Female firms tracked in new Scottish business index

Business woman Research has indicated that the majority of female business owners would like to grow their companies

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A new research project has been launched to find out more about women entrepreneurs in Scotland.

A new index will give details of growth patterns in women-led enterprises to help organisations and policy makers encourage new and existing entrepreneurs.

The index is supported by RBS and the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship.

There are 80,000 women registered as self-employed in Scotland, including 60,000 registered businesses.

A recent survey by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills suggested that more than 60% of women business owners would like to grow their companies.

The project will be coordinated and hosted by Women's Enterprise Scotland (WES).

Jackie Brierton from WES said: "We aim to have a minimum of 6,000 women-owned businesses on the database within the next 18 months, which represents 10% of the estimated Scottish total.

"This will allow regular surveying, opinion-gathering on critical issues and high-level monitoring of trends."

More in-depth information including profitability, turnover and employment numbers will be gathered from 200 businesses.

A report into the state of women's enterprise in Scotland will be published twice a year.

Carolyn Currie, head of women in business for RBS, commented: "Simply, our goal is to encourage more women to start up and grow businesses, and understanding how we do this better is vital to future economic growth.

"We are delighted to be supporting the index as part of our overall women in business programme."

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