News from the Association of Scottish businesswomen the Perthshire should know about.

Each year the Association of Scottish Businesswomen (ASB) honours and celebrates the achievement and contribution of inspirational women in business and the wider community through their Women of Inspiration Awards.

We are delighted to announce that we honoured twelve such women this year on International Women’s Day at a special reception hosted by Virgin Money at their Lounge in Edinburgh. Each woman was nominated by someone who felt they are deserving of the award; an inspiration to others, role models or leaders in their professions; women who have excelled in their careers or who have encouraged others and impacted lives in the wider community.

ASB president, Wendy Maltman said “we were overwhelmed by the number of nominations received this year, celebrating the contributions and achievements of women from all walks of life, making the decision of the nomination committee very difficult.

“Our “Inspirational Women” are business leaders, chief executives, trailblazers, charity champions, entrepreneurs, mentors, motivational speakers and adventurers, women who are truly inspirational and worthy of these awards.

“Each of these women are impacting the businesses and communities in which they work; they are passionate and pioneering business leaders, and selfless and committed charity champions, inspiring and encouraging those around them to overcome barriers and reach their own goals.”

The women recognised in the 2018 ASB Women of Inspiration Awards

Alice Beveridge, Positive Psychologist, Director and Speaker at Tree Of Knowledge

“In her role as an inspirational speaker, Alice has motivated and inspired over 50,000 people across Scotland and the UK. She works with everyone from school pupils to leaders from some of the UKs most successful businesses. Her understanding of people and what motivates them allows her to be the spark people need to achieve their dreams. Her enthusiasm and commitment is infectious and she always brings out the best in those around her.”

Alison Tait, Chief Executive Officer, Break the Silence

“Alison delivers support, counselling and alternative therapies for victims of rape and sexual abuse. She is awe inspiring in her everyday life too. Alison has worked tirelessly over the past few years for Youth Enterprise and set up the Rotary Grange Group which engaged businesses to give back. She is also part of Ayrshire Business Women and is constantly referring work to the members. Alison is the first to attend events or support other members, and is the most selfless person I have ever met. You only need to meet Alison in order to feel inspired.”

Angie Foreman, Coca Cola 5by20 Programme Director

“Angie is one of the most amazing, passionate and dedicated women I’ve ever met. She has the ability to ensure that every woman who participates in the Coca Cola 5by20 program builds in confidence and feels she is part of a much larger, worthwhile network. Through her own determination and belief she brings out the best in every woman; she personally mentors those needing support and builds confidence, knowledge and strength in others. She instils knowledge without being patronising, gets involved in the businesses and is always at the end of a phone.”

Fin Wycherley, CEO of Supersize Media

“Fin is a pioneer and leader in her profession. She has worked with many ambitious business women, helping them position their businesses for success. She regularly gives back to the business community, delivering free regular workshops around Scotland and the UK, teaching SME’s on how to build a successful business and improve leads using the latest digital strategies. Fin understands family values and provides opportunities to young women giving them a platform to pursue their career without having to sacrifice family values. Fin is a true inspiration and a role model to me and for all women.”

Jennifer Connelly, Chairperson of Fastworks Bonhill

“Jennifer set up the children’s charity Fastworks Bonhill and has worked tirelessly as a volunteer to dedicate her life to bettering the lives of families, women and children. Jennifer has changed lives, taken people out of social isolation and, at Christmas, delivers over 100 food parcels and presents to families living in deprivation. The charity focusses on the advancement of education through the provision of facilities, resources and activities with the objective of improving the conditions of life for local children.”

Liz Cameron OBE, Director & Chief Executive, Scottish Chambers of Commerce

“Described by her peers as a ‘trailblazer’, Liz has made rich and vital contributions to Scotland’s economic growth. Her commitment and leadership in forging closer partnerships between business and government has resulted in real and lasting change. Liz turns vision into reality, positively impacting on people’s lives in Scotland. Liz devotes countless hours to organisations including ‘WEvolution’ and ‘Tedx’, recognising the importance of leaning in, encouraging and supporting under-represented groups to enhance life opportunities. As the first female CEO of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Liz has truly paved the way and will act as an

inspiring role model for future generations.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot

“Louise was honoured to be made the independent Chair of the First Minister’s Advisory Council on Women and Girls, whose aim is to champion equality for young women in Scotland. In the past year Young Scot have supported the Scottish Government with the First Mentor project and is helping to shape the policy to deliver free sanitary products to help bring an end to period poverty. As Chief Executive of Young Scot, Louise represents the interests of over 670,000 young people in Scotland. She is fiercely committed to making sure young women in Scotland are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.”

Mairi McCallum, Manager of Moray Foodbank

“Mairi is an unassuming but well-informed lady. She is extremely diligent, caring and a tireless ambassador for Moray Foodbank and Children 1st. Mairi encourages, empowers and inspires everyone around her to achieve their full potential. She has a passion to help people and improve their lives, whether in the form of food support or supporting the more vulnerable in our society. Mairi is a leading presence at charity fund raising events; organising, advertising and rallying people, and always with a big smile and boundless energy.”

Mollie Hughes, mountaineer, adventurer and motivational speaker

“In 2012, Mollie became one of the youngest British climbers to summit Mount Everest from the south side, at the age of just 21. On 16th May 2017, Mollie successfully reached the summit of Mount Everest from the north side. Doing so at the age of 26 made Mollie the youngest woman in the world to successfully summit from both the north and south sides of the world’s highest mountain. One of Mollie’s most endearing qualities is her quiet confidence as she goes about talking to schools, community groups and corporate gatherings. Her story is inspiring to everyone; over 50,000 students have heard her tell them they can achieve absolutely anything with the right mix of determination, self-belief and team work.

Pauline Moriarty, Beautiful Inside & Out SCIO

“When Pauline lost her 13 year old daughter Jenna to suicide, her world fell apart. But instead of not facing the issues, she started her charity, Beautiful Inside and Out SCIO. The charity supports bereaved parents and siblings of suicide victims, promoting feelings of self-worth. Pauline works tirelessly to raise funds and raise awareness of bullying and suicide in young people. She inspires me daily as she has turned an horrendous situation into one of hope for others.”

Susan Mackenzie Young, Private Clients Division, Gallagher Insurance

“Susan began her working career when she was 19 years old, whilst taking a gap year from University, with a local Scottish based insurance brokers called Giles Insurance. Over the past 22 years, Susan has progressed up the career ladder in a heavily dominated male environment and is now the Managing Director of the Private Clients Division. She prides herself in delivering a first class service to her clients and providing employment to others. Susan is a big charity advocate and two years ago she became a Business Ambassador for the Ayrshire Hospice. Since then she has been involved in many charity events such as climbing Goat Fell for Scottish Cot Death Society.”

Val Russell, Chief Executive, Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce

“Val has spent 19 years driving forward a Chamber which proactively works with its members to initiate economic change, personally championing many initiatives to support education and employability for the future workforce. Under Val’s leadership, the Ayrshire Chamber team has recently undertaken a major overhaul of membership to better suit the economic challenges facing the business community and to future proof the Chamber. Working across all sectors, Val’s ability to lead, persuade and innovate has been crucial in establishing one of the most respected Chambers within the Network.”

Thank you to everyone who nominated an Inspirational Woman for our 2018 Awards. Our twelve winners were presented with certificates to honour their contribution and achievements at an exclusive reception held in the Virgin Money Lounge, Edinburgh on International Women’s Day. We will be profiling all of our winners on our website in our Member Showcase page.

With thanks to former ASB president Sandra Benn at Virgin Money Lounge, Edinburgh for hosting our Awards Reception.

Ambition & Growth 2018 will inspire, motivate and inform. As a growth aspirational entrepreneur, business angel or a professional in a leadership role; you will hear inspirational speakers, participate in useful master classes and experience the ‘buzz’ of the live AccelerateHER pitch final.

Taking place on International Women’s Day, Thursday 8 March 2018, at the marvellous setting of the Sheraton Grand Hotel, Edinburgh, this annual event is not to be missed. The conference will be followed by the Ambition & Growth Awards Dinner, featuring a very special guest.

Book before Friday 19 January to receive our special ‘Early Bird’ rate on day delegate rates, and join us in the evening for the glittering AccelerateHER Ambition & Growth dinner.

Who should attend?

The Investing Women Ambition & Growth conference will bring together entrepreneurs, new and existing angel investors, professionals and enterprise support specialists. Whether you are an entrepreneur keen to grow and perhaps looking for investment, thinking of starting your own business or seeking to become an angel investor, this event is for you. It will also provide a great opportunity for existing angel investors and groups to meet companies they may wish to talk further with and hear from Scotland’s most ambitious and growth aspiring women-led companies in particular. Many professionals and academic specialists will also be participating in the conference.

Why attend?

The Ambition & Growth Conference has a stellar line up of keynote speakers, practical master classes and 1:1 clinics. The event is designed to inspire the ambition and growth of entrepreneurs; women in particular. It has also been designed to demystify angel investing for prospective new women angels and inform both angels and professionals through sharing tangible growth strategy ‘know-how’.

Delegates at the conference can gain invaluable advice from active business angels and a series of top professionals in the ever popular 1:1 Clinics; as well as participate in practical master classes.

These will include topics such as

  • Positioning your company for SEIS/EIS
  • What Business Angels Look for in Your Business
  • Financial Readiness
  • Intellectual Property
  • Innovation
  • Support for Growth Planning
  • HR

AccelerateHER Ambition & Growth Awards Dinner

The Awards Dinner is a celebration of Scotland’s top female-led companies and will see the live announcement and presentation of the AccelerateHER Growth Awards and recognition of the 6 Ambition Award winners.

Besides the excitement of the Awards, participants will also hear from an exciting celebrity figure who will speak at dinner (under wraps for now); as well as enjoy some wonderful food and the pre-dinner drinks reception.

Commercial Opportunities

Our Ambition and Growth conference is a great way to market your company to the start-up and high growth business community whether by an exhibition stand or sponsorship.

  • Build business to business relationships and opportunities face to face with new and existing clients
  • Develop relationships with many new referral partners and contacts
  • Publicise your brand to over 300 conference and dinner delegates and reach our extended connections through website promotion, social media, e-alerts and inclusion in the conference website digital brochure

Exhibit for just £600 + VAT which includes space, conference and dinner attendance and marketing. Contact for information and booking.

A range of sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact


Each year the Association of Scottish Businesswomen honours and celebrates the achievement and contribution of inspirational women in business and the wider community through their Women of Inspiration Awards.

We would like to invite you to nominate any woman in Scotland who you feel is deserving of the award; whether they are an inspiration to others, role models or leaders in their professions; women who have excelled in their careers or who have encouraged others, or impacted lives in the wider community.

To make a nomination, simply send an email to with a short outline (no more than 200 words) of what they do or did that inspires you, by 31st January 2018.

Please ensure to include the full name and contact email of the person you are nominating! ASB may ask for a supporting letter or reference to verify the nomination.

Successful nominees will be invited to a reception on, or around, International Women’s Day, to be presented with a certificate.

We are delighted to have the support of Virgin Money in sponsoring this event.

2018 Wellbeing event
Saturday 24th March (with option to stay Friday night)

We’re heading to Aviemore for our 2018 Wellbeing Day!
When was the last time you put yourself first? Have a day of mindfulness, contemplation and well-being, connecting with businesswomen from all over Scotland. Join us at the stunning MacDonald Aviemore Resort in the heart of the Cairngorms to reconnect with your deep calm essence. Our inspirational speakers will lead you on a journey throughout the day creating the foundations for you to connect with your inner calm and peace of mind. It will be a day of interactive workshops, fun challenges and creativity; a small investment in yourself, your well-being and your future. An all inclusive price will include lunch, refreshments, materials and speakers throughout the day. You’ll finish your day mindfully aware of yourself and your environment, and leave refreshed, invigorated and inspired.

Book now to secure your place. Tickets are limited.
Early bird tickets are available until 16th February. Please book by 16th March.


Early Bird ASB affiliate or direct member ticket £65 (until 16th February)

ASB affiliate or direct member ticket £70

Non member ticket which includes one years’ free membership of ASB £85

Moray Businesswomen Club member Jan Grigg and colleague Elke Ambrose of Mindful Forces have prepared an exciting mindfulness programme for the day on behalf of ASB;

10.00am  Registration with tea and coffee

10.30am  Introduction – what is mindfulness?

10.45am  Mindful movement-guided to allow you to stretch and connect with your body

11.10am  The Science of Mindfulness and Happiness, how to stay calm

11.30am  Guided Meditation – Recognising our unsettled mind. Learning to settle the unsettled mind and rest in the present moment.

12.00pm  Mindful walking developing skills of noticing and the importance of silence

12.30pm  Lunch – enjoy a long beautiful Highland lunch, meeting new people and practising mindful listening

13.15pm  Body scanning – guided practice lying down on yoga mats which is a deeply relaxing and nurturing meditation

13.45pm  Fun outdoors – connecting with each other and nature

15.00pm  Afternoon tea

15.15pm  The Art of Mindfulness – creative workshop – short guided meditation on kindness to others
and yourself; taking what you’ve noticed and being creative-with clay, drawing or painting

16.15pm  Active listening workshop – sharing with others mindful networking and building trust

16.30pm  Wrap up
In this course you’ll practice mindfulness techniques, including meditation and simple breathing methods, so you can concentrate fully and connect with all the life that surrounds you. 

From breathing meditation to walking meditation, you’ll learn how to touch the wonders of life to nourish and heal your body and reduce stress and bring a sense of calmness to your life.

Elke Ambrose is a former Learning and Development consultant with over 20 years corporate experience. She has worked for American Consulting firms Arthur D Little and Alexander Proudfoot, and in the energy industry with ScottishPower and BP. She holds an Honours degree in Psychology and is working towards her COSCA diploma in Counselling and Psychotherapy. Elke qualified as a mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Association and teaches the MBLC course in groups or one to one. She has co-facilitated on study days and retreats and her wish is to work with the Armed Forces and Prison Service.

Jan Grigg BSc Hons Medical Cell Biology, PGCE Biology and Science, has worked as a Biology teacher for 15 years and a Head Teacher for 2 years. Jan has a Masters in Mindfulness from the University of Aberdeen with 30 years of meditation practice, including 9 years of Mindfulness Teaching. She is a qualified Mindfulness Teacher with the Mindfulness Association and is listed with the UK Network for Mindfulness Based Teacher Training Organisations.

Friday 23rd March
We have negotiated a bed and breakfast rate with MacDonald Aviemore Resort for those who would like to travel on Friday ahead of the Wellbeing Day on Saturday; £89 per room per night for single occupancy and £49.50 per person per night for a twin room/shared. Please call the hotel on 01479815195 and mention “Mindful Forces” to book directly. Rooms will be reserved until 10th February and cannot be guaranteed after this time.

If you are staying over or live locally, we would love you to join members of the ASB committee for an informal dinner on the Friday evening. Please select this option on the booking form to reserve your place. Just pay the hotel directly for your food and drink on the evening.

Book now to secure your place. Tickets are limited.
Early bird tickets are available until 16th February. Please book by 16th March.

We’re delighted to announce that booking is now open for our 2018 ASB Wellbeing Event. Take some time out of your busy schedule and join us in Aviemore on Saturday 24th March for a mindfulness themed event where you’ll practice techniques, including meditation and simple breathing methods, so you can concentrate fully and connect with all the life that surrounds you. You’ll learn how to touch the wonders of life to nourish and heal your body, reduce stress and bring a sense of calmness to your life.

Find out the full story here

The Association of Scottish Businesswomen is delighted to partner with Women’s Business Mentoring to provide mentoring opportunities for all our members.

Women’s Business Mentoring brings together the connectivity and entrepreneurial spirit of Scotland’s leading women entrepreneurs. The project has been set up to encourage more women to have or become mentors and to help support and create more female business owners.

Research consistently shows the importance of mentoring for women-led businesses. We also know that if women started businesses at the same rate as men, this would generate an additional £7.6bn for the Scottish economy.
Visit the Women’s Business Mentoring website to find out more and sign up to be a mentor or mentee.

The Association of Scottish Businesswomen held its 2017 Annual General Meeting at Dunblane Hydro on Saturday 4th November.

Prior to the AGM representatives met from the affiliate groups for dinner and to share reports of their successes and challenges. They also had the opportunity to brainstorm ideas for our 2018 conference and engagement plan.

Thirty members attended the AGM where we heard a report from President Wendy Maltman on the past year. Wendy presented a gift and flowers to treasurer Valerie Cuell who was stepping down after seven years of service. She also presented flowers to Past President Alison Henderson who also stepped down from the committee. Liz Cooper, former president of Ayrshire Businesswomen was appointed as the new treasurer.

Attendees also heard from Liz Cameron, CEO of Scottish Chambers of Commerce about the Women’s Business Mentoring scheme and how they can get involved either as mentors or mentees. More information can be found here.

To celebrate the return of Global Entrepreneurship week, Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES) invited ASB committee member Louise Medve to attend a debate in the Scottish Parliment. The motion raised by MSP Gillian Martin endorsed the work of WES in supporting women to start up businesses. The motion also challenged gender-blind policy making which must be replaced by a gender-aware approach to economic development, enterprise and growth. Research undertaken by WES suggests that if the rates of women-led businesses equalled those of men, the contribution to Scotland’s gross value added (GVA) would increase from £7.6 billion to £13 billion.

Read the full debate here.

On Tuesday 14th November ASB president Wendy Maltman attended the meeting of the Cross Party Group (CPG) on Women in Enterprise. Anne Meikle presented the annual report discussing meetings held over the course of the year. Themes included “Issues for women starting in business”, “Importance of data (gathering and analysis)”, “Gender specific support” and “Economic development”. Going forward the CPG will examine some of the themes in the recently published Scottish Government Framework and Action Plan for Women in Enterprise; mentoring and networking, role models, growth and finance, and gender-aware support and best practice.

A highlight of the evening was hearing from Dr Margo Thomas, Chief of Secretariat, UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment. The independent High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment was established by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in March 2016 and the panel was tasked to make action-oriented recommendations on how to improve economic outcomes for women in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read Dr Thomas’ article on Taking action for transformative change on women’s economic empowerment

Dr Thomas said that Scotland could be an example to the world in its action to promote economic empowerment in women. We have an opportunity to challenge social norms and do things differently. But she encouraged us to go faster, deeper and higher in this work, not shying away from the bigger issues and recognising that we all have to act in our spheres of influence.

Our affiliate group, Moray Business Women – are having their second Breakthrough to Excellence evening conference on 6th June.

Designed to appeal to all working women in and around Moray, whether business owner or in employment, the evening has a fabulous line up opening with Emma J Bell, coach, speaker, facilitator, mediator and author of “The True You”.

Then follows a series of workshops designed to inspire, coach and give practical support in a range of subjects.

For more information, or to book, click here

The ASB National Business Awards are open for applications!

Ladies – this is your opportunity to shout about your successes and achievements, as we recognise and celebrate the contributions of women to business and the wider community in Scotland.

There are twelve awards this year;

* Young Inspiring Businesswomen of the Year – for women under the age of 30

* Most Innovative Start-up of the Year – businesses trading for less than a year

* Young Business of the Year – businesses trading for less than three years

* Employee of the Year – open only to ASB affiliated or direct members

* Best Performing Team of the year

* New for 2017 – Community Commitment Award

* Recognition of Outstanding Contribution has been revised for 2017 with a focus on contribution to business or the wider community, over and above normal working activities

* Professional of the Year award

* New for 2017 – Exporting Business of the Year Award

* Business of the Year Award

* Most Enterprising Business of the Year – open only to ASB affiliated members by recommendation from their affiliated group

* Best Affiliated Group of the Year award.


Applications close at 5pm on Friday 30th June: successful applicants may be invited to an interview in Edinburgh during the week commencing 24th July.


The 2017 Awards will be held on the 29th September at Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow.


You can apply here (