Supporting women in entrepreneurship

Report identifies 31 ways to reduce gender gap and boost economy.

The Scottish Government will carefully consider proposals to support more women into entrepreneurship, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said following publication of a wide-ranging independent review.

Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship was commissioned by the Scottish Government to identify ways to unlock untapped potential, close the gender gap and boost Scotland’s economy.

The review – led by Ana Stewart, an entrepreneur and investor, and co-authored with Mark Logan, chief entrepreneur to the Scottish Government – makes 31 recommendations. The steps include:

  • providing start-up training and support in a range of pop-up locations to help more women, and other primary care givers, access services
  • integrating entrepreneurial education into schools and further education
  • clarifying existing access pathways into entrepreneurship
  • improving access to start-up and growth finance
  • tracking and measuring progress towards full representation in entrepreneurship

Commenting on the report,  First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“I welcome Ana Stewart and Mark Logan’s work in delivering a powerful review of the barriers facing women in entrepreneurship in Scotland and presenting a compelling set of recommendations aimed at removing them.

“The review’s findings are challenging but underline the need to tackle the root-causes, as well as the immediate barriers, of this inequality.

“Fully realising the entrepreneurial potential of women in Scotland will not only promote greater equality in our society, it will also deliver significant benefits for the economy. 

“The Scottish Government will respond quickly to the review as a whole, and its recommendations.”

Review chair Ana Stewart said:

“This review has, through a combination of extensive stakeholder engagement and robust data analysis, revealed that women face many significant barriers to entrepreneurship.

“Only one in five businesses in Scotland are female-led, while start-ups founded by women received only 2% of overall investment capital in the last five years. By taking a root cause and effect approach, our recommendations focus on dramatically increasing female participation rates to drive a vibrant and fairer entrepreneurial economy.”

The First Minister welcomed the publication of the review on a visit to Roslin Innovation Centre, where she met Ishani Malhotra, Chief Executive of Carcinotech, and Dr Kate Cameron, who founded Cytochroma.


Read the review report, Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship.


Media enquiries

Back to top