The independent review commissioned by Kate Forbes MSP prior to going on maternity leave was launched this week by the First Minister at Bute House.
The aim of the review was to “identify ways to unlock potential, close the gender gap and boost Scotland’s economy”.
The review was led by Ana Stewart, partner at Eos Advisory and Non-Executive Director at the Scottish Football Association, and co-authored by Mark Logan, Scotland’s Chief Entrepreneur. They were assisted by Judy Wagner, co-founder of FWB Park Brown, who led the research into the Education sector; Gemma Hamilton of BGF, whose focus was on the Investment sector; and Jackie Waring of AccelerateHer who researched the area of advice and support.
Ana Stewart said the review revealed “that women face many significant barriers to entrepreneurship” and a need to “dramatically increase female participation rates”.
“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.”
Judy Wagner’s research into the education sector revealed that Entrepreneurial Education is largely not present in Scotland, and consequently one of the recommendations of the report is that this should be integrated within Scotland’s education system as a key factor in addressing these issues.
At the launch event, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, said “The review’s findings are challenging but underline the need to tackle the root-causes, as well as the immediate barriers, of this inequality.”
She added “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 First Minister concluded that The Scottish Government would respond quickly to the review as a whole, and its recommendations.
A copy of the review can be accessed on the Scottish Government’s website here.