Enterprising Edinburgh — 4 reasons female entrepreneurs love Scotland’s capital

Edinburgh is the best place in the UK to launch a startup, ahead of Bristol, London, Liverpool and Brighton, according to a 2017 study by business solutions firm Expert Market.

And there are at least four very good reasons why it’s a great place for women in business. Here they are:

1. Networking

Whether you’re running your own business or blazing a trail in a male dominated profession, it’s always nice to connect with other women striving for success.

And locating women’s networking groups in Edinburgh isn’t too taxing — there are several organised and less formal groups to plug into.

The Edinburgh Businesswomen’s Club is the city’s longest-running female networking group and offers training sessions and workshops as well as mix and mingle events arranged around coffee, lunch and evening drinks.

But if fancy something a little more casual, Women in Networking Edinburgh members meet monthly to set the business world to rights over a glass of Prosecco.

2. Accelerators

Advice from fellow entrepreneurs can be priceless — but you still need cold, hard cash to launch a company.

And you don’t need to look far if you’re searching for a business accelerator in Edinburgh —Edinburgh-based Investing Women is run by female entrepreneur Jackie Waring and its annual AccelerateHER Growth Awards are a launchpad for female-led businesses.

Past winners like health app developer Pooja Jain have benefitted from access to market and finance building opportunities in California and Dubai — as well as the chance to showcase their companies to angel investors and commercial advisors in Scotland.

3. Transport links

One of the reasons Edinburgh’s highly-rated as a startup hub is efficient transport links.

Reliable buses connect every part of the city and a tram network can carry you out to the international airport.

But if you’d rather travel in the comfort of your car to jet off on a business trip, finding convenient parking in Edinburgh Airport is simple and there are regular flights to locations like London, New York, Paris and Berlin.

And Edinburgh is located in Scotland’s commercial central belt, with good road and rail links to the rest of Scotland and in striking distance of northern powerhouse Newcastle — it’s ideally placed for distribution and deliveries as well as for personal transportation purposes.

4. Education

As a renowned seat of learning since the Scottish Enlightenment, you’d expect Edinburgh’s higher education establishments to be supportive of female entrepreneurs.

And the University of Edinburgh doesn’t disappoint — its Institute for Academic Development runs an Ingenious Women programme dedicated to developing the entrepreneurial capabilities, creativity and confidence of female research staff.

Heriot-Watt University’s Edinburgh Business School also offers a Shaping Women Entrepreneurs scholarship for talented women on their full-time MBA course — and women in leadership positions at Edinburgh College are supporting the next generation of female businesspeople by giving their time as part of the Scottish Government’s First Mentor scheme.

When you want a winning combination of education and enterprise, this is the place to be.

So there are four reasons female entrepreneurs love Edinburgh — it’s a wonderful place for women to succeed.

Are you a female Edinburgh entrepreneur? Share your story in the comments section.

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