Business Women Scotland Awards
Butcher to call for more collaboration
Jessica Butcher: call for collaboration (photo by Terry Murden)
Jessica Butcher, co-founder of technology firm Blippar, will make a call for widespread collaboration across the enterprise ecosystem at this year’s Business Women Scotland Awards.
During her keynote speech, the tech entrepreneur, who co-founded Blippar in 2011, will make a call for more deliberate collaboration across enterprise agencies and the private sector to encourage more women to start their own businesses.
Blippar has hundreds of staff across a network of international offices and uses augmented reality, machine learning and artificial intelligence to bring the physical world to life through smartphones and wearables.
Butcher is being joined by by Virgin Money CEO Jayne-Anne Gadhia, who will deliver an address to an audience of more than 300 of Scotland’s leading business women via videolink.
Mrs Gadhia is the author of Empowering Productivity: Harnessing the Talents of Women in Financial Services and the catalyst for the Women in Finance Charter, a pledge for gender balance across financial services. Signing the Charter is a commitment by HM Treasury and signatory firms to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry.
The Business Women Scotland Awards will take place on 26 October at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow and are being held for the first time in association with Women’s Enterprise Scotland, the not-for-profit Community Interest Company (CIC) which focuses on the contribution women’s enterprise makes to the Scottish economy.
Jessica Butcher, co-founder and non-executive director of Blippar, said: “Collaboration is a smart business strategy. If the economy and society are going to benefit from more women launching and growing their own businesses, we need to take a hard look at the support systems currently in place and ensure they work in a cohesive, collaborative manner.
“Partnerships can help drive growth, generate opportunities and provide a much-needed network of supporters to help business leaders through their journey. We also need more female role models to inspire and encourage women to go into enterprise. Events such as the BWS and WES Awards are a great way of giving these role models visibility and a voice.”
Jayne-Anne Gadhia: need for diversity
Mrs Gadhia added: “I am delighted to be involved in honouring the achievements of business women from throughout Scotland.
“We need diversity in business to reflect our society and to be innovative, creative and relevant. I was privileged to be asked to review the progress of women in senior managerial roles in financial services on behalf of HM Treasury and I am delighted with the support it has received.
“Over 141 firms covering over 560,000 people are now covered by the Women in Finance Charter – equal to over half of the employees in the financial services sector.
“There is more to be done but I am very pleased with the progress so far – creating the right culture for both women and men to flourish not only powers productivity and business performance, it is quite simply the right thing to do.”
The awards honour the achievements of business women from throughout Scotland, whether as an employer, employee, sole trader or in the third sector.
Lynne Kennedy, managing editor of Business Women Scotland magazine, said: “We are excited to be celebrating the outstanding female talent that we have in the Scottish business world.
“We believe the awards are essential in highlighting the important part that women play in Scotland’s economic growth and the difference that they can make within both their local communities and representing the country on an international level.
“If you know of an inspiring woman in business, this is where they can be recognised for their hard work and dedication.:
Carolyn Currie, chief operating officer at Women’s Enterprise Scotland, said: “No nation can afford to restrict its pool of talent when seeking to grow productivity and competitiveness. Diversity powers innovation and creates a vibrant and prosperous economy.
“At the Awards we will highlight the achievements of the growing numbers of women-led businesses in Scotland and create a range of accessible role models to inspire more women to achieve their business aspirations.
“Currently, just 20% of SMEs in Scotland are majority owned by women, yet if women started businesses at the same rate as men, this would contribute an additional minimum contribution of £7.6bn to Scotland’s economy.”
The awards are sponsored by a range of organisations, including Nucleus Financial, Business Gateway, The Federation of Small Businesses, Royal Bank of Scotland and Grand Central Hotel.
Commenting on the Awards, David Ferguson, CEO of Nucleus Financial Group said: “We founded Nucleus through a desire to innovate and put clients first.
“We believed that the application of technology could deliver a more cost effective and transparent proposition for investors. Eleven years on those principles still hold good and our business continues to grow.
“Fin-tech is a relatively new sector of the Scottish economy and we hope that access to role models such as Jessica and Jayne-Anne will encourage more women to join the industry. We are delighted to be supporting the awards.”
Susan Harkins, chairman of the National Business Gateway operations committee ,said; “Our records show that in the past year women represented 49% of all those accessing the Business Gateway service. It is good to see more and more women starting their own business and capitalising on their skills and talents. We look forward to seeing those businesses sustain and grow over the coming years. Diversifying and strengthening the business base in Scotland.”
Janet Torley, Scottish policy committee vice chairman at The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), said: “As Scotland’s largest business organisation, FSB represent an ever growing number of women-led businesses. In the past year, we have launched our Women in Enterprise taskforce and campaigned for the self-employed to be given additional maternity pay.
“Women entrepreneurship makes a huge contribution to the economy adding jobs and economic growth as well as creating a more diverse and representative small business community. We are incredibly proud to once again be sponsoring the Awards.”
Yvonne Greeves, national head of women in business at Royal Bank of Scotland said: “We recognise that women face specific challenges when starting and growing a business and we offer our customers the choice of a Woman in Business specialist Business Banking Manager. In addition to providing support on banking needs, our Specialist staff assist with networking and identifying events to help with start-up and growth.
“The Awards play a critical part in creating more role models and marking the many achievements of Scotland’s businesswomen.”
Award categories include: Best Use of Social Media, Business of the Year, Employer of the Year, Growth Business of the Year, Mentor and Mentee of the Year, Start Up of the Year, International Growth of the Year and Business Woman of the Year.
The independent judging panel are looking for women who have made an impact in their industry through innovation, best practice and delivering outstanding results within their business.