USW Supports Female Entrepreneurs to Overcome any Barriers in Business


University of South Wales (USW) is proud to launch the Developing Entrepreneurial Women Programme. This fully funded package of support is open to women in Wales who are ready to embark on their business start-up journey, and is the latest initiative from USW Exchange, to support post-pandemic economic recovery in the region.

With funding of £30,000 from NatWest, the project will address the gender-gap in female-led businesses identified in The Rose Review by proactively tackling a number of common barriers faced by women during the business start-up and growth journey.

NatWest Group CEO, Alison Rose’s Review of Female Entrepreneurship, revealed that female entrepreneurs were underrepresented in high-value sectors such as manufacturing, IT and communications, and financial services. Access to funding, risk awareness, primary care responsibilities and perception of skills were among the barriers to female entrepreneurs.

Alongside this, ‘Supporting Entrepreneurial Women in Wales’, a report written by USW academics on behalf of Welsh Government, identified barriers around confidence, ability, self-esteem and resilience.

The programme consists of a 9-week series of expert-led start-up sessions, before offering the opportunity for progression on to an 8-week business coaching & personal development course designed to boost confidence and enable action.

Monthly networking sessions and panel discussions will be held including guest talks from inspirational female founders, as well as opportunities to ‘buddy-up’ with USW’s successful graduate entrepreneurs.

Cheryl Gourlay, National Women in Business Manager, NatWest said:

“At NatWest, female entrepreneurship is a huge focus for us and given the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on female-led businesses, there is no better time than now to be amplifying this support in whatever way we can. We already work with a number of great female-led businesses across Wales so the opportunity to support the University of South Wales to deliver their new female entrepreneurship programme is hugely exciting”

Louise Bright, Director of Research & Business Engagement, USW said:

“We are thrilled to be harnessing our collective expertise and insights from across USW, our local networks and our graduate entrepreneurs, to help bring greater gender diversity to the business sector in Wales.”

Further information about the Developing Entrepreneurial Women Programme can be found here – registration is open until 20 March 2021.

You can join USW Exchange, USW’s free network for business here.