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Showcasing the profession to entrepreneurs

ICAEW Scotland chartered accountants helped showcase the profession at Enterprise Nation’s Festival of Female Entrepreneurs in Edinburgh in June.

Kirsty and Dawn ready to answer questions on the ICAEW stand

Why women should be more like bonobos and how one social-enterprise co-founder found her groove were just two of the things that delegates discovered at the Festival of Female Entrepreneurs.

The event, which attracted hundreds of (mostly female) entrepreneurs, took place at The Hub in Edinburgh’s Old Town on 7 June – the first time the event has ever been held in Scotland.

A perfect partnership

ICAEW and Enterprise Nation teamed up early last year to offer members the opportunity to promote their services as business advisers to over 70,000 entrepreneurs and small business owners, through a dynamic new platform. The Edinburgh event was an opportunity for members in Scotland to showcase the range of support that chartered accountants can provide.

Charlotte Tucker (Prime Numbers, Edinburgh), Dawn Black (DXD Accountants, Fife) and Kirsty McGuckin (Bracey’s Accountants, Edinburgh) were on hand in the Advisor Zone to answer delegates’ questions – and they were certainly kept busy.

Ask an ICAEW Chartered Accountant

“Several people who came to the stand seemed to be a bit daunted at first, so it was good to give them the chance to connect and be able to offer them some advice,” said Kirsty.

“We’ve taken a wide range of questions from a wide range of people, some of them have had zero (business) knowledge, some had some knowledge and some had lots of knowledge – so we’ve been talking to people at all stages of their business journeys. I think that’s a credit to the event,” said Dawn.

And while the range of businesses asking for advice may have been diverse, as Charlotte explains, the hot topic was definitely finance; “the questions have tended to be about the different types of financing that people have available to them; they’re keen to understand what they need to consider and how best to get their own accounts in order so that they can approach funders”.

Charlotte joins the ‘Show Me The Money’ panel

A place on the panel

In addition to a stint on the ICAEW stand, Charlotte was part of the “Show Me The Money! Expert Advice on Raising Funds and Managing Your Money for Your Business” panel session.

Alongside fellow experts from DSL Finance, Transmit Loans, Scottish Edge, Scottish Investment Bank, and Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Charlotte explored topics such as funding and finance. She stressed the importance of knowing your numbers and making sure that businesses have the right funding in place for their needs.

Everyone benefits

All three of our experts agreed that they gained a lot by being involved in the day. “It’s been really eye-opening – I run my own business and I’ve picked up tips on things like how to get more out of social media,” said Kirsty. “I’ve also picked up a few things that I’ll be able to share with clients about things that I may not have thought about before,” she added.

Dawn was also impressed by what was covered in the panel sessions and lecturers “there was a great range of topics being discussed – it was really interesting.”

“I think there’s a growing community of female entrepreneurs working in Scotland, and that, as accountants there’s a great opportunity for us to be there to support them – events like this are useful because they allow us to understand what their needs are, and to show them how we can help address those needs” said Charlotte.

Kirsty agrees, “It’s good to be involved in events in Scotland and to be championing ICAEW – I’d definitely like to be part of it again next year!”

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