A review of women in entrepreneurship has recommended ramping up access to start-up and growth finance as part of a raft of measures.

The review was commissioned by the Scottish Government to “identify ways to unlock potential, close the gender gap and boost Scotland's economy”.

It was led by Ana Stewart, partner at Eos Advisory and non-executive director at the Scottish Football Association, and co-authored by Mark Logan, Scotland's chief entrepreneur, and recommended steps including providing start-up training and support in pop-up locations.

It also called for the integration of entrepreneurial education into schools and further education.

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Ms Stewart said the review revealed "that women face many significant barriers to entrepreneurship" and a need to "dramatically increase female participation rates".

“Only one in five businesses in Scotland are female-led, while start-ups founded by women received only 2% of overall investment capital in the last five years.

"By taking a root-cause and effect approach, our recommendations focus on dramatically increasing female participation rates to drive a vibrant and fairer entrepreneurial economy.”

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Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister, said: "I welcome Ana Stewart and Mark Logan’s work in delivering a powerful review of the barriers facing women in entrepreneurship in Scotland and presenting a compelling set of recommendations aimed at removing them.

“The review’s findings are challenging but underline the need to tackle the root-causes, as well as the immediate barriers, of this inequality.

“Fully realising the entrepreneurial potential of women in Scotland will not only promote greater equality in our society, it will also deliver significant benefits for the economy. "

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She added: "The Scottish Government will respond quickly to the review as a whole, and its recommendations.”

The First Minister welcomed the publication of the review on a visit to Roslin Innovation Centre, where she met Ishani Malhotra, Chief Executive of Carcinotech, and Kate Cameron, who founded Cytochroma.

The review also called for clarification of existing access pathways into entrepreneurship and tracking and measuring progress towards full representation.