104073 or email


Notes for editors:

  • Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) works to create an entrepreneurial environment where women-led businesses can flourish. WES collaborates with other business support organisations to help close the gender gap in enterprise
  • In 2014, WES developed the Strategic Framework and Action Plan on women’s enterprise in Scotland, the first of its kind in Europe. Known as the ’Scottish model’, this Framework helps lay the foundation for action involving all the key stakeholders in the enterprise eco-system includes areas of focus such as research, mentoring, access to markets and finance, gender specific support and the importance of ambassadors and role models
  • Research shows that women-owned businesses in Scotland contribute £8.8bn into the economy every year and have created over 230,000 jobs [2].

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

[2] ‘Supporting Women’s Enterprise in the UK; the Economic Case’, FSB (2018)

MEDIA RELEASE issued by Vibrant. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on this site. Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

Stay connected with our various twitter feeds: CharitiesDrinkEducationEnergyFashionFilmFoodGardensLegalMotorsMusicOutdoorsPropertyScience and Sports. And not forgetting FinanceTheatreTravelFestivalsVisual ArtsAberdeenDundeeEdinburghGlasgowInvernessPerth and Stirling.

Vibrant contact details…

Contact: Gaynor Simpson
Phone: 07790104073