Inspiring Entrepreneurial Inclusion: Celebrating International Women’s Day 2024

Happy International Women’s Day (IWD)! IWD is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Each year, this day serves as a powerful reminder of the progress made towards gender equality and highlights the work that still needs to be done.

This year in 2024, IWD celebrates with the theme ‘Inspire Inclusion.’ To inspire inclusion means to celebrate diversity and empowerment on International Women’s Day and beyond. The theme calls for action to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and create environments where all women are valued and respected. Inspire Inclusion encourages everyone to recognise the unique perspectives and contributions of women from all walks of life, including those from marginalised communities.

This International Women’s Day, join us as we celebrate and spotlight women in Scotland doing incredible work and inspiring inclusion, especially in the space of entrepreneurship and leadership.


Ana Stewart

Founder, Investor Partner, Non-Executive Director

Ana Stewart is a successful tech entrepreneur. She founded i-design in 1995, and was CEO of the fintech business, listing it on the AIM exchange in 2007 and was awarded the Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year award by Entrepreneurial Scotland. In 2013, she joined the Executive Committee of NASDAQ listed ATM Services company Cardtronics when it acquired i-design. She joined the seed investment firm Eos in 2019, where she is an investment partner, with £30m of investments under management.

In 2022, Ana was appointed by Kate Forbes, Cabinet Secretary For Finance and the Economy to chair and lead an independent review into women in entrepreneurship in Scotland. This led to the independent report ‘Pathways: A new approach for women in entrepreneurship.’ Following huge momentum from the report, Ana launched the Pathways Forward programme in 2023 which seeks to dramatically increase female participation and growth in entrepreneurship in Scotland. The programme aims to drive positive change through tangible, practical and swift action to influence policy through collaborative thought leadership across the entrepreneurial ecosystem.


Bayile Adeoti

Managing Director, Dechomai

Bayile Adeoti is a social entrepreneur and motivational keynote speaker.

After a decade long career in the hospitality industry, Bayile recognised the dearth of diversity, especially in managerial roles. She envisioned a platform addressing the lack of Black and Ethnic minority role models in business and therefore in 2015, established Dechomai, a social enterprise empowering Black and Ethnic Minority individuals with leadership and enterprise skills.

Bayile is actively involved in empowering women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds in leadership and enterprise. Outwith Dechomai, Bayile was previously the President of Scottish Women in Business (SWIB), and currently holds positions in Young Enterprise Scotland, Women’s Enterprise Scotland and in 2024, became an Entrepreneur in Residence at Glasgow Clyde College. Bayile is currently a contributing writer for Black Business Magazine, a quarterly print publication dedicated to highlighting the remarkable achievements and experiences of the Black business community.


Dr Michaela Hruskova

Expert in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems & Community Building, Entrepreneurship Researcher & Educator

Dr Michaela Hruskova is an entrepreneurship researcher and educator with a keen interest in promoting student enterprise and is currently a lecturer in Entrepreneurship at the University of Stirling. In her research, Michaela seeks to pioneer the study of governance of entrepreneurial ecosystems and help inform ecosystem building activities both in Scotland and internationally. Previously, Michaela has been involved in a number of entrepreneurial programmes including Enactus, and in 2015 was a Saltire Scholar through Entrepreneurial Scotland’s Saltire Scholar Programme. In 2017, Michaela established an award-winning grassroots community at the University of Glasgow called StartUp Grind to inspire, educate and connect entrepreneurially minded students and staff. As a result of her work on researching, teaching, and promoting entrepreneurship, she was named as one of Inspiring Women in Scotland by the Young Women’s Movement.

Click below to check out Michaela's latest work, which researches collective action in entrepreneurial ecosystems.


The Women and Partners of Entrepreneurial Scotland

At Entrepreneurial Scotland, helping women to accelerate in leadership and entrepreneurship is a core pillar of what we do through our flagship Saltire Scholar Programme and Entrepreneurial Scotland Membership.

This IWD, we want to celebrate all the women who make our programmes possible. From the incredible women in our University Partner Careers Teams, the women based in our Partner Host Companies, and the women who help facilitate sessions within our Entrepreneurial Scotland membership (Annabella Beckwith, Jules Lancastle). Without your support, our programmes would not be possible.

We particularly want to highlight and celebrate the 13 amazing women working at Entrepreneurial Scotland, Alison, Louise, Katrina, Lisa, Kelly, Cheryl, Lindsey, Anna, Natasha, Ros, Rachel, Vicki and Rebecca.


Get Involved

If you want to learn more about International Women’s Day and how you can get involved, visit the IWD website below.