Enterprising Women started in 2006 in response to a recognised need to unlock and stimulate the economic potential of women's entrepreneurship.
A partnership led by Bev Hurley, Chief Executive of YTKO, won funding from the East of England Development Agency and the European Social Fund to begin transforming women's enterprise support.
The strategy involved a unique business model centred on the concept of community, focused on addressing the needs of women starting or growing a business, and involving all organisations and networks in the region that had something to offer.
Four of the original partners had accreditations such as Investors in People, Customer First, and the national Prowess Flagship Award. In addition, several had successfully run their own businesses, bringing substantial first hand experience of the challenges and thrills of starting and growing business. Women could therefore be assured of high quality, accessible services and support that would really make a difference, to them personally and to their business.
A comprehensive programme of outreach, engagement, pre-start, start-up and growth training, networking events, and much, much more was delivered until December 2007, the end of the original funded project. Highlights of the comprehensive research and evaluation survey can be downloaded from the website.
EEDA and YTKO supported the community from then until the autumn 2008, when a new contract was agreed for the continuation, development and expansion of Enterprising Women, both inside the East of England and nationally.