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Female Founders thrive on the Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout

Female Founders thrive on the Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout

Last month, we supported the University of Southampton Science Park in delivering its Women’s Entrepreneurs Programme – an opportunity that awarded female start-up founders the unique chance to focus on laying the foundations for a profitable and successful business.

In 2022, women in the UK established over 150,000 new companies – which is more than twice as many as in 2018, as reported in the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. Whilst we’ve always seen the entrepreneurial talent of women, it was also great to see this positive upwards trend and this programme aimed to support this growing number of women founders to thrive.

Attendees over the two-day event benefited from dedicated time, practical tools and expert coaching from Sarah Stables, Aleksandra Love and Tim Doidge in an open, supportive environment. Exploring topics of customer segmentation, value propositions and revenue stream, the workout offered a broad overview of some of the key topics most relevant to start-up success.

Feedback on the format has been extremely positive. One attendee said that the event was “absolutely brilliant! I loved being able to learn about the business model canvas and the networking has been priceless.” Another commented, “It was incredibly thought-provoking and I made great contacts”. And another, “I felt more inclined to apply because it was a women-only event – it felt like a safe space to share.”

SETsquared mentor, Sarah Stables, reflected on how empowering the event was for all involved. “I was glad to see the feedback echoed the feel of the room, which was welcoming, warm, fun and relaxed and I’m not sure this would have happened so quickly or perhaps to such an extent in a mixed cohort. Most importantly, it’s clear that participants left feeling inspired with a plan for their future growth. Barriers to female entrepreneurship surfaced quite quickly and these need to be acknowledged and addressed to enable growth. Tailored events like this are a very positive step forward.”

Southampton Science Park’s Lucinda Lamont concurred. “From the outset, I knew this event would be different from the other business events that we run, with several attendees needing to juggle family responsibilities and find childcare support before committing to be involved,” she said. “While some ladies applied because it was female only (noting that the sectors they work in are very male-dominated), others did not initially see this as a motivator, but retrospectively appreciated the different vibe in the room which was supportive, considered and empowering. One participant told me that they simply enjoyed it more than other events that they’d attended because it was female-only.”

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SETsquared is a partnership between

  • University of Bath
  • University of Bristol
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