Jeanette Forbes appointed entrepreneurship ambassador

Press and Journal – 31/07/2011

Aberdeen-based businesswoman Jeanette Forbes, CEO of PCL Group, has become the North-east of Scotland’s first UK Female Entrepreneurship Ambassador (UKFEA).

She joins a select group of 50 successful businesswomen across the UK who have been invited to join UKFEA, part of a wider EU-funded ambassadors programme set up across 22 countries in Europe. The European network has 250 female role models, from across all business sectors, and only six of those are based in Scotland.

As an ambassador, Jeanette’s role will be to campaign on behalf of women, to encourage and inspire them to become entrepreneurs and set up their own business.

Jeanette set up her own company in March 2000 after being made redundant the previous year during a downturn in the oil and gas sector. Working from her dining room table and with just £100 in her bank account, she built the PCL Group up to become a global IT service provider to the offshore, marine, commercial and industrial industry sectors, based in Regent Quay, Aberdeen.

Already a mentor for three area businesswomen as part of the national Business Mentoring Scotland programme, Jeanette said it was a privilege to be invited to join the national Ambassador’s scheme.

“There is a distinct lack of female role models in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – and this may discourage women from looking on those areas as a career choice and a sector where they can build their own business,” she said. “That is why ambassadors such as this are so important because it raises the profile of women successfully leading their businesses in industries where traditionally women have been few and far between.

“In wider terms, the number of women who are running their own businesses or who are in self employment is not representative of the number of women in the overall labour market and this programme aims to change that by increasing the number of females involved in some form of entrepreneurial activity.”

A qualified systems engineer, Jeanette’s own career path took her from receptionist, to secretary and PA. From there she studied for a computing degree and Diploma in Management on a day release basis while holding down a full time job and looking after a young family.

“The sense of empowerment that is achieved by becoming an entrepreneur is life changing and encouraging women to reach their full potential in business life is an ongoing passion,” she said.