Eight not-for-profit organisations that support and train budding women entrepreneurs will share a funding pot of more than £250,000 in the fourth round of Inspiring Women in Enterprise.
The winning organisations bid for funding to support a range of programmes and projects that are expected to support more than 1,000 women in the UK to develop business skills and establish their own enterprise. Projects include a plan to target women in disadvantaged areas in Tyne and Wear with business start-up advice to enterprise mentoring and master classes for women in mid-Ulster.
Building on success
The London based business development agency Portobello Business Centre has already helped turn hundreds of businesses into successes, including Innocent Drinks. It offers a wide range of services for people who want to set up their own enterprises or expand existing businesses.
The organisation has now won funding for MyLifeMix, a project which aims to provide 200 women with the right information to help them consider self employment. The scheme is targeted at those who face work-life balance challenges.
Allen Pluck, Chief Executive of the Portobello Business Centre, said: “The RBS funding will allow us to create a network of peer group champions, new businesses, and female entrepreneurs. We will be able to support women in balancing their caring responsibilities with self-employment.”
Support for supporters
Cascade, another grant-winning project run by the Coventry and Warwickshire Co-operative Development Agency, aims to help 50 women who are setting up and leading inspirational social enterprises. The support provided will include start-up business advice; one-to-one business coaching; management and leadership workshops, and networking events.
The project is mainly targeted at women who are supporting other women in their communities by providing them with a range of unpaid barrier-breaking services.
“The RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise funding will pay for coaches to support and advise clients in their start-up businesses, helping them to set up formal structures,” said Tamy Matanky, Strategic and Operations Manager, Coventry and Warwickshire Co-operative Development Agency.
“It will allow project clients to come together to develop joint trading activity, as well as enabling events involving other locally based social enterprises who will share their business experience. This support will allow many women to move forward to business start-up.”
Fierce competition for funding
More than 100 organisations applied for grants in this round of funding, with 14 applications going forward to the final stage that included both a judging panel and public vote.
Thom Kenrick, Head of Sustainability Programmes, at RBS said: “Congratulations to those organisations who were successful, and thank you to everyone who took the time to vote in the public voting round, which saw over 4,700 people participate.”
The full list of grant winners is as follows;
- Coventry & Warwickshire Co-op Development Agency for project ‘Cascade’; Coventry and Warwickshire
- Dungannon Enterprise Centre for project ‘InnovateHer Mid-Ulster’; Mid Ulster
- Millin Centre for project ‘Local Women Local Enterprise’; Newcastle
- Olmec for project ’First Steps in Social Enterprise’; London
- Portobello Business Centre for project ‘MyLifeMix’; London
- Sustainable Enterprise Strategies for project ‘Women Out Of Poverty Into Enterprise’ (WOOPIE); Sunderland
- The Women's Organisation Ltd for project ‘Promoting Opportunities for Women in Enterprise and Regeneration’ (POWER); Liverpool
- Works for Us for project ‘Business for You’; Milton Keynes
Support for entrepreneurs
Inspiring Women in Enterprise grant funding is one of several RBS initiatives to encourage and support women, young people and social enterprises in setting up and developing their own businesses.
Schemes run by RBS Inspiring Enterprise have reached more than 33,000 young people, 6,254 women and 1,783 social enterprises, and have helped to create a total of 664 new businesses.
RBS Inspiring Enterprise has invested a total of £7,103,140 in supporting entrepreneurs in the UK, including £4,273,422 to help young people learn the skills and receive the advice needed to set up their own enterprises.
Find out more about the work we are doing to support budding entrepreneurs.