Ana Stewart and Mark Logan seek to ‘maintain momentum’ behind women in entrepreneurship report at online event
A women in entrepreneurship event is to be live-streamed next week following the publication of a landmark report aimed at boosting the number of female entrepreneurs.
Mark Logan, Scotland’s chief entrepreneur, and founder and investor Ana Stewart, will appear at the online event on Tuesday after they co-authored the ‘Pathways’ report in February.
The event, part of a series, is intended to ‘maintain momentum’ following the review, which former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon promised to ‘respond quickly’ to at the time.
The panel discussion is to be hosted at strategic design firm Nile in Edinburgh and will also feature Loral Quinn, CEO of Scotland’s digital skills academy, CodeClan, and Norin Arshed, professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Dundee.
The “Pathways – Opportunities for Progress” event is the second in an ongoing series following the publication of the Scottish Government-commissioned review – whose full title is Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship.
Among the 31 recommendations was a call to make it easier for women – who research shows are more likely to be ‘primary carers’ or ‘home managers’ – to access entrepreneurial-focused education, mentoring and business support services.
Other measures included geographical ‘pop-up’ locations such as empty retail spaces in shopping centres, libraries, schools, colleges and similar to bring entrepreneurial support closer to where it is needed, greater financial support for childcare, to allow women the time to embark on entrepreneurial careers, and integrating entrepreneurial education into schools and further education.
The report, commissioned in June 2022, did not pull its punches. In one part, it said we live in a society which is ‘to a degree, sexist’, and ‘not just at its extremes’.
Ana Stewart, chair and co-author of Pathways, who is also a partner at St Andrews-based impact investment firm Eos, said: “The Pathways series is about maintaining momentum following the publication of the review, and building a community to help us drive effective change in an area where Scotland has an opportunity to take a globally leading position.”
She added: “In Loral, we have a female business leader who has been out at the coalface when it comes to pushing barriers in the tech scene, and with Norin’s input we are fortunate to have one the country’s top academics in the area of entrepreneurship. Of course, we want all stakeholders in the ecosystem fully engaged and we are really pleased to have Mark share his own insights and perspective on the recommendations and its wider impact.”
Former Skyscanner COO Mark Logan, Scotland’s Chief Entrepreneur, also authored the Scottish tech ecosystem review (STER) in 2020, and leads efforts to support and grow Scotlands’ startup ecosystem.
Ana Stewart previously founded and exited AIM listed fintech business i-design, and is a non-executive director at the Scottish FA, Bella & Duke, and high growth tech firm Condatis.
Loral is a female founder who led a fast-growth startup through multiple investment rounds, before taking the helm at CodeClan which is driving digital skills uptake across Scotland, with specific initiatives to support women.
Former BBC presenter and Freer Consultancy associate Vanessa Collingridge is hosting the Pathways – Opportunities for Progress event.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government welcomes Ana Stewart and Mark Logan’s report Pathways: A new approach for women in entrepreneurship.
“The report’s recommendations are broad, encompassing both long-term interventions and immediate supports. Implementation of the Pathways recommendations will open greater economic opportunities for women, widen access to entrepreneurship and contribute to building a fairer, more prosperous, wellbeing economy for all.
“The First Minister has been clear he is supportive of the recommendations and the Scottish Government is currently giving careful consideration to the report preparing an approach to implementation across the review’s key themes.”