Earlier this week during parliamentary questions on Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, Anne McTaggart MSP asked the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism, Fergus Ewing MSP what specific measures the Scottish Government has taken to increase the concerning gender gap in business start-up rates between men and women.
“In raising this issue with the Scottish Government, I had expected the Minister to acknowledge the importance of encouraging more women to establish and lead small businesses in their own communities.
“However, I was both surprised and disappointed by the complacent response from the Minister on this occasion. Research from Women’s Enterprise Scotland has shown that in Scotland, only 21% of the 343,000 small and medium enterprises are run by women. It is thought that this gender imbalance could be costing our nation up to 13 billion pounds every year.
“In his response, the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism did not detail one specific measure the Government has taken to encourage women to start their own businesses, and I remain concerned that we could be doing more to capitalise on the entrepreneurial potential of Scotland’s women”.
Ms McTaggart has now lodged a written question in the Parliament on the same issue, seeking to clarify what direct action has been taken by the Scottish Government to support more women into self-employment.
You can watch the relevant Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth question time below. Ms McTaggart’s question can be seen here from 39.25.
Ms McTaggart’s subsequent written question to the Scottish Government can be read here.