Women’s Trading Collective launches!

Thanks to being able to secure further funding from Big Lotteries Reaching Communities, we are so pleased to be able to launch our brand new Women’s Trading Collective, a community enterprise project which is led by women volunteers living in the West End of Newcastle, supported by an experienced woman-only project team at The Millin Charity.

The Women’s Trading Collective project has been set up for unemployed women who have an interest in enterprise and self-employment – whether they have a business idea or not. Women who are eligible to become a member can offer their time to volunteer to make an exciting new community business a real success story, while they gain the confidence, skills, knowledge and ideas they need to get their own business off the ground.

Through becoming a Member Volunteer for the Women’s Trading Collective, local women can:

  • Become more confident of being able to earn an income through self-employment or employment, so they can make a positive difference to your own and your family’s lives;
  • Develop their enterprise skills and knowledge through accessible, women-only workshops and training courses, many of which are accredited and can lead to a formal qualification;
  • Get involved in all aspects of running a community business, to gain the real life enterprise experience they need to successfully work for themselves;
  • Meet new people, make friends and contacts in the local community, to avoid needing to ‘go it alone’ if they become self-employed;
  • Get introductions to lots of sources of support and advice that are available in the local area, to help women to move forward in many aspects of their lives.

We hope to support 450 women during the 3 year project, and over 20 women have already joined. Their first project is to design, plan, cost, market and sell some lovely fabric and crocheted bunting on a market stall at Gibside in July, developing new skills in how to plan and launch a business while they volunteer.

The formative members of the Women’s Trading Collective are pictured here with their very first bunting that was made with the help of local entrepreneur Shehla xxx who runs her dress design and tailoring business at The Beacon, where The Millin Charity relocated to in December last year.

If you would like to join the Women’s Trading Collective, or would like to find out more about the project, we’d love to hear from you so please get in touch

Over 450 women will be supported through the Women’s Trading Collective over the next 3 years, and help the collective to become a successful and sustainable community enterprise in the West End of Newcastle.

A successful pilot in Gateshead!

With support from Gateshead Council and Big Lottery, and newly established partners in local support organisations including the Jewish Community Council of Gateshead, the Comfrey Project and Tyneside Women’s Health, we are proud to have almost completed our first pilot project to roll out Local Women Local Enterprise Learning and Development Programme into Gateshead, and to announce that the project was a huge success all round.

During a relatively short time since last Autumn, 57 women have participated in the pilot project, getting involved in ‘Let’s Get Creative’ workshops, ‘Have a Go at Enterprise’ and ‘Going to Market’ courses, pop-up trading stalls, and a fantastic Spring Craft Fair held at the Comfrey Project.

We’re now really excited about our final event which will be to support Gateshead women to sell their own products and services at a Summer Craft Market at The Comfrey Project in Gateshead on Sunday 16th July.

Women who have participated in the pilot have already made some amazing progress, with one having already started a business and 10 more in the process of setting up. Two women have also found employment after being economically inactive for quite some time, and many are now actively pursuing further training opportunities. Everyone involved has said that the project has made a real difference to their confidence, their social networks and their understanding of how self-employment could make a difference to their lives.

Success of the pilot is also evident through the increasing demand for us to continue to work in Gateshead in the future, and from the positive feedback we’ve had from our partners, confirming that Local Women Local Enterprise fills a gap in the local area and that it’s a valuable resource that would continue to make a difference in the future if the pilot was to continue.

Watch this space as we look for ways to fund Local Women Local Enterprise learning and development services in Gateshead in the future!

“Attending the ‘Have a Go at Enterprise’ course made me think about pushing for my goals and taking the plunge to go for them. I’ve now started my own business!”

Mum of 3, Gateshead

Dinah Bennett OBE joins our Board

We are so delighted that Dinah Bennett OBE is our latest member to join our Board of Trustees. Dinah has formally joined us having championed the work of The Millin Charity consistently over the past few years, as she has supported women’s empowerment through enterprise across the world. We are privileged to now have Dinah on our Board.

Dinah has enabled people and organisations all over the world to attain enhanced insights into enterprise and entrepreneurship for more than twenty five years, and through her consultancy business ICE (International Consultants in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship), Dinah has persistently pushed the boundaries of current thinking in entrepreneurship.  Dinah was one of the first women to be honoured with the Queen’s Award for Achievement in Enterprise Promotion in 2005, and was awarded an OBE for Services to Women’s Entrepreneurship. She has worked with Government and a range of organisations in the public, private and academic sectors enabling them to recognise the value of supporting women’s enterprise from both a policy and practical perspective.  The result has been increased awareness of the contribution these businesses make to any economy, and a small, but significant, growth in both the number of start-ups and growing businesses where women are playing an executive role.

As a published author, acclaimed speaker and a recognised expert in her field, Dinah’s expertise has added value to  economic policy and practice;  institutional leadership and entrepreneurship; and  engagement with the small business community, and we are now confident that she will also add huge value to The Millin Charity as we move forward to continue our work in the future.

Dinah has formally joined us having championed the work of The Millin Charity consistently over the past few years.