We exist to support you on your business journey and empower you to achieve your goals, whether big or small.
As you read on, you will discover that we do things differently in an effort to ensure that you are supported, and in control of your journey. But first, let us tell you about our journey …
The seeds of Women’s Business Station were sown back in 2017 when our Founder, social entrepreneur Angie Foreman was invited to deliver a multi-national programme for a Dundee audience.
The Coca-Cola 5by20 initiative, currently running in over 60 counties across the world, aims to address the most common barriers women face when trying to succeed in the marketplace. Offering Dundee a unique opportunity to think out-of-the-box, Coca-Cola invited Angie to take the lead on the Dundee programme and pilot it for a three year period, making this the only one of its kind in the UK.
In doing so, Angie would go on to make an unprecedented impact throughout the city and further field, creating a brand new model which would add significant value to existing services and attract a hidden market to get out there and prove its potential!
Drawing on over 20 years’ experience in empowering women, Angie has a deep rooted understanding of the day to day barriers that face women in business, not only in Scotland but Dundee itself.
Yes, there are places to go, organisations to approach and grants to apply for but we were driven by a goal to make the execution and delivery of business support clearer and more approachable, making a tangible impact on the women themselves, and the communities in which they live and work.
Most of all, we wanted to create a programme which inspired women to see and fulfil their potential, gain ongoing support and become part of something bigger.
Asking ourselves who could provide this support, and solve the challenges women were facing, the answer was clear – those who are already running businesses in our community.
Industry led, supported and driven, we went on to develop a series of short courses and the ‘FasTRACK to Business Success’ course, a one-week programme of experiential learning. Unlike some of the longer-term training programmes offered nationally, our programme helps women identify their vision and values, building their confidence and providing them with local support to make things happen. The week culminates in a ‘pitch day’ when the women make their case to a panel of local business leaders and, in return, receive guaranteed support and advice to help them take the next steps on their journey. And it works both ways! – over 60 individuals have joined our support panel to date, with many more looking to get involved.
But the support doesn’t end there. Our thriving Mentoring programme matches mentors with members, making a significant impact on the mentee’s confidence and business skills. In turn, the mentor can make huge strides in his / her personal development, encouraging them to question their own business and practices.
Last but by no means least, our women enjoy endless networking opportunities and an online support forum for day-to-day challenges.
With the Dundee programme officially ending on 31 December 2019, the time came to consider our future and legacy.
Having taken the programme beyond Coca-Cola’s initial objectives, we are ready to embrace the next phase on our journey, with a vision to extend it throughout Scotland, in the shape of Women’s Business Station!
Our mission is to embrace the expertise, knowledge and goodwill of the business community to enhance the socio-economic empowerment of women all over Scotland through Training, Trading and Talent.
Continuing to support our core target market through training and networking, we are focused on creating a commercially viable and sustainable model, including the creation of vibrant entrepreneurial hubs sparking economic growth, new jobs and opportunities.
Put simply, with the evidence and results clear to see, we are here to support you whatever your business goal, whether it’s turning a hobby into a micro-business or embarking on a more ambitious plan. We can promise you’ll be inspired, not just by your training peers, but also by those delivering the training and your mentors.
We will also be taking our training out into the wider world, providing the FasTRACK programme to businesses looking to engage more effectively with their communities. After all, when your community prospers, so does your business!
So, what’s your destination and can we help you reach it? Absolutely.
We are driven by your needs. There are no black and white instructions or rigid objectives – your destination, and the pace you choose is down to you. What’s clear is that Women’s Business Station will inspire and support you to achieve your business goals and have a positive impact on your life, and your community.
Women’s Business Station has not only helped me start my business, they have helped me grow in confidence and for that, I will be forever grateful. It all started when I had the idea of doing something with my degree. I have a degree in Communication Design and wanted to make more of it, so I took part in the ‘Planning My Business’ Course back in 2019. This opened my eyes to what I could achieve and the support has been endless. I wanted to do something I loved and they always made me feel like anything was possible.
During COVID lockdowns, I have had great support from the WBS ladies. They helped keep a flame of hope alive for my business by helping me work on my personal and business related goals. They went above and beyond with the help they gave me and my business and I feel like I would have given up without them. We have had social workshops and online fun and games which have kept my mental health grounded and gave me the inspiration to carry on. When I’ve had business challenges, they have fully supported me by being there as a mentor, as a guide and as a friend.
I really have a lot to thank they for their continued support they give me and my business and I really do feel stronger together.
We became involved in WBS in January 2021 although knew about the group for a few years via a friend. Although I’m fairly new to the group I have already had some really energizing conversations with the team and real practical advice on how to move forward with a few customer acquisition plans. Having a group on hand to support with overcoming barriers to market is really a key benefit.
I think the local support for WBS really shines through. The empowerment partners and mentors seem to be a wealth of resources in the WBS network and I am really grateful for the practical guidance around trying new ideas out, and having someone in the team to talk through these ideas with.
Connecting with the team to discuss ideas has been really energizing – I have never heard the phrase” open door” being applied to a plan, and talking with WBS it seems like anything is possible. I really appreciate the personal investment and support from the WBS team. Although a new member, I genuinely feel supported by the team and really look forward to what the year holds being a member.
I first got involved with Women’s Business Station in the winter of 2018 after hearing Angie speak at a meeting I had attended. Being part of WBS has provided me with contacts and a really helpful, safe group of people to network with.
For me the main benefits of being part of WBS would be the networking, the support and the free training. I found taking part in the FasTRACK course very beneficial to my business and I would recommend others to get involved for the wealth of knowledge provided around running a business.
I first got involved with Women’s Business Station in January 2021 after I was recommended to get in touch via a previous member who did a reading for me. I am currently in the process of setting up a business however after moving to Scotland from South Africa recently, I did not know where to start.
Women’s Business Station has given me focus, direction and a practical step-by-step process to follow with loads of help and hand holding.
The main benefits of being a WBS member for me would be the step-by-step process for beginners wanting to know the “how to” set-up your own businesses as well as Master Classes, networking, and lead opportunities and for this reason I would recommend WBS to any women looking at starting up their own business.
I first got involved with WBS in October of 2020. My niece had previously been a member and recommended it to me. Being a sole-trader can be a lonely business, so having the opportunity to connect with others who may struggle with the same issues I have and maybe learn from them while having some fun, social interactions has been invaluable.
I have had offers of help from so many members of the network. It is a supportive, inclusive and warm environment. Especially in this past Covid Year where connecting to others has been more difficult, just being part of a community related to Business and sharing their personal struggles has helped me.
My favourite aspect of being a member of WBS is the lack of pressurising, its open, friendly and welcoming format and its consistent source of committed individuals who are willing to help and advise and at the very least if they can’t help they point you in the direction of where to find it. Plus the variety of workshops/speakers information about all aspects of Business.
No matter what you are looking for help with, WBS has it all. I can get peer to peer support with help and support from other members. Everyone shares their knowledge. The WBS team are awesome. If they do not know an answer to a question, they will find it out. They will even help with introductions for personal events in your life. One Friday lunchtime at an online meeting, I wanted to connect with a solicitors to buy a house. By 5pm on the same day, I was a homeowner! Thank you WBS for the introduction!”
For me, being part of the 5by20 programme has been one of the most inspiring periods of my life. After taking a career break after 21 years working in the Local Authority I really didn’t know what my plan was. After years being surrounded by a network of people in all walks of life and all levels of authority I was suddenly alone and felt really isolated. I didn’t regret leaving my job but I was missing the camaraderie of being part of a team. My confidence in my own abilities had been knocked hugely and I started to really doubt myself and what I could do. I had attended Business Gateway workshops however they felt very cold and clinical in a way. However, since starting with the short courses I immediately felt welcome into the community of like-minded women who had all, equally been brave in changing their paths in life.
The courses and networking hosted and run by Coca-Cola 5by20 has been a huge benefit to me and gave me the support and encouragement I needed to start my business then to go on and start a second business which has super seeded the first. I would not have had the confidence to do this without the support of 5by20 and the business network it has created.
By far is confidence! I was lost, pottering around the studio without a real plan, wracked with self doubt and going nowhere fast.
The course gave me clarity to develop a plan and allowed me to believe in myself.
The ladies I met on the course and the support of all the Coca-Cola 5by20 team has been invaluable in my progress!
My business wouldnt exist without the program, the fast track program came at a time when I was ready to give up. The support, mentoring, workshops, network and contacts have all meant I have gained confidence and knowledge in all areas of business development. The contacts that have been made through the program have opened up my business to a whole new marketplace and continue to do so with so much exciting developments happening in the very near future.
The ladies and I have had and continue to have lots of assistance and training that we can dip in and out of as we see fit. You don’t ask much of anyone as these things are always completely organised and all we have to do is turn up!!!! If it wasn’t for the FasTRACK programme and you, Angie, Better:Gen wouldn’t be, I honestly believe that!!!
Without the 5by20 I honestly don’t think I would have Sweetpea Cafe. It wasn’t just knowledge and business learning, but it was all the encouragement, support and friendship that really pushed me to go for it. I now work with some of the ladies doing catering, I’m hosting a Christmas fair and going to be have classes and event in the cafe. The 5by20 and ladies of have shown that you can make your business whatever you want it to be and I’m constantly improving because of this.I have met such incredible and inspiring people since taking part in the 5by20 fast track almost 2 years ago and it’s been so lovely watching everyone’s journeys move forward.
Taking part in the Coca-Cola5by20 programme has opened up a whole world of possibility. I’ve benefited from the support and enthusiasm from Angie, Michelle and Lauren, accessing a community of women with a culture of support and generosity, the eco-system support – real life businesses offering training, mentoring, guidance.
There are many women out there who need this, even if they do not end up going into business for themselves. I have found the support network invaluable with all the ups and downs I have had with my business and have made many friends amongst the ladies who are fellow 5 by 20’s. If ever there is a problem that needs solving, there is always someone there or someone who knows someone who can help. Long may it continue. Thank you, Angie and your brilliant team.
I promote and champion Women’s Business Station all the time. I don’t believe I would be running my own business if it wasn’t for the 5by20Dundee programme. The knowledge I’ve gained from all the various workshops/courses has been invaluable to me and the business. The programme has given me a huge amount of confidence that I didn’t have prior to attending the FasTRACK course and it also gave me the opportunity to pitch my ideas to local businesses. I really don’t think I would be here today, in my second year of running the business without this support from Angie.
I have the greatest respect for Angie De Vos and Coca-Cola 5by20. I have a Hypnotherapy business in Broughty Ferry, I was doing ok but after attending the FasTRACK course and learning lots about finance, social media and marketing my business has gone from strength to strength. I am doing so well that I don’t need to advertise every week due to returning business and word of mouth. The women I met on the course have been an invaluable support to me and I know we will keep in touch.
I am now in business and in the proper way! The naive idea of trading without a business plan, a proper vision of the future, elevating my passion, my hobby to the next level, wouldn’t have happened without Angie and the Coca Cola 5by20. There is always a course, a conversation, a workshop to be part of and one thing is crystal clear… THEY CARE. If I ask for help, information or other support, there is always someone who listens, replies and acts. I made good friends amongst the Coca Cola ladies, a real bond to support each other in time of need or to share a laugh! I am still in touch with some of the members of the panel of my 2017 FasTRACK Course, now also loyal customers! It is like being part of a VIP business group with “benefits”, such as free support, networking, ideas and inspiration, otherwise, precious opportunities will be lost, for both those already in business and more to come. No one else would take seriously our business ideas, care for our worries and be happy for our achievements and success like all the ladies, Angie and her priceless team.
If I had not taken part in Coca-Cola 5by20 I would have had nowhere to start and think about the options and services out there. I like that it was focused and based around women. The help and support from everyone have given me belief, courage and goals. This needs to continue to help support all these lovely ladies and new ladies.
What I have achieved today would not have been possible without the support of the Coca-Cola 5by20Dundee programme. We as group have faced so many challenges but I think we all try our best to support one another. We are so much more than just a business group!
The main benefits of taking part of Coca-Cola5by20 program has been: Encouragement, gaining confidence, being part of very supportive community and connection with many helpful people who have been vital in taking things forward. I am also excited to hear that Women’ Business station is continuing because it is a great start for any woman wanting to start any business.
Through being part of Women’s Business Station, the area I have benefited most from is Connections. Being part of the network has enabled me to get to know a great group of women (and some men too in the mentor network). It has opened opportunities to contribute directly to the 5by20 community by designing some bespoke learning and development workshops (which is my area of expertise). These workshops have helped a number of women to understand themselves more fully and grow in confidence, thus laying a strong foundation for their business. The community is also my main ‘go-to’ place when I need a complementary service to support my business.
Taking part in Coca Cola 5 by20 has given me the practical skills and knowledge to make my business a reality. Being part of a network has benefited me in terms of peer support and enhancing my local connections. Additionally, being encouraged to give my time and skills to mentor peers and support other new start-ups has enabled me to gain testimonials and further develop my practice. I think this project plays a pivotal role in empowering women who are under-represented in business through a comprehensive framework of support via training, talent development and opportunities to trade. It would be fantastic to attract funding to enable them to reach more women throughout the region and additionally cascade this model throughout the UK as best practice.
Women’s Business Station has helped me move forward towards creating a sustainable business. It has helped me expand what I do – acting classes and acting coaching – and broaden my customers and do coaching for Speaking with Confidence using all my theatre and acting skills to help other people such as business people, teachers, lawyers, medical practitioners, etc. I was confident in a theatre context however fearful and uncomfortable in business-type situations, networking etc meaning I couldn’t attend these events. The FasTRACK training helped this enormously so now I regularly use my skills to help people in business in either one to one or workshop situations. It helped me understand my strengths and was an enormous confidence-boost. The skills I teach are really beneficial to lots of people and I wouldn’t have had a clue how to reach them if it were not for the 5by20 project.