The project has been awarded almost £20,000 from the Armed Forces Covenant and will be delivered by WES, supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland, Business Gateway, AFF (Army Families Federation) and HIVE (the information network for all members of the Service community).
WES – the community interest company which focuses on the contribution women’s enterprise makes to the Scottish economy – applied for funding from the Armed Forces Covenant after recognising that traditional employment can be hard to sustain for the partners of servicemen and women.
Women’s Enterprise Scotland CEO Margaret Gibson said: “Our project will inspire, motivate and inform attendees on the benefits and challenges of business creation and the processes involved. It is rooted in the community and grown out of a specific local need.
“These are people, who typically have a wealth of talents, including resilience, flexibility and resourcefulness. Many do not pursue traditional employment opportunities due to the demands of a military focused lifestyle, yet their resilience and capacity to adapt can make them ideal entrepreneurs.
“Scotland needs to encourage more women into the enterprise sector. We want this project to serve as a pilot scheme in unlocking the talents of more women, with a view to rolling it out with the support of our partners and stakeholders throughout Scotland.”
The Business Creation Project encompasses a free 10 week course for 1.5 hours per week, where attendees will be helped to develop business ideas, match existing skills and gain information and confidence on how to start up and run a small business.
It is hoped that up to 70 spouses and partners will receive support from WES to generate a business idea, meet other likeminded women and benefit from ongoing connections within the local business community.
Captain Scott Shaw, unit welfare officer for 2 SCOTS said; “We are delighted to be working with Women’s Enterprise Scotland to deliver this innovative project and we look forward to nurturing the enterprise skills of the spouses and partners of our Regiment.”
Julie Baker, head of enterprise, Royal Bank of Scotland, said; “We know the enormous value that female entrepreneurs can add to the economy, but we also know the different challenges women sometimes face. This is why the Royal Bank of Scotland is such a longstanding partner of Women’s Enterprise Scotland. Their Armed Forces Business Creation Project is an excellent, innovative approach to getting more women into enterprise.”
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