Margaret Gibson – Chief Executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland (WES). She launched her first business in 1980 and her most recent one in 2013. Margaret is passionate about helping others to develop skills and build useful networks. With over 25 years of experience in the SME sector as an advisor and mentor she is driven by the pleasure of seeing others succeed in business. Her dedication to supporting others was recently recognised when she became the first woman in Scotland to receive the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise Support, one of the highest business honours in the UK.
Her various roles have seen her working with entrepreneurs in Scotland and across the world – with her current business she provides consultancy advice to Youth Business International. She has supported youth enterprise charities in Russia, Spain, Ukraine, Argentina and most recently the Eastern Caribbean. Having worked with the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust for over 20 years as Director of Marketing and Deputy Chief Executive she saw the impact the charity had on Scotland’s start-up scene and is tremendously proud of the amazing work that the volunteers and young people did to improve the economy of Scotland. She was instrumental in launching the business networking clubs ELEVATOR for young people across Scotland that ran successfully for 15 years.
Margaret took up her part-time post with Community Interest Company WES in 2013, she works with a wide range of women from all over Scotland. WES helps to create an entrepreneurial environment where women led businesses can flourish and grow. Very much working in partnership with the business eco-system of Scotland. Alongside the Scottish Government WES have developed an innovative Framework for Women’s Enterprise – the only one is Europe.
She currently supports the Scottish EDGE Fund as a judge and has recently been appointed as a member of the advisory Committee for Institute of Directors Scotland. Her other voluntary roles include being a Governor to the Court of the University of the West of Scotland, member of the student Advisory Board of Enactus at University of Glasgow, and for the past 15 years a volunteer with Young Enterprise Scotland. She is also a fellow of the RSA. Margaret is a committed swimmer, she loves to travel, and couldn’t live without music. She has an 18 year old son and 13 year old daughter, two disabled parents and a brilliantly supportive husband.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Juggling caring with my business – I have a young teenager still at home however both of my parents live with challenges and need a lot of extra support. Sometimes this makes for difficult decisions and very little free time.
How do you define success?
Doing something you love that has a positive impact on the wider world.
If you could give your start-up self one piece of advice what would it be?
Try and meet lots of people and work out if you can help them with anything.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Travel websites, I am always thinking about the next place I want to visit.