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Success for women-led enterprises

Pitch winners prepare for Berlin and Dubai missions

AccelerateHER screen

Winners: Corien Staels of Staels Design, Rachel Jones of Snapdragon and Lina Gasiunaite of Biotangents (pic: Terry Murden)


 

Three women-led enterprises each won a free place on a trade mission to Dubai or Berlin to showcase their business after triumphing in this year’s pitching contest organised by the Investing Women angel syndicate.

Biotangents, Staels Design and Snapdragon picked up the prize from 68 entrants to this year’s AccelerateHER Awards, reduced to a shortlist of eight.

Edinburgh-based SnapDragon Monitoring  monitors on-line markets for IP infringements. Life sciences business Biotangents is a developer of a diagnostics system for infectious livestock diseases, based in Midlothian. Glasgow firm Staels Design has created an air filtration system for wheelchair users. 

GameDr, run by Dr Carla Brown, was named Rising Star.

The three winners will have an opportunity to meet key industry contacts and investors Berlin or Dubai, and build their understanding of how best to target these and other global markets. 

Now in their fourth year, the AccelerateHER Awards are sponsored by Barclays and global IT and business support services provider CGI. To date, more than 500 businesswomen have joined the community.

Jackie Waring, CEO of Investing Women said: “All of the finalists demonstrated the immense entrepreneurial achievements of women across Scotland. We are pleased to offer our support as they seek to grow their businesses. 

“Participants from the four years we’ve run the competition have now gone on to secure nearly £11m of investment since getting involved in the programme.” 

RBS launches crowdfunding for women

Royal Bank of Scotland is supporting a new crowdfunding programme for female entrepreneurs across Scotland.

The programme, entitled ‘Back Her Business’, has been developed in partnership with established provider Crowdfunder and forms part of the bank’s wider ambition to reduce the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

The crowdfunding programme forms parts of the bank’s wider commitment to help, inspire and support a further 400,000 female-led businesses across the UK by 2025.

Crowdfunder will provide the infrastructure and access to its wider network of partners and entrepreneurs, with the bank acting as a connector and enabler. Though most of the funding will come from ‘the crowd’ the bank will provide a top-up in funding of £1m per annum across the UK and will be offering up to 50% of an individual’s fundraising target (capped at £5,000) for certain successful projects.

The initiative will not be equity crowdfunding, it will be donation and reward based so funders will be given a discount towards products or services in return for their donation in some instances.

According to the Rose Review, conducted by RBS executive Alison Rose, if women started businesses at the same rate as men, it would add £250 billion to the UK economy, a figure equivalent to four years’ of natural GVA growth.

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