New project BREWs up success

A new scheme to help women over 50 get on in business has been launched during Wandsworth Enterprise Month.

The month-long programme of business support events – many of them free – is now in its fourth and week and hundreds of entrepreneurs have benefited from one-to-one advice, workshops, panel discussions and other events, including specialist help for women, food businesses and the digital sector.

BREW, run by Wandsworth Council’s Lifelong Learning Team, offers free advice and training to women over 50 on how to start or grow their own business. BREW stands for Building Resilience and Enterprise in Women and develops entrepreneurial and digital skills underpinned by coaching in resilience, confidence building and motivation.

Around 65 women went along to the March 15 event and heard from successful female entrepreneurs who shared their experiences including Jenny Holloway, Chief Executive of Fashion Enter, Jane Milton, Food Industry Expert and Daksha Mistry, former MasterChef finalist and owner of Daksha’s Gourmet Catering.

There was also a chance to meet other women who are at different points in establishing their business idea, plus interactive workshops and information on further training and support available. Wandsworth Enterprise Month is organised by the council’s Economic Development Office (EDO), and an officer from the team ran a session advising attendees on the various type of support offered by the EDO to start-ups.
Feedback will be used to further develop the project and included comments such as: “Listening to the speakers gave me goose bumps – very inspiring and made me feel hopeful” and “Thanks for providing this support for older women. I’m over 60 and need lots of support with digital skills and social media”.

The council’s skills and employment spokesman Cllr Rory O’Broin said: “We are keen to tap into the potential of women and turn their years of experience into successful and profitable local firms. I hope this event inspired women and gave them the knowledge they needed to take the next step.”

The BREW project is funded by the European Union Erasmus+ fund. Run in partnership across Europe. To find out more visit www.BREWproject.eu. If you weren’t able to make the launch but would like to chat through your options you can talk to a Lifelong Learning adviser on 020 8871 8618 or e-mail Dustine.Davis@richmondandwandsworth.gov.uk

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