City’s female entrepreneur programme to continue

A Dundee-based female entrepreneurship programme will continue to operate after funding from Coca-Cola runs out at the end of this year.

The Coca-Cola 5by20 programme was established with the aim of economically empowering five million women across the world by 2020.

Since being set up in Dundee three years ago, the scheme has received almost £500,000 of in-kind support from local businesses and entrepreneurs.

Businesses set up by 5by20 participants have ploughed more than £1 million into the economy.

With the £50,000-a-year funding from Coca-Cola ending in December, programme leader Angie Foreman has set up a new social enterprise to continue to provide the service.

Women’s Business Station will continue to run the headline Fast Track entrepreneurship programme as well as other courses for budding entrepreneurs free of charge.

It will also look to generate revenue through a membership scheme and by becoming an external training provider.

Ms Foreman said: “5by20 has had a huge impact – 172 woman have been through our programmes with so many success stories.

“We always knew the Coca-Cola funding would end and without them none of this would have happened. They actually gave us a little bit of extra funding this year to develop some resources and materials as we look to the future.”

“We are looking to commercially start engaging with organisations to deliver training.”

“We’ve had enquiries from throughout Scotland and we’ve got a good track record.”

“As well as entrepreneurship, we can offer courses in subjects such as resilience and confidence building.”

Women’s Business Station is planning Dundee’s largest Christmas market, with 100 stalls in the Wellgate Shopping Centre.

Running from November 29 to December 1, it will be a showcase for women who have been through the 5by20 programme as well as other start-ups.

“Last year we ran an event at Apex City Quay Hotel with 40 stalls and the buzz was fantastic,” Ms Foreman said.

“With our membership growing by a third, I knew we needed a bigger venue.

“We are taking over two units at the Wellgate and have sold half the stalls so far so I have no doubt we’ll sell out.

“We are targeting footfall of 10,000 people over the three days and we will also run activities like yoga, baby massage and cracker making.”

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