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Pathways Forward Programme Launched to Drive Female Entrepreneurship

In a bid to increase female participation in entrepreneurship, Ana Stewart has launched the Pathways Forward programme, and is set to add a member’s charter and advisory board later this year.

The launch follows the publication of the Scottish Government-commissioned Pathways: A New Approach to Women in Entrepreneurship report in February, which was undertaken to help transform gender equality in entrepreneurship.

Stewart, the report’s chair and co-author, explained: “Pathways Forward is the culmination of the ongoing and widespread engagement and genuine appetite from across the ecosystem to see transformational change in Scotland’s entrepreneurial landscape.

“It has been exciting to see such momentum, facilitating collaboration, and joining the dots to ensure the recommendations outlined in the report are driven forward.

“Alongside the panel events we have been running this year, we will be implementing a number of other initiatives aimed at creating a forum for like-minded ecosystem stakeholders.

“This will include a member’s charter, where organisations can align themselves with our ethos and ambitions. Collectively, we now need to create the right environment to enable all stakeholders to embrace the opportunities, stand up and be counted to drive change.”

In June, the Scottish Government pledged £17.5 million toward Scotland’s startup economy, including to support one of the Stewart Report’s main recommendations: creating mobile pop-ups around Scotland to develop a network of ‘pre-start’ centres, making it easier for women to access entrepreneurial pathways.

Stewart added: “Cabinet Secretary Neil Gray and the Scottish Government have made clear they are committed, and we look forward to them continuing to support recommendations that can move the dial on both societal and economic terms.

“With the pre-start centres, the focus is now on powering up around the country, and connecting with all the great organisations that are already out there nationwide.”

Mark Logan, the chief entrepreneurial advisor to the Scottish Government, and co-author of the Pathways report, commented: “The Pathways report calls for nothing less than a transformation in how we think about and address the gender imbalance within entrepreneurship.

“This will only happen if the report’s recommendations are owned and taken forward by the whole entrepreneurial community.

“Pathways Forward is both the rallying point for that shared ownership, and the clarion call for real and sustained progress.”

Hazel Jane has recently been appointed as the project lead for Pathways Forward. Jane was formerly an entrepreneurship engagement manager with Tech Nation, and brings further experience from roles with Amiqus, FutureX, Turing Fest, and Krucial.

Source: DIGIT

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