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Female business owners and decision makers in Lancashire are being invited to apply for an impactful six-month support programme backed by Lancashire County Council which will prepare their organisation for rapid growth.

Women Scaling Up has been launched by Two Zero, Lancashire County Council’s scaleup support service, to help female entrepreneurs take their business and leadership skills to new levels.

The programme is two thirds funded by Lancashire County Council through Two Zero. It is delivered by Role, a Lancashire business growth consultancy with decades of female specific business support experience.

Women Scaling Up will provide Lancashire female entrepreneurs with tools, training, experience and knowledge, helping them to recruit a high-quality team, understand their own mindset, develop their business strategy and prepare their business to grow 20 per cent year-on-year.

Amin Vepari, business finance and scaleup lead, Lancashire County Council is programme manager for Two Zero.

He said: “We are well aware that this is a shortage in provision of female business support in Lancashire and we are delighted to be collaborating with Wendy to address some of this shortage and help deliver what will be a brilliant business support programme.”

“Women Scaling Up is one of the most comprehensive scaleup support programmes Two Zero has organised. It will help 12 female entrepreneurs in Lancashire prepare their business for strong sustained growth.

“Lancashire has some wonderful female business success stories and we want to create a business support landscape that helps more female entrepreneurs realise their ambitions, create jobs and economic growth.”

Two Zero is a business support service for scaleup business leaders in Lancashire. Led by Lancashire County Council, its mission is to help Lancashire’s scaleup leaders learn, grow their business 20% and create jobs.

Female entrepreneurs will receive an initial six months of support, which will include boardroom masterclasses on key aspects of scaleup, executive coaching, a residential mindset and resilience retreat at Whalley Abbey as well as an outdoor activity day to build communication and leadership skills.

The initial support will be followed by bimonthly support sessions for a further year. The programme will begin in September 2022.

Role, which is delivering the programme, was founded by Wendy Bowers, an experienced business leader and specialist in women’s enterprise, with more than 30 years’ experience at both county and national level. Wendy will lead the delivery of the programme with Katy Mason, an experienced corporate executive coach and business consultant.

Wendy said: “Working with Lancashire County Council over recent months, we have identified a gap in the business support available to women in the county. There is generic startup support for all, but much of the one-to-one specialist and mentoring support for growth businesses is for those with 10+ staff.”

“Very few female owned businesses reach 10+ staff both locally and nationally. Nationally only 13 per cent achieve high growth (20 per cent growth year on year). We want to help Lancashire women who have the ambition to scale their business to achieve strong and sustainable growth.”

“I’m pleased to launch Women Scaling Up to the female business community in Lancashire. The programme will support women with all aspects of growing a business, including wellbeing and resilience, and particularly help them break through those unique challenges all women face when scaling up.”

The programme’s total cost is £3,000. £2,000 of this is funded by Lancashire County Council with businesses asked to contribute the remaining £1,000. It is open to Lancashire business with a team of six or more. Business should be able to demonstrate growth and ambition to scale.

Businesses can find out more and apply via the Two Zero website: https://www.twozerolancs.com/programmes/women-scaling-up/

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