New platform to support women-led startups
Carolyn Currie: ‘women may not return to the jobs they once held’
Women’s Enterprise Scotland has launched a digital platform designed to support women at the pre start-up and start-up stage of their business journey.
Supported by Royal Bank of Scotland Back Her Business, the free to access digital Women’s Business Centre offers dedicated, needs-based content for women starting up in business.
It provides support on key topics such as accessing finance, juggling work-life balance, support networks, mentoring and having business start-up ideas taken seriously.
There is business guidance alongside practical tips from women who have already started up businesses from all over Scotland, ranging from city centres to rural locations and remote island communities.
WES chief executive Carolyn Currie said; “A number of studies have already identified women as one of the groups worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“At a time when many women may not return to the jobs they once held, starting up a business can ensure women utilise their skills and play a leading role in Scotland’s economy.”
The Institute for Fiscal Studies and the UCL Institute of Education recently reported that mothers are 47% more likely to have permanently lost their job or quit and 14% were more likely to have been furloughed since the start of the crisis.
Sectors which have been hardest hit by the pandemic include hospitality, retail, travel and personal care such as hairdressing and beauty, all of which employ significant numbers of female workers.
The launch of the Women’s Business Centre comes as gross domestic product (GDP) figures indicate that Scotland is heading towards a recession, following a GDP decline of 5% in March was followed by an 18.9% drop in April.
It also comes in the wake of a recommendations by the Scottish Government’s Advisory Group on Economic Recovery, led by Benny Higgins, which include a focus on flexible working.
It says there is a need to ensure people experiencing inequalities are given the opportunity to actively participate in decision making, investment in digital platforms for business support and the creation of a wellbeing economy in Scotland.