FREE scheme to help local business women get online!

WABAfter the success of last year’s Women and Broadband programme, leading enterprise agency – Wenta, have launched a new FREE business support programme for female entrepreneurs living in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes.

Wenta (RGB) On-screen Version

The ‘Women and Broadband’ programme, which is funded by Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton and Milton Keynes Councils, has been made available to help women start or grow their own business by improving their digital skills, getting them online and taking full advantage of all the opportunities that Superfast Broadband can bring to their business.

Executive Member for Corporate Resources at Central Bedfordshire Council, Cllr Richard Wenham, said;

With our continued investment in extending superfast broadband availability and following the success of last year’s Women and Broadband programme, where we were able to give support to 100’s of local business women to improve their knowledge and use of the internet and social media to start and grow their businesses, the Councils are delighted to have been successful in securing additional government funding to support a new scheme for 2015/16.  Wenta, a leading local enterprise agency, who ran our scheme last year, will once again provide a wide range of free business support, networking and training to help women who are looking to start up their own business as well as established local business women that want to maximise the opportunities from new technologies.”
Whether in the start-up phase or growing an existing business, the programme offers a variety of support options including one-to-one business advice via Mi Ventures, Wenta’s live online business support portal, one-to-one mentoring, bite-sized training courses on topics such as social media and website development as well as a range of networking opportunities to encourage peer-to-peer support.

Barbara Ashby of Crystal Bridal Bouquets said of last year’s programme, I tell everyone about Women and Broadband because I am so passionate about my business and I know how much the courses and mentoring have helped me. I just need to pick up the phone and ask for help and it is there. When I have struggled, my advisor has helped me put a plan together and kept my sanity!

Having been in business for many years, Sonia Sharman of Beauty Talk, sought help through last year’s Women and Broadband Scheme to get a better grip of social media.  Sonia commented.  “I now understand more about search engine optimisation, hash tags, blogging and why social media is crucial for my business. Following a meeting with my advisor, I went home and wrote a blog on permanent make-up. I posted it across all my social media accounts and linked back to my website. I got 6,000 views and received enquiries about my courses, a great result!”

Sharon Gaffney of Wenta said, “We’re excited to be delivering this programme once again for the Councils; we are aware that there are many women business owners out there that are doing a fantastic job but not necessarily using the internet or social media effectively.  This scheme will help them to increase their knowledge of online developments and encourage them to embrace new digital technologies. We also hope that the programme will encourage and support women work returners who want to start their own businesses.”

Registration for the programme is free of charge and available to all females living in Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton or Milton Keynes.  To sign up for the programme or for more information visit: www.wenta.co.uk/wab15

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