Royal Bank of Scotland has announced an additional £100 million to help support Scottish female entrepreneurs recover from Covid-19.
The funds, made available over the next four years, have the aim of helping female-led businesses scale and grow.
In January, the bank announced a £1 billion programme to help female entrepreneurship following the findings of the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship.
The extraordinary impacts of coronavirus has seen unprecedented demand for access to the funding.
It exceed its initial UK target four years ahead of plan.
The bank has now doubled investment in the programme, with an additional £1bn of debt funding available. £100m of this is targeted at Scottish firms.
Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Alison Rose said: “We are committed to supporting the UK’s recovery from the crisis.
“All of us, from ministers to employers, have a duty to ensure that further pain isn’t felt disproportionately by women and that anyone who retains an ambition to start or grow a business is helped with targeted and innovative assistance.”
A central finding of the Rose Review was that the single biggest issue holding female entrepreneurs back is the lack of funding directed towards them.
The bank said women are less likely to take on debt than male-led businesses and this can impact their ability to scale and grow at the same rate.