SETsquared Bristol, the University of Bristol-led tech incubator, has opened applications for Enterprising Women 3.0, a supportive and inclusive business support programme to help women take their business or idea to the next stage. You have until 8 December to apply!

The NatWest funded programme will run from February to July 2023 and provide expert business support, workshops, mentoring and coaching, along with access to a valuable network of businesses, advisers and investorsEnterprising Women is one of SETsquared Bristol’s initiatives to improve gender and minority ethnic diversity in tech and ensure that underrepresented groups get access to business support. After two successful cohorts, we’re excited to see what will emerge from the third edition.  

Making entrepreneurship more accessible for women

Speaking on the relaunch, Kimberley Brook, Programme Manager at SETsquared Bristol tells us, “We’re thrilled to be running Enterprising Women again with NatWest’s kind support. Since the programme started in 2020, we’ve supported 36 women entrepreneurs to launch and grow their businesses. To date, these businesses have raised a combined £6.5 million in funding and created over 150 jobs and we’re really proud of these results.”

Cheryl Gourlay, National Women in Business Manager at NatWest, adds that the support initiatives such as Enterprising Women are integral to closing the inequality gaps that persist:  “Despite more women setting up and scaling up in business, disparity between men and women remains so it is vital that we make entrepreneurship more accessible for women by increasing support locally, through relatable and accessible mentors and networks. This is why we’re delighted to support SETsquared for a third year to deliver Enterprising Women.”

“Enterprising Women provided a form of educational sisterhood that I didn’t know I needed.”

NatWest’s Rose Review highlights that if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men, up to £250 billion of new value could be added to the UK economy. This year’s Progress Report highlighted how resilient female entrepreneurs have been throughout the pandemic with women than ever starting new businesses, making a bigger contribution to the UK’s economy and benefiting from extra investment.

Enterprising Women has supported a diverse range of businesses to date, with many innovations aiming to solve the world’s biggest problems such as food waste, microfibre pollution, stroke rehabilitation and online safety. 

Alumni from previous cohorts have gone on to make some impressive achievements. Reflecting on their experience, Caz Icke, Founder and CEO of SoleSense, a wearable product to support patients with independent neurorehabilitation tells us, “Enterprising Women has provided me with a brilliant network of women doing amazing things, I have learnt and been inspired by them all. The workshops and pitching practice have been invaluable and have helped me grow as an entrepreneur.”

Aisha Thomas, Founder of Representation Matters also adds to this,  “Enterprising Women provided a form of educational sisterhood that I didn’t know I needed. The programme allowed me the opportunity to hold the mirror to myself and grow my business to the next level.”

Enterprising Women 3.0 will culminate with a showcase and pitching event in autumn 2023 to recognise the awardees’ achievements and launch their businesses. Those who would like to find out more about Enterprising Women 3.0 are encouraged to sign up to the online launch event on Thursday 10 November from 12-2 pm. 

The programme is open to those who identify as women or non-binary assigned female at birth with tech, tech-enabled or non-tech startups, business ideas or side hustles. Apply by midnight on 8 December 2022.

A headshot of Aisha Tomas, a black women who is smiling with her mouth closed, wearing glasses and an orange hoody that has a logo which says Representation Matters. She is in a room with orange stools and overhead lighting behind her.
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Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.