Principally Women

Who should attend?

The Scottish Enterprise Principally Women programme is aimed at female entrepreneurs, leaders, founders, or women in senior management teams who hold influence in businesses with potential to scale. The programme recognises that at different life stages, individuals face different social, business and domestic issues, which, collectively, can prevent or slow growth. This pilot programme seeks to draw out those women principals at a point where life stage, opportunity and ambition are aligned but specific skills, confidence, knowledge or support may be lacking.Growth and ambition might have been held back . . . maybe simply by life getting in the way.
12-15 places are available to innovation driven enterprises with with a current turnover of £1m (or are on track to reach a minimum of £1m turnover) and with ambition to grow the business by 20% year on year, over a 3 year period.

What is it?

The programme looks to foster and encourage growth supported by practical and personal skills needed to scale: developing leadership styles, raising investment, generating and closing sales, managing teams, emotional intelligence, life values, knowing yourself. Participants will have the opportunity to network with like minded peers and benefit from mentors ‘giving back’.
All from the perspective of addressing barriers ambitious women leaders might face in the scaling journey.

Participants in Principally Women gain:

• A self created action plan to leverage their strengths and to address existing barriers.

• Confidence in taking risks, making difficult decisions and delivering tough messages.

• Understand their leadership style and those of others.  

• A better understanding of the systemic barriers to womens achievement, and powerful strategies for change.

• Ways to manage gender bias challenges.

• A lasting network of women leaders through peer to peer learning.

• Be eligible for a funded place on the Investing Women AccelerateHer programme.

• Be eligible for the Scotland Can DO Summer school 2018.

What does the programme involve?

The pilot will focus initially on a personal understanding of life stage and how that influences the potential for business growth. This will be followed by a series of workshops will be delivered by experts in their field with real experience of supporting female leaders, and on topics designed to be indispensible to a scaling strategy.  In order to gain maximum benefit over the six month period participants must be available to actively participate in a range of Programme activities.  A launch event will be held in Edinburgh in late November, where participants will get the chance to network, meet the practitioners and advisors.  Participants should expect to:

Attend a number of ½ day master class skills workshops (some in the evening) covering Leadership, confidence, finance, sales and pitching over a 6 month period.  

• A facilitated ‘reflection’ at the workplace/ hub/ core

• Introduction to mentoring support and role models and attend networking events

The first workshop will take place at the beginning of December 2017 and conclude in June 2018.

Example workshops include:

Leadership and Confidence

• Learning to Work/Life Audit

• Strategic Leadership

• Communications for challenging situations

• Charisma and Creativity

• Skills gap analysis

Finance and risk

• Entrepreneurial Finance - Accessing finance and identifying risk

• Financial due diligence - from an investor and entrepreneur perspective.

• Business Models and phases of growth

• Manage follow on funding and exit

Pitching and coaching

• Pitching your value proposition with confidence

• Beyond pitching the value proposition – a deeper dive

• Learning the language of influence.

• Mindfulness

• Coaching for inspired performance

Sales and closing the deal

• Growth through sales

• Seal the Deal

Next Steps

Visit the Scotland Can Do website and complete the short application form. The application form should be and returned to Nathalie Agnew or Fiona Reyner. A final cohort of up to 12-15 companies will be selected to participate in the Programme. The pilot programme is fully funded by Scottish Enterprise and there is no charge to participants. For further information please contact John Maclennan 


Enabling women-led businesses is crucial to grow the Scottish economy and over the past few years, women have made considerable economic progress in Scotland.  Despite this, women remain under-represented in self employment and business ownership. An entrepreneurial enterprise culture and dynamic small business sector is central to raising Scotland’s competitiveness and productivity.  New and small businesses drive economic growth by stimulating innovation, creating a competitive spur to existing businesses to increase their productivity and making a disproportionate contribution to job creation and economic growth.The Scottish Framework and Action Plan for Women in Enterprise was refreshed in August 2017 to reflect the emerging post Enterprise and Skills Review support landscape. The draft has been co-developed with and is fully supported by all public and private sector partners. The actions contained in this refreshed Action Framework are grouped in four themes of; Mentoring & Networking, Role-Model Project, Finance and Gender Specific Support.This programme ‘Principally Women’ proposes a novel approach to achieving scale by addressing gender barriers faced by women principals in business. The programme recognises that at different life stages individuals face different social, business and domestic issues, which, collectively can prevent or slow growth. This pilot programme seeks to draw out those women principals at a point where life stage, opportunity and ambition are aligned but specific skills, confidence, knowledge or support may be lacking. The premise is that most opportunities promoted for enterprise tend to focus on, or attract new entrepreneurs, or to build the business skills of existing leaders but do not recognise the wider factors which may be inhibiting exploitation of that e.g. family, care commitments, perceived lack of support from the business or investment community.