R-L: Monica Martins, Moira Bennett, Kate Little, Karen Barr (Business Gateway Edinburgh) Anne Sellar, Susan Harkins (head of Business Gateway Edinburgh), Ifeyinwa Rita Kanu and Rachel Snedden
Business Gateway Edinburgh has celebrated the success of its first Women in Business (WIB) Growth Programme, which was launched by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and recently completed by ten inspiring businesswomen with a collective turnover of over £1m and over 50 employees.
The programme, developed by the head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, Susan Harkins, was launched on International Women’s Day in March by Nicola Sturgeon. Its aim is to help female entrepreneurs to take their business, idea or invention to the next level.
The six-week programme focused on developing skills in key areas including leadership strategy, company structures, presenting for investing, building networks and exploring new markets.
Rachel Sneddon, founder of bridal business Rachel Scott Couture, completed the programme. She is in the process of doubling the size of her boutique in the city, and she claims the progamme couldn’t have come at a better time in her business journey.
Rachel set up her business in 2004 at age 26 with £10,000 of her own savings and now has four employees. She said: “I am absolutely delighted and grateful to have been chosen to take part in the first-ever Women in Business Growth Programme, which has been hugely motivational for me and really boosted my confidence and morale.
“It not only taught me new business skills and how to think big, but also to recognise the strong qualities I already have as a successful businesswoman.
“I’ve now got a clearer than ever business vision with measurable targets and goals and the confidence I’ve never really had before to achieve them.”
She was joined by Diane Harbison, founder of Decipher Analytics; Kate Little, founder of Digital Six; Martina Zupan, founder of Alterwaste Ltd; Ifeyinwa Rita Kanu, founder of IntelliDigest Ltd; Anne Sellar, founder of Swift Letting Ltd; Laura Taylor, founder of The Secret Beauty Garden; Lorna Carr, founder of The Sensory Sessions; Monica Martins, founder of Theorem Conferences and Events Ltd and Moira Bennett, founder of Sell More Tickets Ltd.
Susan Harkins, head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “Our first ever Women In Business Growth Programme got off to a fantastic start this year when it was officially launched at our International Women’s Day event by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
“The programme is the first of its kind in Scotland to work specifically with women to achieve their growth ambition and make it easier for them to get the support they need to expand their business, covering everything from premises and staffing to networking and exporting.
“I’m immensely proud of everyone who took part and honoured to be part of the successful growth of their businesses.”
Applications are now open for the next Women In Business Growth Programme which starts on 26 October. To apply, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
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