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Empowering female founders on International Women’s Day

Empowering female founders on International Women’s Day

To celebrate International Women’s Day, which takes place on 8 March, SETsquared and the University of Bath will be running a female-led Sustainability Workout, as part of its West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale-Up Programme and changing the format to make it more inclusive for women and those with family commitments to attend.

The Sustainability Workout is a fully funded 2-day workshop open to businesses in the West of England which want to make changes to their sustainability and green agenda. Currently the workshop is held online and starts at 09:00am and finishes at 16:30pm. The team have recognised that these times can exclude people who have family and other work commitments so the March event will be held over 3-shorter days on the 8, 9,10 March from 09:00-13:00. Whist it’s open to all, it is hoped this will encourage sign up from more female founders and entrepreneurs. The March workout will also be facilitated with an all-female panel and it will be delivered by expert female facilitators and mentors.

The West of England Sustainable Technologies Scale Up Programme is a three year programme funded through the European Regional Development Fund and delivered by global No.1 business incubator SETsquared Partnership in partnership with the University of Bath. Two strands of support are available – a Sustainability Workout and/or academic research support from experts at the University of Bath.

Andrea Kelly, Programme Manager at SETsquared, has this to say about the programme and the plans for the March workout, “The aim of this programme is to engage with as many organisations in the West of England which are looking to explore how they can be more sustainable. The Sustainability Workout is delivered by industry experts and provides a secure environment for an organisation to look at their business model – they can pull it apart and put it back together in a way that benefits people and the planet, while making sense from a strategic and tactical perspective.

We’ve already engaged with lots of companies on this programme, however, we recognise that the 2-day programme may not be inclusive enough, particularly for female founders, entrepreneurs with families and their business colleagues, so we’ve looked at a more flexible approach. As our March Sustainability Workout falls on the 8 March it felt the perfect time to extend the workout by a day and reduce the daily hours to make it feel more inclusive. Our all-female delivery and mentor team is the icing on the cake to help with our effort to support International Women’s Day.

We’ve received lots of positive feedback and spaces are already filling up. We run our Sustainability Workouts each month and have committed to alternate between 2-day and 3-day sessions to keep the offering more flexible.”

Emma Burlow who is part of the delivery team for the March Sustainability Workout goes onto say, “I’m delighted to be part of the delivery team for this programme. I’ve been working directly with businesses on sustainability for over 25 years so have a hands-on understanding of the success factors required for implementing more circular business models. The Sustainability Workout is a fantastic opportunity for organisations to find a pragmatic solid pathway through sustainability and circularity. The bespoke content produced by SETsquared for the Sustainability Workout is a great way for organisations to see how their business could be more sustainable, and a more effective version of itself.

It is refreshing to see that SETsquared have considered factors that might put organisations and individuals off joining its Sustainability Workout – the length of the sessions could be seen as a barrier, particularly for females, who generally have many other commitments to fit around their working day. And whilst online training has its benefits it can be a daunting environment – offering a more female friendly focus is a real positive and I’m sure will help eliminate some of those initial fears that some may have. I’m really excited to be facilitating the March Sustainability Workout and can’t wait to engage with a fantastic group of innovative individuals all with the same aim – to succeed in business, more sustainably!”

The March Sustainability Workout will be delivered by leading sector specialists, Emma Burlow & Katharine Bourke and the mentor team will be Business Development Coach, Babita Devi & iCAST Industry Director, Dr Natalie Cozier.

This programme is funded by the ERDF and open to all founders and organisations operating in any sector that are located in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

Learn more about the programme and express your interest

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