WES unveils new ‘role model’ ambassadors
Women’s Enterprise Scotland, which works to close the gender gap, has added 35 ‘ambassadors’ who will act as role models to other women looking to start and grow their own business.
The new intake takes the WES Ambassador cohort to more than 70, representing most sectors of the economy.
Carolyn Currie, chief executive, said: “Research consistently shows that visible role models are vital for the development – and aspirations – of women’s businesses.
“Putting it simply, it’s tough to be what you cannot see. Role models help to challenge the gender biases and stereotypes which women come up against on their business journey and provide much needed inspiration to push through obstacles.
“Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that women are able to access the gender specific support they need to start and grow their own businesses.
“The current state of play is allowing billions of pounds to be left on the table that could be contributing to our economy. A gender balanced business ecosystem is crucial to our post pandemic economic recovery and the visible, relatable role models which our Ambassadors represent play a huge part in this.”
Research by the Federation of Small Businesses and Office for National Statistics reveals that the number of women-owned businesses in Scotland is falling, now representing just 14% of SME employer businesses, compared with 20.6% in 2017.
WES produced policy briefs during 2020 demonstrating the disproportionate impact which the Covid-19 pandemic has had on women-owned businesses. Typically being small businesses with limited resources, these businesses were especially vulnerable to the disruption caused by the pandemic.
According to the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, three-quarters of women found managing their businesses stressful during the pandemic, compared to just over half their male peers.
Research published in March 2021 by the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women showed that over 80% of women surveyed (83.8%) reported that the pandemic had a negative impact on their business, while nearly four in ten (38.5%) reported that their business will or may have to close as a result.
New WES Ambassadors
Aileen Boyle, Fortro Ltd
Alison Grieve, G-Hold
Ann-Maree Morrison, Labels4Kids Ltd
Anna Bell, Anna Bell Coaching
Ayse B. Cinar Lowe, To Be The One Coaching
Bayile Adeoti, Dechomai
Carolyn Jones, Anatomical Concepts
Cathy Craig, Argyll & Isles Tourism Co-operative
Charlotte Martin, Tap 2 Pointe & BabyBallet
Christine Esson, Scottish Business Network
Anya Kuenen-Perkins, Hoko Design
Dia Banerji, Imagine Ventures
Anya Kuenen-Perkins, Hoko Design
Dr Claudia M. Duffy, Innovare IP and IP BLOKS
Elaine Baxter, Boutique Innovation Ltd
Erica Moore, eteaket Ltd
Jacine Rutasikwa, Matugga Distillers Ltd
Jane Ireland, Slanj Loch Lomond
Jennifer Macdonald-Nethercott, Strath Communications Ltd
Jing Peng, Bowbridge Properties
Jo Watts, Effini
Julia Latif, Our House of Spice
Juliet Ibhanesebhor, Sap-kreations Ltd
Kate Hooper, StrategyStory
Kerry Cowan, SkillSeeder
Kirsty Thomson, The Circle
Laura Middlemass, Plexus Corp (UK)Ltd
Lesley Landels, Love Scottish
Liberty Bligh, Libertie Consulting
Mary Turner Thomson, The Book Whisperers (CIC)
Rachel Jones, SnapDragon Monitoring Ltd
Rachel Rowley, Ballintaggart
Rowan Morrison, Rationale
Sacha Woolham, The Strategy Collective
Susie Lowe, Susie Lowe Studio