More self-employed women in Edinburgh than Glasgow

Friday October 26th 2018

Nicola Sturgeon FSB

More women in Edinburgh run their own business than any other mainland Scottish local authority area according to a new analysis from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). But official figures show that Moray has a higher share of women who work for themselves than anywhere else in Scotland.

Ahead of an address from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to a gathering of Scottish small business owners FSB has compiled research revealing Scotland’s female business hotspots. The official figures show that there are 9700 women in Edinburgh who work for themselves, ahead of Glasgow with 7400 self-employed women.

However more than one in ten (10.5%) working age women in Moray are self-employed, a larger share than any other mainland council. Other rural and semi-rural council areas also have high levels of female entrepreneurship. In Dumfries and Galloway the equivalent figure is 10.4 per cent; in Aberdeenshire 8.6 per cent; Argyll and Bute 8.3 per cent; and Angus 8.1 per cent.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These figures illustrate that self-employed women are making a huge contribution to local economies and communities across the country.

“But I also know that being your own boss isn’t easy. That’s why I’m looking forward to speaking to FSB’s annual dinner – to underline smaller firms’ contribution to the Scottish economy and to set out the ways the Scottish Government is giving local firms the best chance of success.”

Official figures show that there are 94,900 self-employed women in Scotland, 5.4 per cent of the working age population. But Scottish men are much more likely to be their own boss than their female counterparts with 183,300 Scottish men self-employed, equivalent to 11 per cent of the working age population.

Research by Women’s Enterprise Scotland shows that women led-businesses contribute more than £5 billion towards the Scottish economy. However if the number of women-led businesses matched those led by men, this figure would increase to £13 billion.

Pearl Hamilton, Moray based business owner and member of FSB’s Scotland policy unit said: “Female entrepreneurship is far higher in rural Scotland than in our cities. That’s not only because people move out to the country to start-up, but also large private and public employers are few and far between in many rural areas.

“Some might be surprised to see Edinburgh pip Glasgow in terms of volume of women in business. Decision-makers in Scotland’s biggest city might need to ask why the Capital is proving to be more attractive to women who want to set out on their own.

“For every woman in business for herself in Scotland, there are two men. That’s not good enough in 2018. At FSB, we’ve made the case to governments north and south of the border for extra support for female business owners. For instance, we’ve argued for extra maternity help for self-employed women and more enterprise education in Scotland’s schools.

“But what we also need to do is celebrate the contribution of women who work for themselves – no matter the scale of their operations. That’s why at our annual dinner we’ve invited fantastic Scottish entrepreneur – and FSB award winner – Kate Davies to talk about her journey. We need to see more of those women that have taken the plunge explaining to others the great rewards that self-employment and business can bring.”

FSB’s analysis has been published ahead of the organisation’s annual dinner – supported by LendingCrowd, Scotland’s only fintech lender – which will take place in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel, on Thursday 15 November. Around 300 small business owners, politicians and key local decision-makers are set to attend, with a small number of tickets still available.

Adrian Innes, Head of Origination at LendingCrowd, said: “Small businesses are the powerhouse of the Scottish economy and FSB Scotland’s Annual Dinner highlights the vital contribution they make across all sectors.

“LendingCrowd exists to help SMEs fulfil their growth ambitions, offering them a fast and flexible alternative to bank borrowing, and we are delighted to support this prestigious event.”

More details about the FSB annual dinner can be found HERE.

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