By Press Office 26 October 2021

The TV presenter, cook, restauranteur and writer, Dame Prue Leith, will discuss her business highs and lows as well as the challenges facing women in business during a fireside style chat with Queen Margaret University’s first Entrepreneur in Residence.

The TV personality and business woman, who became Chancellor of Queen Margaret University (QMU) in 2017, is well known for sharing her business expertise with the University’s students and graduates to encourage them on their entrepreneurial journeys. During the event on the 28th October, Prue will discuss her varied career with Carolyn Currie, QMU’s Entrepreneur in Residence and CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland.

During this open conversation with an audience of business leaders and invited guests, this dynamic duo will discuss how women can overcome the challenges involved in starting up and maintaining business development. They will tackle the important issue of closing the gender gap which exists across Scotland’s entrepreneurial landscape.

As part of its ambitious plans to lead Scotland’s university sector in advancing female entrepreneurship, QMU appointed Carolyn Currie as its first Entrepreneur in Residence (EiR) in August this year. As a highly respected business leader and champion of female entrepreneurship, Carolyn’s appointment aims to encourage and support more staff, students and graduates to develop their entrepreneurial skills and to assist the University in its ambitions to establish a Women’s Business Centre within its planned Innovation Hub – part of the Edinburgh Innovation Park.

Discussing the issues facing women in business, Carolyn Currie, explained: “Every new business will face challenges; hurdles that if not overcome may cause a promising start-up to falter, and research continues to evidence that those hurdles can be bigger if the founder is a woman.  Women-owned businesses in Scotland currently contribute £8.8bn to the Scottish economy every year and generate more than 230,000 jobs across Scotland in the process, according to a 2018 Federation of Small Business report. The Rose Report on Female Entrepreneurship states that up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men. That’s a significant economic boost in itself – and we know gender diversity powers radical, step-change innovation, with further potential to grow our national competitiveness and productivity.”

Carolyn continued: “I am excited to talk to Dame Prue Leith about her entrepreneurial and hugely varied career, as well as hearing her thoughts about tackling the gender gap in enterprise participation, ensuring more women have the opportunity to achieve their full business potential and play a leading role in economic recovery.”

Sir Paul Grice, Principal of Queen Margaret University, said: “We are delighted to have two very strong, successful women in Dame Prue and Carolyn who are so willing to share their experiences with our students, graduates, staff and wider community, and encourage change at the highest levels of society. If we are to support Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic we need to work together to remove barriers, create a level playing field, and do more to encourage and support more women to develop as entrepreneurs. With the support of Carolyn Currie, our first Entrepreneur in Residence, QMU is playing a critical role in boosting female entrepreneurship in Scotland and we are excited to kick start this process with this fireside chat with Prue and Carolyn, which will be followed by Carolyn’s dynamic series of entrepreneurial workshops for QMU students and graduates.”

The fireside chat with Dame Prue Leith and Carolyn Currie will take place on 28th October from 4.30pm – 6pm at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh. The event will be live streamed to allow students, graduates, QMU staff, members of the business community and the general public to join virtually. Please register here.

Click here to find out more about Carolyn Currie, CEO of Women’s Enterprise Scotland and Queen Margaret University’s Entrepreneur in Residence.

Click here to find out about Prue Leith, Chancellor of Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh.

For further media information please contact Lynne Russell, Communications Manager, Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh, E: lrussell@qmu.ac.uk; M: 07711 011239.

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