Women mean business

Joyce Duncan
Joyce Duncan

AN innovative business development programme for Fife’s women entrepreneurs has been announced by Business Gateway Fife.

The Fife Women Mean Business initiative aims to build on Business Gateway’s successful track record of getting women into business – over the past decade the start-up levels of business by women in Fife have increased to 40 per cent.

The programme has been devised by Blue Horizon’s Jackie Waring who is a specialist in women’s enterprise policy and enterprise policy adviser to UK government.

Joyce Duncan, managing director of Business Gateway Fife, said: “It is clear from the numbers of women in Fife starting a business that there is a lively interest in enterprise, but very few of these companies develop and grow.

“Women need and want the support of experts who understand business, but particularly understand the challenges for women in business.

“This free programme is tailored exactly for women and will be an excellent opportunity for them to be inspired, advised and then to take control of their businesses.”

The programme will begin in November and offers six full day workshops, access to a specialist Business Gateway advisor, and a broad range of contacts and networking.

Jackie Waring, herself a former Scottish Young Career Woman of the Year and finalist in Entrepreneur of the Year, has run similar programmes in England and Edinburgh and will lead in Fife too.

She said: “We know from previous research that at least two out of three women would like to grow their business and in Scotland live research is indicating that this might be even higher.

“This programme is about giving women the tools, the inspiration and the self- belief to grow.”

The initiative has been welcomed by Councillor Kay Carrington, executive member for Fife Council’s business, enterprise, economy and planning, who said: “This is an excellent initiative providing targeted support for an important sector of the Fife economy which has significant potential for growth.

“Research is showing all the time that women are ambitious, especially those with children, and to ignore their needs is to miss out on a vital opportunity to stimulate our local economy.”

Women who have been running their own business, in any sector, for a minimum of 18 months and are keen to grow are eligible to apply. The programme is free.

>> For more information and to go along to the introductory lunch on October 29 contact (01592) 858333 or e-mail success@bgfife.co.uk.