Media release: Event on women’s enterprise to put Scotland’s economy under the microscope


AS women continue to be impacted by Covid19 [1], Women’s Business Centre – run by Women’s Enterprise Scotland – and the FSB are joining forces during Global Entrepreneurship Week to host a Q&A webinar session with Kate Forbes MSP on the future of female entrepreneurship.

The webinar will take place on 18 November at 13:30 – ‘Women’s Wednesday’ – and brings together the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes MSP, with Sara Roberts, founder of Healthy Nibbles, and Cecilia Grigor, founder of Planit Scotland, to discuss the issues facing women business leaders in Scotland.

Places can be booked at

The panel will be chaired by Women’s Business Centre founder and chief executive of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Carolyn Currie, who will be putting questions direct to Ms Forbes for the first 30 minutes of the event.

Commenting on the event, Carolyn Currie (pictured), said: “It’s time to harness all of our skills and talents as we build back a better, stronger economy following the devastation which the Covid19 pandemic has wrought across the world.

“Gender diversity is a driver of radical, step change innovation; however, in Scotland, women-owned businesses are just c20 per cent of the business base.

“Until we close the gender gap in enterprise participation, we are effectively leaving billions of pounds of economic potential lying on the table. We need to take concerted action to tap into this potential so I am looking forward to chairing a lively discussion on such an important topic.”

Ms Forbes is the first women to hold the post of Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the first women to deliver a Budget in Scotland.

The event is being held at a time where women-owned businesses have been hit hard by the pandemic.

Many women work in the sectors at greatest risk and as a result of the pandemic, have increasingly found themselves sandwiched between work and caring commitments [2].

A review of support during the pandemic being made available from the UK Futures Fund for scale-up businesses affected by Covid19 found that just 1.3 per cent of the £236m fund was received by all-female founding teams [3].

A report published by the FSB in 2018 – ‘Supporting Women’s Enterprise in the UK: The Economic Case’ – showed that women-owned businesses in Scotland contribute an estimated £8.8bn GVA to the Scottish economy, an increase of 76 per cent from £5bn GVA in 2012.

Scotland’s women-owned businesses are responsible for creating 231k Scottish jobs, up from 153k in 2012. Across the UK, a quarter of private sector employment (23.85 per cent) is now calculated to be generated by women-owned and women-led businesses.

Pearl Hamilton, FSB national councillor, said: “Up and down Scotland, women in business are grappling with the widespread economic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But it will be these same business leaders that will be vital to getting the country back on its feet.

“During this week’s event, we’ll be talking about how we can harness the potential of female entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and the recovery. We’ll also be developing new ideas about creating a more diverse and representative business community. The event is open to any woman with an interest in these issues, and we want all sectors and geographies to take part.”

To find out more about the webinar or to book a place, visit


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

For further information about the FSB, please contact Laura McElvie, on 07595 284292 or email

Notes for editors:

  • Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) was established in 2011 as a not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) which focuses on the contribution women’s enterprise makes to the Scottish economy.
  • As an expert body, WES advises and informs external partners and advocates for gender-specific enterprise support. The organisation seeks to influence policy-makers and opinion formers to recognise the significant contribution women-led businesses could make to the Scottish economy.
  • The new Women’s Business Centre digital platform ( was funded by Royal Bank of Scotland’s Back Her Business and provides a free to access resource for women at the pre start-up and early start-up business stages.
  • As experts in business, FSB offers members a wide range of vital business services, including advice, financial expertise, support and a powerful voice in Government. Its aim is to help smaller businesses achieve their ambitions.

[1] Vienna University of Economics and Business (2020)

[2] Institute of Fiscal Studies (2020)

[3] Ref 3 Futures Fund Diversity Report, British Business Bank (2020)

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