Addressing the Gender Imbalance in UK Entrepreneurialism

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Studio 2, Glasgow, United Kingdom

Addressing the Gender Imbalance in UK Entrepreneurialism

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
Studio 2, Glasgow, United Kingdom

What you need to know

Date: 03/10/2023

Time: 13-15.00

Location: Studio 2, The ARC, University of Glasgow

Refreshments will be provided.

The Gender and Sexualities Interdisciplinary Networkan initiative led by the ‘Addressing Inequalities’ Interdisciplinary Research Theme are pleased to invite you to a panel event tackling issues of gender inequality in UK entrepreneurialism.

The focus of this panel will be the persistent issue of gender inequality in UK entrepreneurialism. More specifically, this event seeks to tackle the structural causes of such gendered disparities, rooted in wider forms of gender inequality and sexism. This will be approached through an intersectional perspective; prioritising the heterogeneity of women’s experiences and acknowledging the interlocking web of privileges and disadvantages that structure women’s lives.

The United Kingdom has been dubbed the ‘start-up capital of Europe,’ a title earned by its 5.1% growth rate in new ventures from 2013-2015 (Rose, 2019:6). However, the under-representation of women within entrepreneurship is a persistent, UK wide issue. Only 19.01% of active UK companies are female-led (The Gender Index, 2023) and 1 in 3 entrepreneurs are women (Rose, 2019:7). Moreover, in the UK, businesses led by women of minority ethnic background make up only 6.6.% of the national average and only 3.5% of all companies in Scotland (Stewart and Logan, 2023). 

Given this context, we are inviting our panellists to consider some of the factors contributing to women’s under-representation within UK entrepreneurialism, with a particular focus on intersectional analysis. Further information regarding our event and speakers as follows: 

The afternoon will commence with an inaugural note provided by Professor Sara Carter OBE FRSE, Vice-Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Glasgow. A Professor of Entrepreneurship, Sara’s academic work examines the effects of business ownership on households and the consequences of structural inequalities in resource access on the SME sector. She has conducted several studies focused on the experiences of women as business owners; and was a co-founder of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, a research and advocacy organisation that supports women business owners. 

This will be followed by short presentations, a chaired panel discussion and a Q and A session with our panellists:

  • Professor in Practice - Technology Entrepreneurship Mark Logan, School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow. Mark is the Chief Entrepreneurial Advisor to the Scottish Government, and has over 25 years of senior leadership experience in the technology sector. He was instrumental in the success of multiple start-ups, including as COO of Skyscanner. He is now a start-up/scale-up advisor, investor and non-executive director in Scotland and internationally, as well as a Senior Fellow at University of Strathclyde’s Innovation Centre. In collaboration with Ana Stewart, he recently co-authored the independent review 'Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship,' which seeks to address the root causes of female under-participation in Scottish entrepreneurship and he is author of the Scottish Technology Ecoystem Review, which forms the foundational policy of the Scottish Government’s approach to Scotland’s technology ecosystem.
  • Karen Rodger, Team Leader for the Widening Entrepreneurship team in the Entrepreneurship Division of the Talent and Participation Unit for The Scottish Government. Karen Rodger leads the Scottish Government team focused on widening participation in entrepreneurship. She supported the development of the 'Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship,' review and now leads on the implementation of the review’s recommendations, working with delivery partners and policy makers.
  • Dr Samuel Mwaura, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at the University of Edinburgh Business School. Samuel's main research interest is on the links between entrepreneurship, individual and household wellbeing, and the wider socio-economic context. His recent work has focused on entrepreneurial ecosystems, entrepreneurial participation rates and performance especially amongst ethnic minorities, migrants and women.
  • Karen Stevens, entrepreneur and ambassador for the charity WEvolution. WEvolution enables women from disadvantaged communities in Scotland to form Self-Reliant Groups (SRGs). Through SRGs women empower themselves by developing strong friendships, saving money, learning skills and supporting each other to create entrepreneurial opportunities.

 To structure discussion, we ask panellists and attendees to consider the following questions:

  • What are the specific structural causes of gender inequality in UK entrepreneurialism, and how do these disparities intersect with wider forms of gender inequality and sexism, especially when considering processes of race, class, and (dis)ability?
  • To what extent have UK policy initiatives and academic research effectively addressed the gender imbalance in entrepreneurialism, and how have these efforts considered the diverse experiences and challenges faced by women entrepreneurs?
  • How can policy initiatives and academic studies be improved to effectively address the under-representation of women in entrepreneurship, beyond the deficiency model and the individualisation of gender inequality issues?

Time will be allocated for networking, with refreshments provided. We believe this panel discussion will offer the opportunity for attendees to share knowledge and find practical solutions for tackling inequalities in UK entrepreneurship. We look forward to welcoming you. 

For questions, please contact Addressing Inequalities IRT Fellow Anna Clover 


Studio 2
Advanced Research Centre (ARC), University of Glasgow, 11 Chapel Lane, Glasgow, G11 6EW United Kingdom

Information regarding directions and accessibility available through the ARC website. 


  • Tuesday, October 3, 2023 1:00 PM
  • Ends Tuesday, October 3, 2023 3:00 PM
  • Timezone: United Kingdom Time
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