First Minister Nicola Sturgeon addresses IWD Flagship Event in Edinburgh

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon launches Business Gateway Edinburgh’s first Women in Business (WIB) Growth Programme on International Women’s Day at Edinburgh's City Chambers.

The International Women’s Day Flagship Event, hosted by award-winning presenter and producer Zara Janjua, is designed to celebrate women in business and highlight their significant contribution to the economy, featuring presentations and panel discussions with some of the city’s most entrepreneurial and inspiring women, sharing their business success stories and expertise.

The aim of the WIB Growth Programme is to support and help women to grow their business and develop the necessary skills in areas including pitching for investment and leadership strategy and to ensure they are connected to the right sources of help and advice throughout their journey.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The new growth programme being launched on International Women’s Day by Business Gateway Edinburgh will help more women set up and succeed in business.

“By encouraging and supporting women to create and grow businesses, we can create not only a fairer economy but a stronger one. I look forward to hearing some of the success stories and celebrating the work of women in business at the event.”

One of the speakers, Alice Thompson, co-founder of Social Bite, will be talking about her role in setting up the national-scale social enterprise, which has grown from five employees to 100 in the last five years.

She said: “I am absolutely delighted to be asked to speak at this fantastic event to celebrate female entrepreneurs in the city on International Women’s Day and really looking forward to being in the same room as so many incredibly ambitious and inspiring women and sharing stories of our business journeys.”

Business Gateway Edinburgh

Susan Harkins, Head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be opening our event on International Women’s Day, which is a celebration of the outstanding achievements of businesswomen in the city and their input into the economy and launching our new WIB Growth Programme.

“Attendees will hear stories from inspiring entrepreneurs, sharing best practices and advice about starting up and growing a business and also learn more the WIB Growth Programme, designed to help entrepreneurs to maximise the potential of their existing business and formulate strategies for development and growth.”

Lynne Cadenhead, Chair of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, which helps female entrepreneur’s start-up and grow their companies, is also a speaker. Lynne has founded a number of businesses, served on over 30 boards and has worked with a wide portfolio of technology companies. She is also the first Chairwoman of Touch Bionics, the world’s leading upper limb prosthetics company sold in 2016 for £27.5 million.

Also speaking on the day is Councillor Kate Campbell, Housing and Economy Convener, said: “Women are a driving force in Scotland’s economy and culture and nowhere is that clearer than in Edinburgh.

“Throughout history, female academics, writers, medics, artists, business owners and experts have shaped and influenced their fields and there are an incredible number of women in business doing just that today. We should celebrate these achievements and support even more women to take the next step up in their careers. 

“Edinburgh is the most thriving city in the UK outside of London, but the true measure of our economy lies in our ability to make business and industry fair. Everyone should be able to access and benefit from its success and improved gender equality should be key to this.

“The new growth programme created Business Gateway Edinburgh is a great way to make this happen. I’m really looking forward to hearing from inspiring individuals who are shaping our city through their entrepreneurial ideas and businesses. These are the women to watch.”

Learn more about the event here.


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