This week is Women Entrepreneurs Week – a global celebration of female business leaders everywhere. If recent figures from Enterprising West of England are anything to go by, then the West of England has every reason to celebrate.
The Enterprising West of England programme delivers a range of support services to businesses throughout the region and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by six partners; Business West, The Prince’s Trust, YTKO Group, Bristol City Council, Bath and North east Somerset Council and South Gloucestershire Council.
The support on offer includes grants for coaching, workshops, business diagnostic sessions and one-to-one business advice.
The programme has supported 426 businesses with advice or a grant since its beginning, with half of these being headed up by women. 153 of these enterprises have also been supported with a grant, with over £210,000 being offered so far.
The West of England is a hotspot of entrepreneurial talent, and it is positive news this week of all weeks that an increased number of female entrepreneurs are accessing Enterprising West of England support to achieve their business goals.
One Bristol-based entrepreneur, Emily Kent, who set up One Big Circle in 2017, received support through the Enterprising West of England programme, and is urging other female entrepreneurs to make the most of what’s on offer.
“We have really enjoyed working with each of the team members we have met through this process and found them extremely helpful in providing advice, from guidance on the application process, right through to helping us understand and explore what other opportunities for funding and support are available.” said Emily.
The business benefits of receiving support from the programme are clear she adds: “The grant and programme ensured we could allocate dedicated time to reviewing and refining our value proposition.
Continuing: “Scale-up coaching has enabled us to prepare a pitch to deliver to industry leaders and potential clients, making high-value connections for the company. As a result of the coaching grant we have made strong connections across the industry, have a clearer value proposition, and have applied the lessons learnt from the range of experts into our business and culture.”
Cassie Yates of Business West, the Project Manager of Enterprising West of England programme, comments:
“The West of England is home to many innovative and successful businesses, with some truly inspirational entrepreneurs, both male and female.
“This week though is a time to celebrate the achievements of our region’s female entrepreneurs and to inspire¬ the next generation.
“That being so, I am delighted by the levels of female entrepreneurship we are witnessing in this region, which are borne out by these latest statistics.”
For more information or to apply to receive support for your business, visit www.ewoe.co.uk