Major campaign to support next generation of women entrepreneurs to be launched in Bristol

November 15, 2019
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One of the biggest campaigns to help female entrepreneurs in Bristol start their own businesses is to be launched later this month.

The free programme – which will support more than 200 women – is the result of a link-up between enterprise partnership SETsquared Bristol and NatWest’s Back Her Business initiative, backed by Crowdfunder. 

It is aimed at woman with a new business, business idea or side-hustle hobby who is looking for support in setting up and accessing funding.

Eighteen of the 200 women taking part will be selected to go on to receive specialist mentoring and attend a series of workshops as well as launching their own crowdfunding campaigns through the Back Her Business initiative.

SETsquared Bristol, which is backed by the University of Bristol, was awarded a £20,000 grant by NatWest to run the programme due to its success and expertise in growing businesses, its business support provision and its commitment to diversity.

Last week it was named as the world’s number one university business incubator for the third consecutive time.

NatWest National Women in Business manager Cheryl Gourley said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with SETsquared Bristol, an organisation who through its own innovation and leadership has achieved huge success at encouraging growth in the number of female and BAME entrepreneurs in the region.

“Just one in three entrepreneurs in the UK is female and this is a figure that NatWest is hugely committed to challenging. Our Back Her Business campaign forms part of our wider commitment to help create an additional 65,000 new female led businesses by 2025, through inspiring and supporting 400,000 females to consider enterprise as a career option. SETsquared’s programme will play a part in helping us reach this important goal.”

SETsquared Bristol centre director Monika Radclyffe added: “This partnership demonstrates the continuing importance of inspiring and encouraging women to start their own businesses, which aligns with SETsquared Bristol’s ethos.”

The Back Her Business launch event is on Tuesday, November 26, from 6-8pm at Engine Shed, Bristol Temple Meads.

Alongside information sharing, it will feature a panel discussion of inspirational women businesses founders who have either experience of crowdfunding or have accessed alternative sources of funding.

The panellists are Bristol female entrepreneurs Sarah Bolt, CEO and co-founder of Forth Life & Forth Edge, Chloe Meineck, designer of Music Memory Box, and Charmaine Lawrence, founder & CEO of Mogul Minded Group. It will be chaired by Monika Radclyffe.

Back Her Business is open to UK residents with new UK projects. The 18 businesses and business founders will be selected in February next week.

The pre-incubation programme runs from March to August next year and includes full-day workshops delivered by SETsquared Bristol entrepreneurs in residence and external experts, access to advisors in residence and mentor support.

Crowdfunding campaigns will run from August to October, culminating in a crowdfunding launch night at Engine Shed in October.

NatWest is offering grants to certain successful projects – each project may receive NatWest top-up funding up to 50% of the overall fundraising target up to a maximum of £5,000.

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