The Welsh Government recognises and supports the importance and contribution that women entrepreneurs make to the economy of Wales, however, there is more to do to continue this journey and further develop the representation of women owned businesses in Wales.
The Business Wales service has therefore renewed its commitment to support and encourage more women to successfully start, sustain or grow a business in Wales and for them to reach their full potential.
Alongside the Welsh Government a significant number of other organisations share this commitment and have joined in the development of a gender aware approach in Wales to encourage and better tailor their support to women entrepreneurs.
This approach has been shaped by an expert panel (the Panel) consisting of representatives from businesses, banks, business support organisations and academia backed by consultation with established or prospective business women & female entrepreneurs in Wales.
The approach sets out a common vision to supporting business and entrepreneurial women in Wales and is supplemented by a ‘Good Practice Guide’ that outlines how business support organisations can better tailor their services to meet the needs of business women or female entrepreneurs.
The Panel has made ten recommendations that build on the current strengths of business support services in Wales and aim to create a structure which the broader business support community can identify with and adopt.
The Welsh Government will take forward the recommendations of the Panel to further develop our support for entrepreneurial women through our business Wales service by producing a detailed action plan.
However, Business Wales cannot do it alone and actively encourage other support organisations to join in the journey and adopt the approach set out, in part or whole, and follow the principles of the Good Practice Guide.
Getting involved: Supporting organisations – make a difference
The Welsh Government and supporting partners are keen to talk to any organisation that deliver business support in Wales and are willing to become actively involved in supporting women in starting, sustaining or growing their business.
There are many ways in which organisations can become involved:
implementing the associated ‘Good Practice Guide’
making a commitment on the Business Wales or Be the Spark website to showcase what you currently do, and what you are going to do to improve support for women entrepreneurs
joining in the conversation on #businesswomenwales
spreading the word and encouraging others to take part
Supporting Entrepreneurial Women in Wales: An Approach for Wales, clickhere.
For a Good Practice Guide for business support organisations please clickhere.
For the Business Wales Action Plan response to recommendations, please clickhere.
In a survey undertaken by the University of South Wales (USW) one of the most valued support for women either starting or sustaining their business is access to business mentors as experienced and informal sources of guidance in addition to business advisors. Business Wales has over 500 mentors, of which 38% are women, available as part of its service that are ready to help you on your journey to start, sustain or grow your business, and if you would prefer a woman mentor just ask.
Clickherefor more information on finding a business mentor or becoming a mentor yourself.
Other organisations that provide business mentoring support:
Incubation Units/Co-working locations and business hubs
There are a number of business start-up units and working spaces (incubator units) across Wales that are great opportunities to start or grow your business with other businesses that are in the same situation, possibly facing the same challenges as yourself. These incubator units deliver packages of support to help your business and yourself.
Please clickherefor more information on incubator units in Wales.
Financial Support In Wales
There are a number of finance options available when starting or growing a business, below are some links that may help shape your decision: