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First Minister backs campaign

Conference for growth gets a woman’s touch

Susie Logan, Jackie Waring, Stephen IngledewA new campaign to support female entrepreneurs will today get the backing of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Investing Women Angels, Scotland’s only female business angel group, will launch its inaugural Ambition and Growth Conference, which will take place in Edinburgh from 7-8 March.

The two-day event also boasts Scotland’s first ever pitch competition dedicated to women entrepreneurs – Accelerate Her.  The First Minister will announce the winner of Accelerate Her after her keynote speech at Edinburgh Castle.

Annabelle Ewing, Scottish Government Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, said: “The Scottish Government believes that supporting more women to set up and succeed in business is an economic priority and is committed to closing the gender-gap in enterprise. Through Scotland CAN DO we have brought together public, private and third sectors to shape a support network to nurture women-led enterprises.

“It is inspiring to see the dedication of Investing Women, Scotland launching its inaugural Ambition and Growth Conference 2016 and I hope the two day event will encourage even more women entrepreneurs to realise their full potential.”

The conference also has the support of Standard Life.

Stephen Ingledew, managing director, customer and marketing at Standard Life, said: “We work with many SMEs and entrepreneurial business owners, and understand the important contribution they make and the challenges they often face.

“A growing number of SMEs are led by women, and women represented 35% of early stage entrepreneurs in the UK in 2014. This inspiring conference is a great opportunity for us to support our community of women investors and business owners, and see even more succeed.”

Launching the conference and Accelerate Her competition, Jackie Waring, chief executive and founder of Investing Women, said: “Scotland has a deep pool of talented women brimming with brilliant ideas but for a variety of reasons only a fraction realise their full potential.

“Our inaugural Investing Women Ambition and Growth conference aims to address this unhealthy paradox and showcase these talented women who can create job opportunities, create wealth and make Scotland a better place in which to live and work.

“The Scottish Government has been a strong supporter of Investing Women’s drive to harness the huge potential of female angels, supporting women entrepreneurs, and we are delighted the First Minister will be our keynote speaker at the conference dinner and present the winning entrepreneur in March.”

Run in partnership with Bright Red Triangle – Edinburgh Napier University’s entrepreneurial hub – the ‘Accelerate Her’ competition will culminate in six finalists being invited to the Dynamic Earth event to make their business case to some of the country’s most successful female entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Entrants will be asked to submit a one-minute video pitch via a dedicated YouTube channel, which will persuade the highly experienced judges that their business and ambitious plans have real growth and investor potential. All those who register will access free professional pitch advice and webinar training, with the finalists also accessing 1:1 coaching to harness their creativity and improve their presentation style.

Accountants Chiene + Tate are sponsoring Accelerate Her.

Photo: Susie Logan, head of business marketing and communications; Jackie Waring, Investing Women CEO; ,Stephen Ingledew, managing director, Marketing and Customers at Standard Life 

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