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Women's Business Club planning to launch 1,000 'safe spaces' for female entrepreneurs

By Hannah Baker

A national organisation for female entrepreneurs is launching an initiative to support more women taking the plunge into business.

The Women’s Business Club's has announced plans to set up 'Coffee and Co-working' groups around the country, with the first ones launching in Cheltenham and Edinburgh.

The organisation is hoping to set up at least 1,000 groups in the UK and overseas for business women, it said.

“The pandemic and various lockdowns has had a greater negative effect on women in business,” said Angela De Souza, founder of the Women’s Business Club.

“Many women run businesses from home and had to shift their focus on to home-schooling and caring for children. Many women also did not qualify for any kind of government funding or support and therefore their business plans were put on ice or were stopped in their tracks from March 2020.

“It will take years for some women to get back to where they were while some women have realised throughout the pandemic that they want a different career path. We believe collaboration is the key to this and we want to bring these women together.”

Each coffee and co-working session will last for three hours, will be monthly and will be free to attend, with guests buying their own refreshments on the day. The groups will be run by a leader who is a paid-up member of the Women’s Business Club.

Falkirk-based Sarah Eddie, of SE Tax Professionals, is running one of the founder groups. She started her own business as she felt she was "being forced" to choose between a career and being a good parent.

"I felt that was not necessary and running my own business allowed me to have flexibility," she explained. "However when you make that choice, you don’t have the same connection with your former colleagues as they don’t understand the journey you are on.

"That’s what I love about the Women’s Business Club. We support each other and it’s not competitive. It’s welcoming, it’s relaxed and supportive.”

According to Women's Business Club, the sessions will be suitable for any woman in business whatever their goal, business or ambition, including people:

  • thinking about starting a business and wanting to find out more;
  • running a very small business from home and wanting to grow;
  • trying to recover after their business was impacted negatively by the pandemic;
  • feeling lonely and isolated and looking for support;
  • leading a small business and wanting to give back to other women.

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