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Women's enterprise and the Scottish economy

Jackie Waring (Blue Horizons (Scotland) Ltd, Cupar, UK)
Jackie Brierton (Women's Enterprise Scotland, Perth, UK)

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1756-6266

Article publication date: 28 June 2011




The purpose of this paper is to quantify the impact of women's enterprise on Scotland's economy and to provide policy recommendations to the Scottish Government on increasing women's business ownership.


The paper has been developed in collaboration with the Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS Group) and has utilised existing business data and research sources which have not recently been analysed to provide gender‐based information on businesses within Scotland. Where possible, calculations of gross value added (GVA) contribution by gender have been made. In addition, a review of relevant entrepreneurship data was carried out and comparative studies from other parts of the UK and North America were used to benchmark findings.


The impact of women's business ownership on Scotland's economic performance is not consistently measured by the Scottish Government. An increased commitment to women's enterprise policy development from the UK Government has not been emulated in Scotland despite devolved responsibility for economic development.

Practical implications

Practical outcomes from this research include: policy recommendations for the Scottish Government; practical recommendations for business support providers; actions for the RBS Group “Women in Business” team; recommendations for improved data disaggregation.


This is the first report to evaluate the impact of women's enterprise on the Scottish economy since 2005. Its findings and recommendations are of value to the Scottish Government and Scotland's economic development and business support agencies.



Waring, J. and Brierton, J. (2011), "Women's enterprise and the Scottish economy", International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 144-163.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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