The winners, which were among 175 organisations applying for RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise grants, offer a variety of programmes including training, mentoring and support, skills and knowledge development, and building the skills necessary to start up and survive in business. Each organisation will receive a grant of up to £50,000 and will be invited to join the RBS Inspiring Enterprise network.
One of the winning programmes, Growbiz’s ‘Enterprising Town’, works with local organisations, schools, and businesses to raise awareness of enterprise in the Coupar Angus area in Scotland. The Enterprising Town project aims to encourage, support and mentor more than 100 women to come up with business ideas that will help to revitalise the town. The outcome will be 20 new enterprises, or social enterprises, increasing employment and economic opportunities for the whole community.
Another winner, JAN Trust’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Women into Business programme, is an enterprise project aimed at reducing inequality and improving the employment prospects of disadvantaged BAME women in North London. The programme aims to empower women to become self-employed through a programme of training, advice and expertise, enabling them to set up and run sustainable, community-based businesses.
The Calthorpe Project, Corams Fields and Bloomsbury Babies, The Parent-cubator project, London
Women into Work (WOW), WOW Enterprise programme, Edinburgh
Growbiz, Enterprising Town programme, Perthshire
Change Agents UK, Women in Social and Environmental Enterprise (WiSEE) programme, Oakham
E-factor, One Hundred Inspiring Women! programme, Grimsby
The Regional Refugee Forum North East (RRF), The Missing Link programme, Gateshead
JAN Trust, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Women into Business programme, London
Thom Kenrick, Head of Sustainability Programmes, RBS Group said: "We are delighted to support eight more organisations with this round of Inspiring Women in Enterprise funding. Once again we were hugely impressed by the depth and breadth of the enterprise support that's available for the UK's female entrepreneurs. RBS is committed to unlocking, supporting and nurturing entrepreneurial talent and we believe these organisations will help us achieve that goal."
RBS Inspiring Women in Enterprise has been designed to encourage more women to explore enterprise, build their skills, start up and succeed in business. RBS is making £500,000 of grants available every year for the next three years, and aims to inspire and enable 20,000 women to explore and unlock their enterprise potential by 2015.
The grant applications were submitted online and winners were chosen by a judging panel including a public vote, which more than 5,000 people took part in.