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Working women make the region a Scottish leader

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By Fiona Reid
Working women make the region a Scottish leader

DUMFRIES and Galloway has been identified as a female entrepreneurship hotspot with 4700 self employed women locally.

The region has the second highest rate in Scotland of women who work for themselves, around one in ten or 10.4 per cent of all working age females.

The new analysis from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) puts the area as second only to Moray.

Sandra Patterson is a business owner in Dumfries and Galloway, as well as a Women’s Enterprise Scotland ambassador and FSB member. Commenting on the results, she said: “It is great to see my part of the country high on the women in business table. “Female entrepreneurship is far higher in Scotland’s towns and rural areas than in our cities. That’s not only because people move out to the country to start-up, but also large private and public employers are few and far in many parts of the country.

“For every woman in business for herself in Scotland, there are two men. That’s not good enough in 2018. At FSB, we’ve made the case to governments north and south of the border for extra support for female business owners. For instance, we’ve argued for extra maternity help for self-employed women and more enterprise education in Scotland’s schools. But what we also need to do is celebrate the contribution of women who work for themselves – no matter the scale of their operations. We need to see more of those women that have taken the plunge explaining to others the great rewards that self-employment and business can bring.”

Sharing her experience, Dumfries photographer Fiona McKean said: “Being self employed is both the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done. I love that I can work around my family commitments which allows me to spend far more time with them while still completing all the tasks the need to be done. “The only (slight) downside is the perpetual roundabout of bringing in the income one month and then starting all over again the next.

“Would I go back to being an employed? Never, I’m living my dream.”

Holistic therapist Jo Fryer, from Waterbeck, added: “I like the practical flexibility, particularly around school times, and being able to balance home, family and work. I particularly enjoy the variety of managing the ‘whole’, i.e. from creating a website and marketing, to delivering sessions and teaching and working with such a wide variety of animals and people. The downside is no guaranteed regular income.”


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