In a bid to help women entrepreneurs take advantage of superfast broadband and digital technology in their business, Cheshire’s Broadband Delivery UK Scheme is to run a series of master classes.
To support the free master classes in helping to demonstrate how access to fibre broadband can help SMEs realise their potential, the government’s equalities office has made a £90,000 windfall available to Connecting Cheshire.
The first phase of the scheme has already helped over 300 businesses, and the second will see Connecting Cheshire team up with Greater Manchester Business Growth Hub to run a programme called #Eveolution.
#Eveolution will target 500 entrepreneurs and businesses with online learning and one-on-one support.
The government is keen to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs as just fewer than 20% of SMEs are owned or majority-owned by women.
The Women’s Business Council has predicted that greater participation by women could boost economic growth by 10% by 2030.
Cheshire East’s Council executive director of economic growth and prosperity, Caroline Simpson, said: “It is really important that women entrepreneurs take advantage of this initiative. There are many extremely talented women across Cheshire who want a helping hand with technology, knowing that it would make a significant impact on the success of their business.
“The #Eveolution programme provides an opportunity for women-led businesses and potential female entrepreneurs to take advantage of faster broadband to expand or set up new businesses, including home-based enterprises.”
Christine East, a former IT teacher who now runs a pet-supplies business said: “We were able to immediately implement new skills into the business which have made a big impact, such as smartphone business apps, and see immediate results.”