University of Winchester offers business growth programme to female entrepreneurs

4 Apr 2018

A fully-funded business growth programme aimed at supporting women in business is to launch in the region. One hundred female entrepreneurs, who have been in business for at least a year and who want to transform their business, are being offered free places to undertake the programme managed by the University of Winchester and supported by NatWest bank and strategic partners.

The Women in Digital Enterprise programme aims to challenge, inspire, deliver and transform the businesses of the entrepreneurs that take part. Participants will see how to grow sustainably, form and maintain strategic alliances, replace old models with digital models, and embrace digital products and services.

"Through a series of six half-day participative workshops supported with online content, delegates will identify growth opportunities and learn how to embrace and exploit them," said Women in Digital Enterprise lead Stella McKnight , Director for Employer Partnerships at the University of Winchester, who successfully gained funding on behalf of the University for this key programme.

"Our message is: Give us six days of your time to achieve double digit business growth in less than a year."

Women in Digital Enterprise is part of a University project to boost social mobility through degree apprenticeships which is funded by the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE) to the tune of £250,000.

Each of the six workshops is a half day 'live' session supported by additional online content.The workshops focus on:

Going 4 Growth: Setting a bold strategy to achieve three digital growth goals available in your market

Transformation: Structuring your digital transformation and commercial model to reduce operational and financial risk

A Bigger Sandbox: Game storming your digital breakthrough journey and identifying the resource and skills you'll need to meet market demand

Making Connections: Activating a digital ecosystem of talent and like-minded partners to support your growth ambitions

Scaling it Up: Reshaping your products/services and the marketing channels needed to rapidly deliver to scale

Reinvention: Adapting your vision and re-engineering your processes to 'pitch' to international collaborators, funders and profit pools.

The six-week programme ends with an opportunity to present to influential business brains and win a Digital Business Growth Prize.

The 'Digital Dragons' include:

Helen Walbey, Federation of Small Business, Diversity Policy
Kathy Slack, Executive Director, M3 Local Enterprise Partnership
Linda Cheung, SetSquared and Business Board Member, M3 Local Enterprise Partnership
Julie Baker BBA, Diversity and Inclusion Council, Government Women in enterprise APPG and Head of Enterprise Business Banking at NatWest
Pru Marriott , Dean of the Faculty of Business, Law and Sport at the University of Winchester and Director of the University of Winchester Business School.

The Women in Digital Enterprise programme is being offered in three locations:

Chandlers Ford, Southampton - Dates: 17 and 24 April, 1, 8 and, 15 May and 7 June
Basingstoke - Dates: 18 and 25 April, 2, 9 and 16 May and 7 June
Woking - Dates: 19 and 26 April, 3, 10 and 17 May and 7 June

The final all-day session on 7 June will be held at the University of Winchester Business School.

For further information and to apply for one of the 100 free places, visit

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