WEST Project

New business develop programme for disadvantaged women

A charity which helps people looking to start their own businesses is launching a new programme to support disadvantaged women in their efforts to start their own enterprises.

Wolverhampton-based Access to Business has launched Women’s Enterprise Skills Training (WEST) Midland Project which will see 200 women from across Wolverhampton and Dudley take part in a one-day workshop to get them thinking about business and build their confidence. This will be followed by monthly networking events to help them develop their business ideas further.

It is hoped that by the end of the one-year programme, 20 new businesses will be created. Josie Kelly, Chief Executive of Access to Finance, said: “The WEST programme is for women from all backgrounds. They may be struggling to find a job or are simply needing a bit of support to get their business going. They may be single parents or women with a lack of confidence for various reasons. We want to give them that confidence to take that next step and join the business world.”

The programme will cover subjects such as business budgeting, marketing and social media use, ensuring your business is legal, access to networking and business support organisations, and financing your business. Access to Business is partnering with NatWest for a session about crowdfunding and how this type of funding can benefit new businesses. Earlier this year NatWest launched its Back Her Business Crowdfunder which aims to assist female-led businesses in their crowdfunding efforts as part of the bank’s wider ambition to reduce the gender gap associated with women starting their own businesses.

Carole Taylor, Senior Business Advisor at Access to Business, said: “We are delighted to be working with NatWest who we have worked very well with on previous projects and programmes. NatWest’s Back Her Business Crowdfunder is a great way for new businesses to bridge their funding gaps as a lot of new businesses may not even think about a Crowdfunding as an option which can be an invaluable resource.”

Harinder Kunor, Business Growth Enabler at NatWest, said: “Access to Business is a fantastic charity that is doing some incredibly work across the Wolverhampton and the Black Country. The WEST programme is an exciting project that has been specifically designed to help women gain confidence and build new businesses which will no doubt benefit the communities they operate in. We are delighted to work with them as part of our Back Her Business Crowdfunder and look forward to seeing how these businesses develop.”

If you are interested in the WEST Project please contact Carole Taylor on 01902 572398 or carole@access2business.co.uk

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