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Policy and practice
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Adaptability to work
AWE - Accelerating Women’s Enterprise
The Accelerating Women's Enterprise Development Partnership (AWE) brought together a number of leading agencies in women's enterprise development, spanning the English regions. The overarching aim of the project was to develop a programme of activities and interventions, to ensure that mainstream business support was developed to meet the needs of excluded groups of women.
To strengthen support activities for women’s enterprise through the establishment of networks and networking for developing and sharing best practice
Establishment of an effective promotion and awareness raising strategy and programme for women’s enterprise development
Production, delivery and dissemination of a range of learning materials and activities for effective development of women’s enterprise
Establishment of an effective programme of research and policy development work which informs better knowledge and understanding of women’s enterprise (in England, the UK and Europe)
Women's enterprise development was a strategic priority of the Government Women's Unit and the Social Exclusion Unit (SEU) PAT 3 Report identified 'a need for a systematic identification and promotion of best practice across the different organisations providing business support, and the aggressive pursuit of higher standards.’
Target Beneficiary groups
The target group this DP aimed to assist was existing and potential women entrepreneurs. Importantly the following excluded groups of women were targeted for assistance and support: 10% women with disabilities; 15% ethnic minority women; 25% rural women; 20% young women; 10% third age women (ie. 50 years +), 75% urban women; 50% unemployed women; 60% low income women and 20% lone parents. The projects took place nationally across England.
Prowess, a DP partner, was a major contributor to the drawing up of the UK Department of Trade and Industry's National Strategic Framework for Women's Enterprise. Women’s business support services were developed in a strategic way at national level to meet the needs of existing and emerging women entrepreneurs leading to equal numbers of women and men starting up businesses.
University of Durham
Enterprise Tamar Ltd
Foundation for SME Development
Prince's Trust (London, Park Square East)
Quaker Social Action
Women's Business Network, North West Development Agency
Women's Employment, Enterprise & Training Unit
Information for Transnational partnerships
Dinah Bennett, University of Durham,
Over 2,500 new businesses
Over 1,200 new jobs created
Over 900 women receiving training
2 new training packs
28 new accredited courses
1 accredited distance learning course
30 tailor made workshops developed
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Activities and products
Access to Finance
Research was undertaken on the financial needs of women’s businesses leading to the development of new financial products. A best practice guide focusing...
Networking and Sharing Best Practice
Networks were established through the women’s European counselor network, the national women’s enterprise network and Women into the Network....
Promotion and Awareness Raising
Promotion was through AWE’s website and e-zines; digests of relevant government and EU initiatives, circulation and dissemination of news and information...
Research and Policy Development
Research was undertaken into issues/barriers affecting women’s enterprises. There was a feasibility study on the development of women’s enterprise incubator...
Training, Support and Development
A training module and pack for bankers, policy makers and others regarding issues affecting women entrepreneurs was developed. Thematic conferences, seminars...
Accelerating Women's Enterprise: A celebration
The final project report...
Business Support with the 'F' Factor:
A multi-lateral approach to providing Female-Friendly business support to all women....
East Northern Lights
This is a booklet featuring inspiring and enterprising role models from a variety of businesses across the Northern region....
Two national issues of IF ONLY were produced, promoting entrepreneurial role models...
The Regional State of Women’s Enterprise in England
A comprehensive overview of women’s enterprise in England published by Prowess....
Women-friendly incubation environments and managed workspaces
The aim of this report is to look at ways in which business incubation environments can be tailored to meet the needs of both female and male business...
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