Women-owned businesses are now responsible for creating 231k Scottish jobs and contribute an estimated £8.8bn GVA to the Scottish economy.  If women were to set up businesses at the same rate as men, this would add £13bn to the Scottish economy or the equivalent of 100,000 new businesses.

Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce launched its highly successful Dunbartonshire Women in Business Programme last year designed to provide the opportunity for women in Dunbartonshire to connect, learn, be inspired and set up and grow businesses in the area. The initiative was launched recently in West Dunbartonshire with an inspirational talk from Emma Armstrong of B-ABLE Business Services.

Dunbartonshire Chamber member, Emma Armstrong of B-ABLE Business Services, is a shining example of a businesswoman making a real impact to establish and grow a highly successful business.

Emma started working for herself after being made redundant as an office manager in the credit crunch of 2008 before moving to the accounts department of an Audi servicing and repair business during which time she focused on attaining her first professional qualifications. Emma’s mix of financial management and organisational skills led to a full time General Manager position and, separate from this, she built an 80-strong client base for her bookkeeping services.

Emma took the decision to set up her own full-time business in May 2012 when she took space in a local business centre in her hometown of Clydebank and established B-ABLE Business Services. By June of the following year the client base had expanded to more than 150 and Emma took on her first part-time member of staff. Encouraged by the demand for, and successful delivery of, B-ABLE’s services the business re-located to some former retail units to create new offices that were subsequently purchased and refurbished. Within 2 years of the re-location the number of clients had risen to more than 500 leading to the employment of 2 full-time bookkeepers and a part-time admin assistant. During this time the range of services was expanded to provide a more comprehensive offer taking in mailboxes, hot-desks, meeting facilities and payroll management.

Earlier this year B-ABLE continued its upward trajectory by acquiring an old church hall in Clydebank which has been transformed into a new business centre fitted-out to meet the needs of the current staffing and client levels.

  • Multi-award-winning B-ABLE Business Services now has more than 1000 clients, a turnover of around £300,000, employing 9 staff at its new premises.
  • A comprehensive range of services now take in Bookkeeping, Accountancy, Payroll and access to the new business facilities.
  • Expansion plans include rolling the business model out to multiple locations across the region.

Emma puts much of her success down to the approach the business takes to its customers: “We have carved out a bit of a niche to not only provide a full range of business services but also to build a really strong understanding of client needs, taking the time to get to know them and providing a lot of added value through the advice and support we offer to help them grow their business. The reality is that if our clients do well so do we, especially if we have played a part in helping them work more effectively and grow so we put that relationship at the heart of everything we do.”

Damon Scott, Chief Executive, Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce, adds: “Women are increasingly becoming the job creators and growth drivers both in Scotland and throughout the UK. Emma’s entrepreneurial spirit is infectious, she has a real passion for her business and for delivering great quality services for her clients to help them grow. I am delighted to have B-ABLE as a valuable member of the Chamber and continue to pass some of Emma’s knowledge and enthusiasm on to our other members.”

Emma Armstrong MICB/ACPA won “Professional of the Year” at this years’ Scottish Women’s Awards.

For more information about B-ABLE Business Services visit:

Dunbartonshire Women in Business

Dunbartonshire Chamber was launched Dunbartonshire Women in Business in 2017 to create a programme of events and opportunities to support women in business or those considering setting up in business. A range of guest speakers have presented so far from business transformation specialists to those that have unique and inspirational business journeys to share. All the events  have an element of networking built in to encourage guests to build connections, share knowledge and provide support to peers.

To find out more about the Dunbartonshire Chamber, or to join go to

About the author

Chamber admin are responsible for the day to day running of the chamber, dealing with enquiries, membership as well as organising events and meetings.