Professors Eleanor Shaw and Sara Carter spoke to the group over a wonderful dinner at Cromlix House. Also present were Christine Krcmar and her partner Burk, from our German affiliated group the Verband deutscher Unternehmerinnen (VdU). Fiona and Ann-Maree invited Christine over to Scotland when at the International FCEM forum in Rome last year and she was delighted to be able to combine the visit with a holiday around Scotland!
Ann-Maree and Sara Carter gave an introduction on the work being done by both of them on WIE (Women in Enterprise Action Group), representing BAWE Scotland and BAWE UK, and Strathclyde University respectively. The WIE is a group set up by the Scottish Government with the aim of advancing entrepreneurship for women and scaling female owned and led businesses in the UK to grow GDP. This is an aim of all G20 countries also at present and Sara gave some really interesting statistics on the very small number of women who reach account management stage in business, supported by Scottish Enterprise, as opposed to the 49% of business startups ran by women. This indicates that something really does need to be done to help women get the right advice, access to funding, and be taken seriously, like our BAWE members, on the Scottish and indeed the world stage.
Eleanor spoke around the table on the types of things that are done in the Growth Advantage Programme and the networking and speakers that can help inspire you to grow your business even further. Ann-Maree Morrison of Labels4Kids and Gillian Crawford of Lily Blanche, our Chair and Vice Chair are funding their own attendance this year to try this course. Several at dinner had successfully attended also and found the course instrumental to growth of their businesses. We hope that more will be able to fund their way to attnd the course in future.