Women’s Trading Collective
In April 2017 The Millin Charity launched the Women’s Trading Collective, an innovative, 3 year project funded through Big Lottery Reaching Communities and Newcastle Fund.
As members of the collective women can gain the full range of services available through Local Women Local Enterprise, whilst embedding and developing their knowledge through volunteering to set up and grow a women-led community enterprise which will become a self-sustaining legacy for local community in the West End of Newcastle.The Women’s Trading Collective will serve as a test-bed and platform to actively support and encourage women to launch their own businesses.
In May 2018, we secured funding from the Virgin Money foundation to develop the Collective further as a community business and recruited local business woman Corinne Lewis-Ward to join the project as Business Development Coordinator. We then worked alongside local female business consultants and specialists to develop the businesses brand and identity, and from this our exciting new brand, B Collective was born. Women have been able to get involved with the project directly by attending workshops around Brand Identity, Photographing Products, Visual Merchandising and Fulfillment as well as attending sales events to help sell the products.
In September 2018, we launched our first range of products, Same Difference, which celebrates the individuality, diversity and cultural heritage of the women. The range includes environmentally friendly and organic t-shirts, bags and travel coffee cups and can be purchased online from our B Collective Website & online shop.
We will be launching the next stage of the project in January 2019, where local designer Polly Westergaard will be joining the project to design the next range of products. Get in touch for further information and to find out how you can join this project.
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. Contact us to find out how you can get involved.
Impacts and outcomes
Through joining 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 their own and their 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 ‘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.