Making the grade: Young Enterprise Scotland’s #FemaleBoss initiative heading to schools


#FemaleBoss was launched in 2021 by YE Scotland in partnership with Royal Bank of Scotland, and says it has already worked with more than 130 students from 11 colleges across Scotland, supporting them in thinking about running their own companies, with its blend of online workshops , mentoring, and grant funding to build both practical skills and confidence.

This year’s program also has the backing of Scottish Enterprise, which is contributing up to £15,000 through its “Start her up” and “Move her up” grant schemes.

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Now, ahead of International Women’s Day this Tuesday, YE Scotland has announced its ambition to grow the program through schools, targeting young women in S3/4 and ahead of their course choices in S5.

‘Our aim is to inspire, empower and support young women from a younger age to develop themselves through enterprise,’ says Lisa Wardlaw of YE Scotland. Picture: contributed.

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YE Scotland added that it is already creating a pipeline of young entrepreneurs through its Company Program for those aged 16 to 18, and for the first time, this academic year has seen more young women taking part (57 per cent) than young men.

“By bringing the #Femaleboss program to the younger pupils, YE Scotland aims to help create the environment in which choosing to start up or run a business becomes an informed and exciting choice for more young women,” the organization said.

It also noted that women-owned businesses in Scotland already add £8.8 billion to the economy each year, with The Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship estimating that supporting and developing such firms could create more than a million small and medium-sized enterprises, and £250bn of additional value across the UK.

Lisa Wardlaw, college delivery manager for YE Scotland, said: “Our aim is to inspire, empower and support young women from a younger age to develop themselves through enterprise. This will include supporting them in developing their leadership skills, their entrepreneurial spirit and focus on developing confidence from within, touching on self-esteem and building resilience.

“By targeting S3/4, this would hit more pupils and also help them in the course choices for S5. It also creates a structured ladder of enterprise into our Young Enterprise Scotland Company Programme, an accredited qualification recognized by UCAS, which they can participate in, in S5/6. Ultimately, it will give more young women the opportunity to develop themselves through enterprise – and potentially become successful business women and leaders.”

Progress

YE Scotland says it is the main provider of enterprise and financial education in Scottish schools and colleges. Having started out in 1992, it now each year supports around 16,000 young people, from all backgrounds, to develop their business knowledge, entrepreneurial skills, and become more employable.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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