Restricted Access Women-owned businesses in profile by pharmphresh37


									WOMEN’S ENTERPRISE (UK) NEWS No. 8                   November 2002

Regular digest from Prowess: for organisations committed to excellence in women’s enterprise

It’s been a very busy month here at Prowess, with our launch event and the publication of our
first research report. The barriers to women’s entrepreneurship have made the news, and there’s
been a firm commitment from Patricia Hewitt that the government will do all it can to help more
women start businesses. Don’t forget to let us know of any exciting developments or new or
expanding projects in the women’s enterprise support sector…

Prowess officially launched
Parliamentary questions on women and enterprise
More women entrepreneurs in Britain’s Inner City 100 index
New project to support women business owners use ICT
Business Links not best providers of services to women
WEETU wins Castle Award
Web Works for Women project in Cheshire and Warrington

Women in Regeneration
UKBI 4th Annual Conference
Scottish round-table
The Gender Lens for Business Support
Networking 2002: The Keys for Successful Women Entrepreneurs

Restricted Access: Women-owned businesses in profile

Community Fund Research Grants briefing sessions

What should Prowess focus on?


Prowess officially launched
Prowess set sail on her first official voyage on 30th October with a high profile launch
event at Westminster’s Central Hall. Keynote speaker the Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt took
questions from the 250-strong audience, and Professor Sara Carter unveiled the findings
of ‘Restricted Access: Women-owned businesses in profile’, a new research report
commissioned by Prowess. Ms Hewitt said: “Prowess clearly meets a need – a need
which women entrepreneurs and researchers have identified – a strong network to help
share and develop best practice, and to promote support for women’s enterprise in the
UK.” The event was supported by NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland. Copies of
the speeches made by Patricia Hewitt and Prowess Executive Director Erika Watson are
available. Call 01603 762355 or email

Parliamentary questions on women and enterprise
Patricia Hewitt has been fully engaged with the issues of women and enterprise over the
last couple of weeks. The day after speaking at the Prowess launch she was called to
answer a parliamentary question about what she was doing to increase the number of
women setting up their own businesses. She mentioned the government’s cross-cutting
review “which reinforced our commitment to encourage women entrepreneurs”, and
talked of the Phoenix funded projects around the country, including Prowess. For the full
transcript including contributions from Caroline Spelman, Huw Edwards, Diane Abbott,
Sue Doughty and Barbara Follett visit the virtual library on the Prowess website

More women entrepreneurs in Britain’s Inner City 100 index
Continuing with the women and enterprise theme when presenting a special prize for
women entrepreneurs at the Inner City 100 awards ceremony on 5th November, Patricia
Hewitt said: “I am determined that the government helps to increase the number of
women in business, particularly in deprived areas and to ensure that government-funded
business support services are available to meet their needs.” Thirteen per cent of the
companies in this year’s Inner City 100 index are run by women compared with eight per
cent last year, but this is still well below the national average of women entrepreneurs
which is 28 per cent. For the full list of winners see:

New project to support women business owners use ICT
The WEBS (Women’s Electronic Business Support) project was launched last week by
the Women’s Electronic Village Hall (WEVH) in Manchester. “This project will help
local women business owners to expand their business by providing them with advice,
training and support about using new technologies effectively,” said Sally Jones, WEBS
Manager. The project is linked to WEVH’s plans to open up a women’s technology
centre in Manchester next year which will offer flexible, managed workspace for women
and access to ICT equipment, networking and child care facilities. For more details call
Sally on 0161 953 4049 or email

Business Links not best providers of services to women
A major government review has found that Business Links are failing to reach under-
represented communities and recommends that they should broker with better placed
intermediary organisations to reach women business owners. The Cross Cutting Review
of Government Services for Small Business also suggests that "SBS should place more
emphasis on championing women and under-represented groups" and "help other
government departments to recognise the importance of diversity in the enterprise agenda
and the importance of the enterprise agenda when determining targets". RDAs are
advised to work with local strategic partnerships to pioneer novel approaches to barriers
for specific groups of local entrepreneurs. The report also found that under-represented
and disadvantaged groups were not receiving adequate advice and information about self-
employment from Job Centres. The 200 page report has been compiled jointly by the
SBS and HM Treasury. For the full report see A digest of
relevant parts will soon be placed in the members’ area of the prowess website.

WEETU wins Castle Award
Congratulations to Norwich-based WEETU, one of Prowess’s founding members, on
winning at the first ever Castle Awards Ceremony held at No. 11 Downing Street on the
29th October. WEETU won the voluntary and community sector award for being a leader
in their sector in terms of promoting equality of opportunity and addressing equal pay
issues. Baroness Castle agreed last year to give her name to the Castle Awards for
individuals and organisations that had made significant contributions to tackling the pay
gap. Winners in other categories were: ASDA, the National Assembly for Wales and
Unilever UK. More details:

Web Works for Women project in Cheshire and Warrington
Business Link Cheshire and Warrington will launch its ESF Women Entrepreneurs
project Web Works for Women later this month. The project aims to provide free IT
training and management development to about 200 women entrepreneurs and managers
over the next year and is centred around an online network on the Web Works for
Women website For further information or to attend the launch on 29
Nov contact Yvonne Sampson on 01925 715200 or


Women in Regeneration, 14 Nov, London, 5 Dec, Sheffield. £25 inc VAT
New Start is holding two networking events for women who work in regeneration. Both
events run from 6pm to 8.30pm and will include presentations on how to be a ‘positive
presence’. More details: or
call Jane Milnes on 0114 2816130

UKBI 4th Annual Conference, 24-26 Nov 2002, Edinburgh, early bird booking rates start
from £212.50 for a single day for non-members of UKBI. ‘Business Incubation: The
Fundamentals of Economic Prosperity’ includes sessions on incubating economically
disadvantaged groups and rural incubation, and Wendy Werkmeister from the Wisconsin
Women’s Business Initiative Corporation will hold a session on Social Enterprise. More
details: or 0121 250 3538.
Scottish round-table, 25 November 12-2pm Edinburgh
Prowess is holding a consultation event for Scottish members and stakeholders. President
of leading edge US women's enterprise centre Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative
Corporation (WWBIC), Wendy Werkmeister, will give a short presentation as will
Prowess Executive Director Erika Watson. There will be a working buffet lunch with a
round-table discussion aimed at informing Prowess about the needs of the sector in
Scotland. To book your place: Sandy Grange 01603 762355

The Gender Lens for Business Support, 5 dates from 20 Nov- 5 Dec 2002, various
locations in N Ireland, free of charge.
Invest NI are holding a series of capability building workshops open to all business
support providers. The orientation programme is part of the initial implementation of
Invest NI’s Investing in Women plan, which aims to increase the number of women
starting up or growing their own business in Northern Ireland during the next three years.
The programme is aimed at DARD advisers, New Deal advisers, Prince’s Trust mentors,
loan panel advisers, accountants, LEA managers and staff, bank small business advisers
and business consultants. More details: Sharon Polson 02890 552137 or

Networking 2002: The Keys for Successful Women Entrepreneurs, 10 – 11 Dec 2002,
Paris. Registration €450
Organised by the Association DIRIGEANTES, a France-based organisation working for
the development of women’s entrepreneurship, this international networking event has
workshops on successful entrepreneurship, speeches by economic and political
personalities from around the world, and round table discussions on promoting women’s
entrepreneurship, as well as exchanges to build up networks and share best practice. For
further information or a registration form go to


Restricted Access: Women-owned businesses in profile
The success of women entrepreneurs is being hampered by their lack of engagement with
ICT and the undercapitalisation of their businesses. These are the key findings from the
new research report published by Prowess. The study was based on a survey of more than
18,000 FSB members carried out earlier this year, and included responses from 1,750
women who are the sole owners of their business. Although women-owned businesses
were over represented among the younger age groups, they were less likely to use ICT in
their businesses or to use the internet for business transactions. A electronic version of
the full report by Professor Sara Carter, Dr Stephen Tagg and Jackie Brierton is available
free of charge from the onsite library in the press and research and members’ areas of
Prowess website or
you can order a printed copy (at no charge for Prowess members, non-members £5.50 inc
p&p) by calling 01603 762355, or email


Co-financing for EU structural funds promised much easier applications. Prowess has had
some feedback which suggests however, that it may be making things worse for the
women's economic development sector. Many LSCs appear to be making bad judgments
about the strategic fit of women’s economic development programmes. Reports from
elsewhere suggest that the non-profit sector share of structural funds is reducing under
co-financing with LSC's pursuing their own objectives. Prowess is compiling a dossier of
evidence to lobby policy makers on this issue.
If your organisation has experience to contribute please contact Erika Watson at Prowess.
01603 762355

Community Fund Research Grants briefing sessions
These ‘how to apply’ briefing sessions are open to voluntary sector groups interested in
applying for funding for social research. Initial dates are 5 Nov 2002 in Cardiff, 2 Dec
2002 in Birmingham and 14 Jan 2003 in York. Register online at


What should Prowess focus on?
This month is a collective opinion piece - we asked the delegates at our launch event
what they thought Prowess should focus on, and these are the key areas they suggested:

The highest number of responses suggested that Prowess should focus on promoting and
developing best practice for existing business support services and sharing information
and research throughout the business support sector. Access to finance remains an
important issue, and many of our delegates suggested that Prowess should be working to
improve the situation for women entrepreneurs, especially ethnic minorities or those from
disadvantaged areas. Prowess’s role as awareness raiser and influencer of government
policy features strongly, as does childcare and its related issues. Other suggestions of
areas for Prowess to focus on include education and training, signposting, promoting
positive role models and mentoring, networking and addressing the issues faced by
women moving from benefits to business.

If you have any further suggestions please let us know.
If you have an opinion that you want to share with other readers please email

Promoting Women’s Enterprise Support
Send comments and news or information sources to Sarah Thomas by
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