Enterprising Women reopens for third year providing free business support for women

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SETsquared Bristol, the University of Bristol-led tech incubator, has opened applications for Enterprising Women 3.0, a supportive and inclusive business support programme to help women take their business or idea to the next stage.

The NatWest funded programme will run from February to July 2023 and provide expert business support, workshops, mentoring and coaching, along with access to a valuable network of businesses, advisers and investors.

Enterprising Women is one of SETsquared Bristol’s initiatives to improve gender and minority ethnic diversity in tech and ensure that underrepresented groups get access to business support.

Kimberley Brook, Programme Manager at SETsquared Bristol said:

“We’re thrilled to be running Enterprising Women again with NatWest’s kind support. Since the programme started in 2020, we’ve supported 36 women entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. To date, these businesses have raised a combined £6.5 million in funding and created over 150 jobs and we’re really proud of these results.”

Cheryl Gourlay, National Women in Business Manager at NatWest, said:

“Despite more women setting up and scaling up in business, disparity between men and women remains so it is vital that we make entrepreneurship more accessible for women by increasing support locally, through relatable and accessible mentors and networks. This is why we’re delighted to support SETsquared for a third year to deliver Enterprising Women.”

NatWest’s Rose Review highlights that if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men, up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy. This year’s Progress Report highlighted how resilient female entrepreneurs have been throughout the pandemic with women than ever starting new businesses, making a bigger contribution to the UK’s economy and benefiting from extra investment.

Enterprising Women has supported a diverse range of businesses to date, with many innovations aiming to solve the world’s biggest problems such as food waste, microfibre pollution, stroke rehabilitation and online safety.

Caz Icke, Founder and CEO of SoleSense, a wearable product to support patients with independent neurorehabilitation said:

“Enterprising Women has provided me with a brilliant network of women doing amazing things, I have learnt and been inspired by them all. The workshops and pitching practice have been invaluable and have helped me grow as an entrepreneur.”

Aisha Thomas, Founder of Representation Matters said:

“Enterprising Women provided a form of educational sisterhood that I didn’t know I needed. The programme allowed me the opportunity to hold the mirror to myself and grow my business to the next level.”

Enterprising Women 3.0 will culminate with a showcase and pitching event in autumn 2023 to recognise the awardees’ achievements and launch their businesses.

Those who would like to find out more about Enterprising Women 3.0 are encouraged to sign up to the online launch event on Thursday 10 November from 12-2 pm.

The programme is open to those who identify as women or non-binary assigned female at birth with tech, tech-enabled or non-tech startups, business ideas or side hustles. Apply by midnight on 8 December 2022.