Social enterprise for female entrepreneurs delivers record number of online sessions

L-R Lauren McGurk, Angie De Vos and Michelle Almeida

A SOCIAL enterprise on a mission to support female entrepreneurs provided 100 activities to almost 1,000 women in the first 100 days of lockdown.

The team behind Women’s Business Station, who aim to enhance the socio-economic empowerment of 10,000 women in Scotland by 2030, have delivered a record-breaking number of online sessions and events to those affected by COVID-19.

A range of activities have been offered from business advice and networking to health and wellbeing, with around £11,000 worth of support provided in-kind by local businesses. Around 50 women have also received one-to-one support with a similar number benefitting from volunteer opportunities.

The programme of activities was created in response to a survey of members of Women’s Business Station.

Conducted in May 2020, over half of all respondents reported a ‘very negative’ early impact on their business operations with trading ceasing altogether. 

Meanwhile, almost 30% of respondents were struggling to access appropriate financial support. On the upside, over half of all respondents had diversified to assist with cashflow, from making masks, creating online shops and developing new skills to moving classes online and maximising video conferencing. 

Angie De Vos, chief executive officer, said, “Because many of the women we support are in the early stages of creating a business, we knew they would be disproportionately affected by lockdown but we also knew we could do something about it. 

“We are so grateful to our funders for allowing us to continue supporting the women we work with, and for keeping the dreams and plans of these women alive despite the incredibly challenging climate they’re working in.”

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