When we got together in early June 2023, eight women in person and two women in spirit, to explore our collective experience of women’s enterprise in rural and island places, we wanted to escape the norms of our daily lives.
We stretched ourselves to meet each other in new places, and the places themselves held significance. We started at An Talla Mòr, one of the oldest community spaces in Sleat, on the Isle of Skye, and continued in An Crùbh, Sleat’s newest community space.
We also stretched ourselves to connect across the different forms of enterprise we engage in. We are sole traders, founders of private companies, founders of social enterprises, builders of community enterprises. None of us generate millions, nor do we particularly wish to do so, but during the 36 hours we spent together one of us sold £70,000 worth of artwork and another of us was nominated for an award for most promising tech start-up. Alongside the day to day work, we celebrated these achievements and all the big and small things that inspire us.
Our reflections, captured in the document below, are anchored in the current policy context as summarised in the first four sections:
- How government counts women’s enterprise
- How government recognises and understands women’s enterprise
- How government seeks to support women’s enterprise
- How government seeks to support rural and island women’s enterprise
We did not aim to construct recommendations for government, or for any other decision-makers involved in supporting women’s enterprise. Instead, we provide a narrative on the things that matter to us as women entrepreneurs, and some reflections on how these things may relate to policy:
- Themes from our discussions