A female founders ‘pathways’ mission designed to get more women to launch businesses is to launch a members’ charter and advisory board.

Pathways Forward, the initiative launched by Ana Stewart, will formalise its focus on supporting women in business later with the new measures later this year.

Stewart’s report – co-authored by Scotland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Logan – has now been embraced by the Scottish Government in an attempt to address the entrepreneurial gap.

The ‘Pathways: A New Approach to Women in Entrepreneurship’ report, published in February, is aimed at transforming gender equality in entrepreneurship.

Ana Stewart, who is also a partner with St Andrews-based investment firm Eos, said: “Pathways Forward is the culmination of the ongoing and widespread engagement and genuine appetite from across the ecosystem to see transformational change in Scotland’s entrepreneurial landscape. It has been exciting to see such momentum, facilitating collaboration, and joining the dots to ensure the recommendations outlined in the report are driven forward.

“Alongside the panel events we have been running this year, we will be implementing a number of other initiatives aimed at creating a forum for like-minded ecosystem stakeholders. I am grateful to have the support of the Eos team, and of course we share the ethos that underpins the spirit of Pathways. Collectively, we now need to create the right environment to enable all stakeholders to embrace the opportunities, stand up and be counted to drive change.”

In June, the Scottish Government pledged £17.5 million toward Scotland’s startup economy, including to support one of the Stewart Report’s main recommendations, creating an agile and mobile pop-ups around Scotland to develop a network of pop-up ‘pre-start’ centres, and making it easier for women to access the entrepreneurial pathways. 

Stewart added: “Cabinet Secretary Neil Gray and the Scottish Government have made clear they are committed, and we look forward to them continuing to support recommendations that can move the dial on both societal and economic terms.  With the pre-start centres, the focus is now on powering up around the country, and connecting with all the great organisations that are already out there nationwide.” 

Mark Logan said: “The Pathways report calls for nothing less than a transformation in how we think about and address the gender imbalance within entrepreneurship.   This will only happen if the report’s recommendations are owned and taken forward by the whole entrepreneurial community. Pathways Forward is both the rallying point for that shared ownership, and the clarion call for real and sustained progress.”

Pathways Forward recently appointed Hazel Jane, who was formerly an Entrepreneurship Engagement Manager with Tech Nation, as Project Lead.  Hazel Jane also brings experience from roles with Amiqus, FutureX, Turing Fest, and Krucial.