Sections in this document

  1. Introduction


As Scotland’s development bank, our ambition is to ‘Transform Scotland through our insight, investment and impact’. A key part of that ambition can be realised through our approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) – which we set out most recently in our Interim Equalities Report.


This paper focuses on how we are approaching the second pillar as set out in our Equality Strategy – equal access to investment; as well as how we work with our investees to increase diversity. We have been particularly inspired by Pathways: A New Approach for Women in Entrepreneurship written by Ana Stewart and Mark Logan and published in February 2023. The report outlines the multiple and overlapping challenges of tackling the root causes of women’s under-participation in entrepreneurship and indicates the need for further research into other areas of unequal participation.

 As clearly set out in Pathways, we know that there is a long way to go; the challenges are long-term and systemic. In the spirit of Pathways, we want to share how we are seeking to improve access to finance, not just for women, but for all those groups who face barriers accessing investment finance. In support of Ana Stewart’s continued work, we are amongst the first companies to sign up to the Pathways Pledge. 

We are approaching this through three key focus areas as shown above – challenging ourselves and our internal practices, investing in diverse businesses and supporting and challenging our investee companies, and working with the wider industry. 

We want to be part of the solution, for the long-term. We are committed to tackling the root causes of under-participation in finance, ultimately leading to a stronger, more diverse and resilient economy.

Al Denholm, Chief Executive Officer

Supporting Equal Access to Investment

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