A SCOTTISH businesswoman who runs one of the UK’s most successful small independent breweries is appealing for budding female entrepreneurs to share in a £100,000 investment.

Single mother Petra Wetzel, 40, who lives in Glasgow with her 10-year-old son Noah, set up her own business, WEST Brewery, in the iconic Templeton building in the city’s Glasgow Green in 2008.

The German-born divorcee has now launched West Women, an investment fund to provide seed capital and other financial assistance to emerging female entrepreneurs operating within Scotland’s buoyant food and drink sector.

With an initial fund of £100,000 ready to invest, Wetzel is already in advanced discussions with a number of food and drink operators and is convinced that many more female-led businesses could benefit from significant investment.

She said: “The aim for West Women is to help more female entrepreneurs exploit the many opportunities that exist within our burgeoning food and drink sector.

“This is a sector I’ve operated in for over a decade and I’m getting fed up being the only woman in the room, or the token female speaker at business events.

“West Women will help other female-led businesses grow and develop their operations throughout Scotland and I am confident that the initial £100,000 fund will grow significantly over the years ahead as we reap the rewards of investment by a female entrepreneur in future generations of female entrepreneurs.

“And money is only one part of the West Women project; the other is helping with my ‘little black (or WEST red) book’ and experience from female-to-female entrepreneur. I think that’s as important as the cash.”

Wetzel said she wanted to leave a legacy in Scotland and use her experience to help others realise their dream of having their own business.

She added: “I am not doing this for any other reason than in 20 years' time I want to be in a room where most of the entrepreneurs are women telling their stories, rather than them being the kind of token one.

“I will never get rich in what I do but one thing I want to do is leave a legacy in Scotland.

“Scotland has made me the person I am today. Scotland has made me believe in myself and I always want to give something back in a spiritual way. When you’ve made a little bit of money what would I do? Buy myself more shoes or a new car? I just really would like to make a difference with that money.”

Wetzel moved to Scotland from Germany in 1994 and says she is “an accidental entrepreneur” who has never written a business plan.

She said: “The lovely thing is I am a completely accidental entrepreneur. I never thought I would run a brewery. I didn’t even drink beer until January 2008 but I absolutely love what I do.

“I want people contacting me to say 'I’ve got a business idea' and say to these women there is somewhere where it is not about red tape and bureaucracy. If you don’t have a business plan it doesn’t matter to me, just come and talk to me.

“I have never written a business plan in my life. If you have a good idea and the bare bones, that’s enough sometimes to get things started.”

Female entrepreneurs seeking funding from West Women should contact info@westbeer.com or call 0141 550 0135 (option 6).