04 August 2014

Women in Northamptonshire with an entrepreneurial flair will soon be able to take advantage of tailor-made training on the business benefits of superfast broadband.

Northamptonshire County Council’s Superfast Northamptonshire project has been awarded Government money to fund workshops in the rural areas that will soon acquire the infrastructure through the initiative.

The money from the Women and Broadband Challenge Fund run by Department for Culture, Media and Sport aims to promote digital skills and build confidence in women to start up and grow their businesses.

How much money was awarded?

The £23,000 will extend the reach of the county council’s Enterprise Hubs into rural libraries, and produce a series of promotional films showcasing local women with small businesses who have been through the enterprise hub programme.

Cllr Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for economic growth and strategic infrastructure, said: “Our Enterprise Hubs have done a remarkable job in helping people set up their own businesses and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to access this funding to offer further, focused support.

“Data shows that there can be barriers preventing some women from achieving their potential with regard to setting up a business and I believe this targeted support will be very beneficial.

“The rollout of superfast broadband infrastructure in Northamptonshire is really gathering pace and having companion schemes such as this is key in helping boost the county’s economy.”

Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan 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 online mentors, business clubs and training courses so that women all over the country can benefit from the kind of help Campus for Mums is giving.”

What's the purpose of the workshops?

The workshops are designed to build confidence and skills and encourage women to take the first steps in setting up a business and take advantage of the opportunities broadband and the digital economy can bring.

Since their launch in February 2012, the Enterprise Hubs have helped 836 people on their enterprise journey, and in February 2014, celebrated the first 75 businesses launched as a result of the support.

The workshops programme will allow three sessions to be delivered each month for six months from September, enabling up to 180 women to participate.