First minister Nicola Sturgeon says she’s backing a ground-breaking conference which will accelerate the growth and scalability of women-led companies in Scotland.
She’s getting behind Scotland’s first ever Ambition and Growth Conference, which will be held in Edinburgh by Investing Women angels on March 7 and 8, 2016.
She’ll give a speech at the two-day event where she’ll also announce the winner of Accelerate Her, the country’s first pitch-style competition solely for women.
Annabelle Ewing, Scottish Government minister for Youth and Women’s Employment, said: “The Scottish Government believes that supporting more women to set up and succeed in business is an economic priority and is committed to closing the gender-gap in enterprise. Through Scotland CAN DO we have brought together public, private and third sectors to shape a support network to nurture women-led enterprises.
“It is inspiring to see the dedication of Investing Women, Scotland launching its inaugural Ambition and Growth Conference 2016 and I hope the two day event will encourage even more women entrepreneurs to realise their full potential.”
The conference also has the support of Standard Life as the headline sponsor.
Stephen Ingledew, managing director, Customer and Marketing, Standard Life commented: “We’re delighted to be headline sponsor of Investing Women’s Ambition and Growth Conference in 2016.
“We work with many SMEs and entrepreneurial business owners, and understand the important contribution they make and the challenges they often face. A growing number of SMEs are led by women, and women represented 35% of early stage entrepreneurs in the UK in 2014. This inspiring conference is a great opportunity for us to support our community of women investors and business owners, and see even more succeed.”
Jackie Waring, CEO and founder of Investing Women Angels, which is Scotland’s only female business angel group, said:
“Scotland has a deep pool of talented women brimming with brilliant ideas but for a variety of reasons only a fraction realise their full potential.
“Our inaugural Investing Women Ambition and Growth conference aims to address this unhealthy paradox and showcase these talented women who can create job opportunities, create wealth and make Scotland a better place to live and work.
“The Scottish Government has been a strong supporter of Investing Women’s drive to harness the huge potential of female angels, supporting women entrepreneurs, and we are delighted the First Minister will be our keynote speaker at the conference dinner and present the winning entrepreneur in March.”
The Accelerate Her competition, which will be run in partnership with Bright Red Triangle – Edinburgh Napier University’s entrepreneurial hub and sponsored by accountancy firm Chiene + Tate – will culminate in six finalists being invited to Dynamic Earth event to make their business case to some of the country’s most successful female entrepreneurs and business leaders.
Entrants will be asked to submit a one-minute video pitch via a dedicated YouTube channel, which will persuade the judges that their business and ambitious plans have real growth and investor potential.
Those who register will access free professional pitch advice and webinar training, with the finalists also accessing 1:1 coaching to harness their creativity and improve their presentation style.