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