A group of leading female business figures are to come together to discuss the findings of a new report aimed at boosting the number of women entrepreneurs.

The new Scottish Government-commissioned Stewart Report will be the focus of a debate to mark International Women’s Day on Wednesday next week, March 8.

Ana Stewart, the chair and co-author of the ‘Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship’ report, will take part in the live-streamed event.

She will be joined by Professor Eleanor Shaw, Carolyn Jameson, Sarah Ronald, and Vanessa Collingridge to cover some of the main topics from the report and chart next steps.

The report, which contains 31 recommendations, is currently sitting with the Scottish Government and first minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to respond to them quickly.

Ana Stewart said: “Eleanor, Carolyn, and Sarah were three of the many individuals we engaged with during the discovery phase of the review, and each brings a valuable perspective to the narrative around barriers to female entrepreneurship.”

Stewart added: “We have been overwhelmed by the widespread support since the publication of the report and it’s important that we keep the momentum going to ensure the Scottish Government embraces the recommendations.” 

Ana Stewart is an investment partner with Eos, who previously founded and exited fintech business i-design. She is also a non-executive director at the Scottish FA, and Bella & Duke.  

Professor Eleanor Shaw, OBE is an associate principal at the University of Strathclyde with responsibility for the university’s entrepreneurship strategy, and holds board positions with the Chartered Association of Business Schools, the Small Business Charter, and the ScaleUp institute.

Professor Shaw said: “Following the report’s publication, there is a sense of anticipation that something positive might happen. The possibility that the dial might shift through cross-sector collaboration and joined-up thinking to create a truly inclusive ecosystem that embraces equity and female founders, indeed all under-represented founders, is an exciting and real possibility.  

“What it now needs is for the Scottish Government to support the report’s recommendations in the same positive manner as it responded to the Scottish Technology Ecosystem Review in 2020.”

Carolyn Jameson, chief trust officer, Trustpilot, who also sits on the board of the Scottish National Investment Bank, is an investment committee member with venture capital firm SEP, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Sarah Ronald is the founder of strategic design firm Nile, an active angel investor, a Scottish Technology Ecosystem Advisory Board member, and holds a number of board positions including with eco startup Pawprint.

Vanessa Collingridge, who is hosting the panel on the day, is a former BBC presenter, and an associate at Freer Consultancy.

The Scottish Government-commissioned ‘Pathways: A New Approach to Women in Entrepreneurship’, co-authored by Scotland’s chief entrepreneur Mark Logan, was published on Monday, February 20. 

Next week’s event is being supported by Startup Grind Scotland, Product Forge, Trustpilot, and the Freer Consultancy. 

For more information on next week’s IWD event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pathways-a-new-approach-for-women-in-entrepreneurship-live-iwd-panel-tickets-567902269977