Scottish Government commits £3m to tackle gender gap in business leadership

Scottish Government commits £3m to tackle gender gap in business leadership

Màiri McAllan

The small proportion of women running companies in Scotland must be addressed as a matter of urgency, Wellbeing Economy Secretary Màiri McAllan has told business leaders.

Addressing Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Business Awards, Ms McAllan said the fact that only just over one-in-five of Scottish small and medium-sized companies were headed by women should “provoke us to act”.

The Small Business Survey Scotland 2022-23 this week reported that 22% of small and medium-sized enterprises are women-led. This is higher than comparable figures for England (18%), Wales (19%) and Northern Ireland (15%).

The Cabinet Secretary reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to address the gender gap with almost £3 million investment over two years.

Speaking a week before International Women’s Day and one year since the publication of Pathways: a new approach for women in entrepreneurship, Ms McAllan said: “There is an enduring gender gap in entrepreneurial participation in Scotland and we must address that.

“Only one in five Scottish businesses are led by women, and start-ups founded by women only receive 2% of investment capital. This should provoke us to act.

“This financial year we awarded £1.3m to 20 programmes across the country through our Pathways Pre-Start Fund with a further £1.5m allocated to further implementation of the Pathways recommendations in the next financial year.

“Scotland should be a great place for us all to do business, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or background.”

Share icon
Share this article: