Women entrepreneurs in Cheshire East can benefit from a £90k windfall to support a series of free masterclasses around the power of fibre optic broadband for small and medium sized businesses.
The funding has been awarded to the Connecting Cheshire Partnership and Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub by the Government’s equalities office and will underpin a second phase of a project to help female entrepreneurs to take advantage of superfast broadband and digital technology.
More than 300 female-led businesses benefited in phase one of the scheme.
The second phase will see Connecting Cheshire partner the Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub to deliver an inspirational programme known as ‘#Eveolution’ which will offer help to more than 500 businesses and entrepreneurs through a series of masterclasses offering e-learning and one to one support.
The programme is an element of government policy to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs and to play a greater roll in business.
Less than 20 per cent of small and medium-sized companies are owned or majority owned by women.
The Women’s Business Council predicts greater participation by women could bring about an increase in economic growth of 0.5 per cent, leading to 10 per cent by 2030.
Cheshire East Deputy Leader Cllr David Brown said: “I am delighted we are able to continue the excellent progress we have made in supporting female entrepreneurs.
“This will deliver practical and inspiring support to help new and established female-led businesses to exploit the benefits of superfast broadband and boost their competitiveness.”
Caroline Simpson, Cheshire East Council’s executive director of economic growth and prosperity said: “It is really important that women entrepreneurs take advantage of this initiative.
“There are many extremely talented women in the Borough who want a helping hand with technology, knowing that it would make a significant impact on the success of their business
“The #Eveolution’ programme provides an opportunity for women-led businesses and potential female entrepreneurs to take advantage of faster broadband to expand
or set up new businesses, including home-based enterprises.”
Caroline Dinenage, the Government’s Minister for women, equalities and family justice said: “If women set up business at the same rate as men, ther would be 1m more female entrepreneurs.
“I hope that this fund helps women in Cheshire East to take their first step into the business world.”
For more details on the programme go to www.eveolution.org.uk