Business women who have founded or co-founded firms are invited to enter the sixth annual AccelerateHER Awards 2021 from today.

The award offers opportunity to businesswomen to raise their profile and gain access to leading figures from the investment community.

For winners there is a mentoring package, delivered by Investing Women Angels and a place on an international trade mission to Europe, North America or the Middle East. Of course this trip depends on government advice on travel due to the pandemic.

There are four categories:

  • MedTech and Science
  • FinTech and Cyber Security
  • CleanTech and Climate or
  • Disruptive Innovation

Jackie Waring, CEO and founder of AccelerateHER, said: “While Covid-19 has had a profound impact on the global economy, it has not stopped female founders from continuing to excel across the business community. We are therefore determined this important event will proceed and, after our success in staging last year’s finals as a virtual event, we are confident we can deliver the full 2021 programme on a virtual basis.

“Our awards support Scotland-focused businesswomen by giving them an ideal platform to promote their companies and attract initial or additional investment to help them grow their business on a global scale. I would urge any ambitious female founder who wants to raise her company’s profile on an international stage to enter the awards. This includes those whose businesses are only at concept stage who could secure recognition through the Rising Star category.”

The AccelerateHER programme is sponsored by Barclays Ventures and supported by the Scottish Government, through its Women in Enterprise Framework and Action Plan, to help female entrepreneurs prepare for investment and growth.

The Scottish Government Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said:

“Tackling the entrepreneurial gender gap is both an economic and moral imperative. The Scottish Government’s Women in Enterprise framework and action plan has a vital role to play, including supporting programmes such as AccelerateHER.

“Despite COVID-19, we know that many Scottish businesses have great potential for growth and I am delighted that Investing Women has been able to pivot delivery online, ensuring we can continue to support female entrepreneurs as they work hard on their business.”

Deadline for entries is 4 December 2020. All entrants must be UK registered companies and trading in Scotland.Entrants must submit a 3 minute video pitch setting out the ambition for their company, growth plans and international market potential. A panel will choose the shortlist who will present online to a panel in February with 12 finalists being chosen at that stage. A winner for each category will be chosen along with a Rising Star for the woman with the best early stage business idea. The virtual awards final will be held on 25 March 2021.