wwWomen launches with Go Digital Newcastle

NEWCASTLE is one of a handful of UK cities to be granted government funding to help women in business to adopt digital technology – and to boost the city’s economy.

wwWomen, delivered by Go Digital Newcastle, is launching on September 23 with an event at The Great North Museum: Hancock, featuring a taster workshop and talks from leading digital lights in the region.

The Women’s Business Council reported last year that if there was equality in the UK’s labour market the economy could potentially gain 10% of GDP by 2030. An extra one million entrepreneurs would be created if women started businesses at the same rate as men.

wwWomen will offer a free series of events, masterclasses and workshops aimed at inspiring those who have a business, or are looking to set up a business, and guide them on the opportunities offered by broadband and digital.

There will be a programme of mentoring delivered by Digital Champions, leading female businesswomen who already use digital effectively.

wwWomen will be available to existing or start-up female-led businesses located anywhere in the city and address everything from the potential of broadband for homeworking through to using technology to reach more customers and improve efficiency.

Cllr Ann Schofield, Newcastle City Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Age Friendly City and Digital Inclusion said: “Newcastle already has a thriving start-up sector but we want to do as much as we can to encourage more female entrepreneurs.

“In the UK there are over 2.4 million women who are not in work but want to work, and more than 1.3 million who want to work more hours.

“wwWomen will deliver a programme of masterclasses and workshops, and build a network of female-owned businesses. We are helping women to harness the digital skills they need to set up and grow their business.”

Nicky Morgan MP, Education Secretary and Equalities Minister, 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 on-line mentors, business clubs and training courses so that women all over the country can benefit.”

The project will boost the skills of around 60 female entrepreneurs, build a bank of case studies and create a self-sustaining network of high-profile female digital ambassadors and champions who will help inspire, engage and enable more businesswomen.

Digital Ambassador Dr Joanna Berry, Director of Engagement at Newcastle University, said: “I’m proud to support the wwWomen initiative. Digital technologies have already made a huge impact on how business operates.

“This is a great opportunity for women in business to make the most of the new technologies available and to highlight the range of opportunities available from working on a digital platform.”

wwWomen launches at The Great North Museum: Hancock on September 23.

There will be the opportunity for media to speak to the project leaders and keynote speakers from 9am to 9.30am

The Women and Broadband Challenge Fund, funded by the Government Equalities Office, will boost the capacity of broadband projects to develop activity that encourages women-led businesses or potential female entrepreneurs to take advantage of superfast broadband to expand or set-up new businesses, including home-based businesses. 

The Women’s Business Council: findings and recommendations on enterprise estimates that there could be an extra one million female entrepreneurs in the UK if women had the confidence and support to start businesses at the same rate as men. The 40 superfast broadband projects in England were invited to bid for a share of a £1 million Women and Broadband Challenge Fund to develop local projects that encourage women to be enterprising.