The chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce has highlighted the importance of female-led businesses for job creation in the region.
Alison Henderson was speaking at the conclusion of the Coca-Cola 5by20 Fast Track to Business Success programme, supported by the Chamber, which encourages female entrepreneurs to fast track their businesses.
Yesterday the eight businesswoman who have been through the intensive programme pitched their business ideas to a panel of experts.
Mrs Henderson said: “We’re proud to be working with the 5by20 programme — connecting private sector support into the creation and growth of women-led businesses in the region is hugely important.
“Stimulating economic growth and job creation in Dundee and Angus is vital in building capacity and capability of businesses, and supporting those in our communities to create their own futures.
“We need more businesses starting up and thriving in our region to take advantage of the wider regeneration and opportunities that is creating.”
The participants embraced a week long intensive business and enterprise programme which saw them covering topics such as marketing and branding, finance and business planning.
The pitches were made to a support panel of local and national business experts with a wealth of skills, experience, advice and networks.
The programme also has a support network which comprises of 30 cross sector, local and national businesses and initiatives, which has contributed more than £80,000 of in-kind support since May last year.
Programme director Angie Foreman said: “Today is the result of all the hard work, dedication and determination of each Coca-Cola 5by20 fast tracker.
“For most people, this has been their first experience of pitching to a panel. This takes hours of preparation not to mention a cocktail of emotions and nerves.
“I’m incredibly proud to have been part of the growth and development of each participant.
“All 10 members of the support panel were impressed with the entrepreneurial flair and provided an array of advice, support and contacts that will give each lady a flying start.”
Last year 56 women participated in one or more of the 5by20 programmes and workshops.
Since then 70% have either become self-employed or they have set up or are further developing their own business.
A further 26% are currently being supported in the idea development stage and the remaining 4% have gained employment.