Government raises support

Funding for women-led businesses doubles

California-bound: Heather McDonald, Rebecca Pick and Polly Van Alstyne (photo by Terry Murden)

Funding to support women-led businesses has been doubled to £120,000, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The funding for business angel group Investing Women, a social enterprise, was confirmed during a meeting with American angel investors in Nicola Sturgeon’s first day of engagements in the US.

Jackie Waring, chief executive of Investing Women, is among the First Minister’s delegation, along with Scottish Enterprise chief executive Lena Wilson.

Investing Women will take seven female CEOs to San Francisco and Silicon Valley as part of their California Mission to meet investors interested in supporting women entrepreneurs.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Our vision is of Scotland as a world-leading entrepreneurial and innovative nation and the government is committed to unleashing the economic potential of women.

“International collaboration like today’s discussion and Investing Women’s California Mission are vital to generate more opportunities for Scottish entrepreneurs and companies.

“Investing Women plays a key role in supporting women to develop their business ideas and helps to connect them with female investors. I’m pleased we have been able to increase their funding so they can continue this important work.

“The partnership between Investing Women and the Scottish Government has already had a positive impact with more than £2 million invested to date in the six companies backed by Investing Women, supporting the creation of 60 new jobs.”

Three female entrepreneurs received an all-expenses paid trip to California after winning a pitching event at the Investing Women Ambition and Growth conference in Edinburgh last month.

Rebecca Pick of Pick Protection, Heather McDonald of WooHa Brewing and Polly Van Alstyne of Scottish Biotechnology took the top prizes at this year’s AccelerateHER competition.

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