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#WomenWhoLead: Industry first as new Scottish mentoring programme launched for women-led businesses

'Women's Business Mentoring' launched nationwide on 1st June 2017 with some of the most recognisable and successful Scottish businesswomen leading the way. This initiative brings together the connectivity and entrepreneurial spirit of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Network, Women's Enterprise Scotland and Scotland's leading women entrepreneurs: Liz Cameron OBE of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Carolyn Currie of Women's Enterprise Scotland, Jeanette Forbes of PCL Group, Poonam Gupta OBE of PG Paper, Marie Macklin CBE of Macklin Partnerships and Petra Wetzel of WEST Brewery.

‘Women’s Business Mentoring’ will match mentors with mentees to create a self-supporting, collaborative community who understand the specific challenges faced by women in business, whether it is accessing finance, overcoming gender bias or managing family responsibilities alongside a business. A dedicated website will help prospective businesses find a mentor, attend events and access key resources. In addition, women in business can also sign up as mentors: www.womensbusinessmentoring.com

Commenting on the launch of Women's Business Mentoring:

Carolyn Currie, Chief Operating Officer, Women's Enterprise Scotland, said:

“Research shows that women seek out business advice in the form of mentoring and coaching rather than on a consultancy basis and we know there is a clear need for more business women as mentors, since mixed-sex mentoring relationships may not always be of benefit for everyone. Only 20% of Scottish SME’s are majority-led by women, yet we know that if women started businesses at the same rate as men, this would contribute an additional £7.6bn to Scotland’s economy. I am honoured to play a part in this inspiring initiative and I look forward to collaborating and creating a lasting impact for women in business."

Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said:

"Our approach is innovative and fresh and is all about tapping into the talents and experience of successful women entrepreneurs and matching them with ambitious, driven and aspiring women in business. I am delighted to have Scotland's most recognisable and talented business women on board, which reflects the strength of female talent in Scotland, but also our commitment to give back to Scotland, grow our economy and contribute to our local communities."

Petra Wetzel, Entrepreneur & Chief Executive of West Brewery said:

"Anything that can connect women in business and enable growth in their business is good for Scotland and good for the economy. From my experience, having a Mentor in any aspect of your life can add immense value to personal development. I view mentoring as a valuable asset which can bring a wealth of knowledge, experience and insight to a business. I look forward to personally mentoring aspiring women in business and giving back to the business community."

Poonam Gupta OBE, Chief Executive of PG Paper and recipient of Entrepreneur of the Year Award at the Scottish SME Business Awards, said:

"Mentoring is all about collaboration, unlocking ideas and talents that an add value to your business and to your life. For many women in business, these talents and ideas can often be overlooked, holding them back and preventing contributions to our economy. That's why this campaign is so appealing. It's led by women in business and is for women in business. I have seen first-hand how a business mentor can bring new perspectives, new solutions and new techniques to overcoming challenges and enabling success, and I look forward to doing exactly that with Scotland's next generation of women in business."