From education to employment

Converge launches new initiative to springboard female founders

As we mark #InternationalWomensDay, Converge, Scotland’s leading company creation and enterprise programme for the university sector, has launched a month of female focused workshops including two ‘Conversations for the Curious’ events in partnership with Women in Enterprise Scotland (WES). 

The online events, starting next week, have been specifically designed to encourage Scotland’s future and current female entrepreneurs to develop their business curiosity into competence by addressing the most common barriers cited by female entrepreneurs. The workshops will provide a platform for informal conversations, in a supportive space, where pre-conceived notions can be challenged.  Hosted by Lynne Cadenhead, the event series have a fantastic line up of leading female founders, investors and business experts as panellist speakers, including Daisy Ford-Downes and Rebecca Pick.

The female-focused trio of events will run throughout March including:

  • “But what if I fail” workshop on Tuesday 15th March. This first ‘Conversation’ will be hosted by Women Enterprise Scotland chair, Lynne Cadenhead, and pairs Converge enterprise manager, Dr Lissa Herron, with Converge 2020 winner Genevieve Patenaude, founder of Earth Blox, to unpick the concept of failure and whether we can redefine it as a learning experience
  • The second ‘Conversation’ event, on Thursday 24th March, focuses on breaking the second glass ceiling, investment. This workshop will bring together investors and investment experts to explore some of the challenges women face in securing funding and will offer practical solutions to overcome them. Speakers will include Gillian Fleming, CEO of Mint Ventures, Jordan Dargue, CEO Tees Valley Business Hub and Daisy Ford-Downes, head of group investment programmes at Firstport.
  • The final event, on Tuesday 29th March, will examine how fear of success can also be a barrier. Converge enterprise manager Dr Lissa Herron talks to serial entrepreneur and chair of Women’s Enterprise Scotland Lynne Cadenhead and Rebecca Pick, founder of Pick Protection

Claudia Cavalluzzo, executive director at Converge, commented

“At Converge, we strive to promote gender balance and to create an inclusive environment where everyone can feel supported and encouraged to embark on the entrepreneurial journey. ‘Conversations for the Curious’ has been designed to lift the lid on the most common fears of female entrepreneurs – to encourage women to embrace the challenges of entrepreneurship.  We hope to enthuse female innovators and company founders to take the next step towards establishing or growing their own business. With applications to our 2022 programme closing in less than a month on 5th April, we hope the series will inspire more female applicants in our target audiences – specifically students, recent graduates and academic staff across Scotland’s universities – to take the plunge and apply this year.”

Chair of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, Lynne Cadenhead, has been instrumental in creating the series with Converge. Lynne commented

“So many people dream about starting their own business or making their ideas a reality but too few take real action and do anything about it. The 2022 Rose Report has highlighted impressive growth in women entrepreneurs in recent years, but we know there are so many more great women innovators and entrepreneurs in Scotland. We hope this conversation series helps to seek out, inspire and support the next generation of brilliant Scottish entrepreneurs and innovators.”

To register for the free one-hour conversation sessions visit

For more information, or to apply to Converge before the 5th April 2022 deadline, please visit:

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