Achieve Your Business Dreams with the
Inspiring Women Programme!
Inspiring Women is a business support programme specifically designed for women in London to start and establish their own businesses, as well as grow and sustain existing early stage businesses.
Support is provided through one to one sessions with experienced Advisers along with a range of business seminars and mentoring. All the services delivered under this scheme are FREE of charge as they are part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Find out below how you can access either:
1. A 3 month Inspiring Women Start Up Programme (if you are not already trading or have a registered business). The next 3 month course starts in January 2020 (recruiting from November 2019).
2. The Inspiring Women Business Growth Service (if you are already running an early stage business which has been registered for less than 42 months).
1. Thinking About Starting a Business?
Ready for a challenge - need help and support to get going?
Apply for the Inspiring Women Start Up Programme
If you have an idea for a business or a social enterprise and need dedicated help to get up and running - your can apply for our Inspiring Women Start Up Programme. This scheme offers a free package of support specifically designed to help women in London successfully start their own business. It is delivered through a range seminars and access to our expert Business Adviser over a 3 month period. This includes help with:
Creating a vision for your business
Researching your market
Exploring your business model
Learning about the skills and mindset required to start your business
Understanding legal requirements
Peer mentoring with like-minded people curious about starting a business
Action planning on how to grow and sustain your business.
Following completion of the 3 month course, you will also have 6 months' free access to the Let's Go! Business Hub facilities - including free access to hot desks / co-working space, a professional mailing address, online directory entry and discounted room hire!
Are You Eligible for 2019?
To be eligible to apply for the next 3 month Inspiring Women Start Up Programme (commencing January 2020) you must be a woman and:
Be resident in a London borough
Be thinking of starting a business to be based in a London borough
Have attended a FREE Steps to Starting Your Own Business Taster Session in November/December 2019
Have a business idea, but not have already registered your business with HMRC or Companies House, or be trading. (If you have registered your business or are trading, you can still benefit from our Inspiring Women Business Growth Service for existing businesses, see 2. below)
Be able to commit to the 3 month period of the course - an average of around 10 hours a week.
Not already be receiving support through other programmes
Not have registered a business / run a business in the last 42 months (from the date of acceptance on this course)
How to Apply for the 3 Month Course:
The Inspiring Women 3 month Start Up Programme will commence in January 2020. To be eligible to apply you must have attended one Steps to Starting Your Own Business Taster Session in November/ December 2019. After you have attended a Taster session, you will need to complete the Inspiring Women Start Up Programme Application Form - following submission, successful candidates will be selected and notified.
2. Already running an early stage business?
If you are already trading, or you have registered (under 42 months) and are looking to develop and grow your business, you can apply for our Inspiring Women Business Growth Service. This includes access to expert one to one business advice and a range of Business Growth Seminars (12 hours worth of support in total). Our experienced Advisers can help you with:
Promote and market your business effectively: enhancing sales and developing a marketing strategy, including using social media effectively
Understand your finances: including help with financial forecasting, cash-flow, maximise your profit margin
Get to grips with environmental management including energy efficiency performance, policies and procedures
Develop and review your business model
Human resources: recruitment process, staffing policies and procedures
As part of this service, after you have received the 12 hours of support, you will also have free access to Business Hub facilities - including access to hot desks / co-working space, a professional mailing address and discounted room hire for 6 months.
Are You Eligible?
To apply for the Inspiring Women: Business Growth Service, you must be a woman and:
Have a business which is registered with HMRC or Companies House less than 42 months old at the time of acceptance for Business Growth support under this programme
Be running your business from a London borough
Commit to receiving 12 hours business support (this can be made up of a mix of one to one advice sessions and business seminars).
Not already receiving support through other programmes
How to Register for Inspiring Women Business Growth Service
Make an appointment to see one of our Advisers for a business review to identify and agree an action plan for support. (You are not required to attend a seminar before this meeting). Call 020 8443 5457 or email .
There is no deadline to apply for the Business Growth service, you can apply at anytime, however, there are limited places available until the end of the Inspiring Women Programme in December 2021.
What participants on previous women's programmes say:
It has been one of the most inspiring courses I have ever done. Other courses seemed to be academically led but the Inspiring Women programme has been interactive, practical, supportive and opened my business mind.
The support of the programme is amazing, it has resulted in a network of women who support each other in our respective business endeavours, continuing support from staff is outstanding and very encouraging.
The individual support given has been invaluable. The suggestions given have helped me to approach things from various angles. So much great information, real structure, endless tips and so motivational. Every single session has been educational, challenging and so rewarding. The programme has given me the push and insight needed to complete my Business Plan.
The course has been outstanding, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is thinking of doing it to go ahead. It covered marketing, social media, financial forecasting, core values and many other useful tools. I have developed more business confidence and learnt to trust my instincts more. I have met an amazing group of women, we have forged strong friendships and a great support network. The overriding thing I will take from the course is the motivational aspect of pushing myself and believing in myself. I still find it hard to take the first step but now I have the tools to finish the journey!
This was a fantastic programme that was so well organised giving us so many opportunities to learn about running our own businesses.
Lexi’s Coffee Shop
I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to start up a business. I have grown and learnt so much. I have grown in confidence and learnt a lot about business and myself. I have become more assertive and have also become more productive.
Without the support from the course team I would never have been able to believe in my dream of being my own boss.
I have realised my dream of having my own business. Having trainers and mentors at hand with advice has been invaluable and enabled me to develop my ideas further and utilise my demonstrated skills to its full advantage. I am now pursuing programmes for children through fun and engaging educational learning and have received brilliant relevant advice from experts that really understand me.
I have gained confidence and my communication skills have improved exceptionally. I have learnt how to draft a sales proposal which was very important to me and also a business plan.
I think the course has met my expectations and beyond, it is what I needed to make me move forward. I would always go so far with a project and then walk away, but with this programme I have stayed focused and it has changed my views so that now I want to be a success.
Sue Johnson Raine