Scotland’s online Women’s Business Centre debuts new directory to help female-led firms amid economic gloom

A new, free business directory has been launched by Scotland’s online Women’s Business Centre to help support independent female-owned businesses in the face of a turbulent economic backdrop.

The Women’s Business Centre is a free digital platform, launched by Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) in June 2020, to support women at the pre-start-up and start-up stage of their business journey, and it says the directory allows women-owned businesses to list their services at no cost, connect with other company-owners, and reach potential new customers to maximise all-important sales opportunities.

WES, which recently held its 2022 awards that guest speaker Nicola Sturgeon said highlight the “major role of Scotland’s businesswomen in driving our economy forward”, noted that the launch of the directory follows the Scottish Retail Consortium (SRC) recently warning that retailers are facing possibly their toughest festive season in a decade.

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Bronwen Thomas, chief operating officer at WES, said: “We know that women-owned businesses were disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and, just as these businesses are starting to rebuild, they face the challenges of soaring costs, rising inflation, and a squeeze on consumer spending. The report from the [SRC] is the latest in a series of warnings that businesses of all kinds are enduring unsustainable pressures. Small, independent businesses are even more exposed and many will face difficult choices about whether they can survive.

“Our directory is one way that women-owned businesses can promote themselves and connect with new audiences. Alongside the wealth of dedicated, needs-based content for women starting up in business, [it] is another tool that women business-owners can employ to help them negotiate a challenging period ahead for the economy.”

'Our directory is one way that women-owned businesses can promote themselves and connect with new audiences,' says WES COO Bronwen Thomas. Picture: Phil Wilkinson.