Newcastle secures funding to support female entrepreneurs in using digital technology

The wwWomen scheme, part of the Go Digital initiative, launches next week with an event at The Great North Museum: Hancock

Joanna Berry, entrepreneur and director of engagement at Newcastle University Business School
Joanna Berry, entrepreneur and director of engagement at Newcastle University Business School

Female entrepreneurs in Newcastle are set to receive support and advice on adopting digital technology, thanks to funding from the Government.

As part of the Go Digital Newcastle initiative, the city has received financial help to deliver a series of workshops designed to support businesswomen into adopting digital technology.

The wwWomen programme launches next week and will see a group of Digital Champions mentor Newcastle women in using digital tools effectively to grow their businesses.

The scheme is open to an existing female-led business located in the city and will provide all manner of advice on topics such as broadband for homeworking, through to using technology to target more potential customers.

Designed to cater for 60 female entrepreneurs in the city, organisers hope the scheme will create a self-supporting network of female entrepreneurs who will be able to share knowledge.

Newcastle is one of only a handful of UK cities to be granted the funding with this intent.

Digital Ambassador Dr Joanna Berry, Director of Engagement at Newcastle University, said: “I’m proud to support the wwWomen initiative. Digital technologies have already made a huge impact on how business operates.

“This is a great opportunity for women in business to make the most of the new technologies available and to highlight the range of opportunities available from working on a digital platform.”

Cllr Ann Schofield, Newcastle City Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Age Friendly City and Digital Inclusion added: “Newcastle already has a thriving start-up sector but we want to do as much as we can to encourage more female entrepreneurs.

“In the UK there are over 2.4 million women who are not in work but want to work, and more than 1.3 million who want to work more hours.

“wwWomen will deliver a programme of masterclasses and workshops, and build a network of female-owned businesses. We are helping women to harness the digital skills they need to set up and grow their business.”

Nicky Morgan MP, Education Secretary and Equalities Minister, said: “This fund will give women the practical help needed to get their businesses on-line and take advantage of superfast broadband.

“This will include on-line mentors, business clubs and training courses so that women all over the country can benefit.”

wwWomen, delivered by Go Digital Newcastle, will launch on September 23 with an event at The Great North Museum: Hancock, featuring a taster workshop and talks from digital ambassadors Nicola Little of We Are Sparkle and Sarah Hall of Sarah Hall Consulting.

Among the other digital ambassadors are Chi Onwah MP and Fiona Standfield, director of Science City.

The Women’s Business Council reported last year that if there was equality in the UK’s labour market the economy could potentially gain 10% of GDP by 2030. An extra one million entrepreneurs would be created if women started businesses at the same rate as men.


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