Support groups and resources for female entrepreneurs in the UK
While women in business are still severely underrepresented, there are a whole host of fantastic organisations hoping to change that
As well as the Startups.co.uk section for female entrepreneurs, there are a number of organisations and groups offering support and advice to women in business.
Here’s a rundown of some of the best and what type of help and services they can offer:
Accelerators, investment houses and co-work spaces
A unique network with a number of facets, AllBright offers an academy – with tailored courses to support business development, an investment fund backed by a community of angel investors and most recently a new members’ club for working women, The AllBright.
All with one aim, to make the UK the best place to be a female leader.
Find out more: https://www.allbrightcollective.com/
Blooming Founders is a social network for early stage female entrepreneurs, primarily working in London. Women in business are invited to join the community to “help each other make progress”.
Find out more: http://bloomingfounders.com/
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From the woman behind Blooming Founders comes Blooms. Describing itself as “London’s first business club for female founders”, the co-work opened in Old Street in October 2017 to create an environment for female founders to work amongst a diverse community.
Find out more: http://www.bloomslondon.com
Female Founders Accelerator
A six-month programme (part of Hatch Enterprise) designed with insights gained from working with over 100 female founders.
The accelerator has also partnered with Blooming Founders and will be hosting the course at Blooms – giving attendees access to their events and discounts on co-working space.
Find out more: http://femalefounders.hatchenterprise.org/
While not female-focused specifically, Huckletree is pioneering office space for working parents with its ‘Power Parents Membership’. At its White City space, parents can work while their kids play in its innovative Kids’ Studio. There’s also access to babysitting service bubble and exclusive access to talks from influencers like Mother Pukka to Mumsnet cofounder Carrie Longton
Find out more: https://www.huckletree.com/
Claiming to be “London’s largest innovation centre”, Plexal has announced a new female-focused accelerator Plexiglass.
Eight start-ups will receive support and mentoring to grow their business.
Find out more: http://www.plexal.com
Networks and groups
Determined to “stop talking about the underrepresentation of women in tech and DO something about it”, AccelerateHER was borne out of Founders Forum discussion (a private network of leading entrepreneurs).
It’s aim is to accelerate HER, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because it has economic imperative!
Find out more: https://accelerateher.co/#/
British Association of Women Entrepreneurs
The British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE) is a non-profit professional organisation for UK-based women business owners and is affiliated to the world association of women business owners.
BAWE encourages the personal development of female entrepreneurs and the expansion of their businesses through various training, networking and mentoring schemes and conferences.
Find out more: http://www.bawe-uk.org/
Code First: Girls
With a campaign to help teach 20,000 women to code by the end of 2020, Code First: Girls is on a mission to get more women into tech and entrepreneurship. The multi-award winning social enterprise offers training, a community and corporate events.
Find out more: https://www.codefirstgirls.org.uk/
DrivenWoman is a women’s network for ambitious females who want to achieve their goals and dreams. This fast growing community, founded in 2013, offers monthly workshops where women can come together to support each other and keep each other accountable.
Soon to launch an online membership, it also runs a yearly celebratory event called the Festival of Doers – that brings together female thought leaders from around the world.
Find out more: https://www.driven-woman.com/
Established way back in 1999, everywoman is a membership organisation for women in business with an active network of over 20,000 members.
Find out more: http://www.everywoman.com/
Frederick women’s network and fund
Charity The Fredericks Foundation is creating a women’s network to connect like-minded female entrepreneurs and raise money for a dedicated loan fund for women. Ultimately it intends to build a £2m fund to provide loans to women with a viable business plan who have been turned down by conventional lenders.
It is actively looking for members who want to network, potentially offer mentoring and help fundraise for its worthy cause.
Find out more here: http://www.fredericksfoundation.org/the-womens-fund/
Female Founders Forum
A joint Barclays and The Entrepreneurs Network project, the FFF wants to connect likeminded female entrepreneurs as well as offering practical support.
Find out more here: https://www.tenentrepreneurs.org/fff/
With a mission to support and develop the talents of women in STEM, Girl Geeks has grown into a national professional community where women can connect and collaborate.
Find out more: https://www.girlgeeks.uk/
A UK wide trade association, Prowess promotes women’s enterprise support and lobbies for sexual equality in business.
It offers a range of training, networking and support opportunities.
Find out more: http://www.prowess.org.uk/
The award-winning social enterprise has been working hard since 2013 to inspire and support young women into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.
Find out more: http://stemettes.org/
The Female Entrepreneur Association
Created by entrepreneur and author of She Means Business Carrie Green, The Female Entrepreneur Association is an online hub with a mission to empower and inspire women globally.
Offering content, masterclasses and a members’ club – the organisation has over 500,000 women involved around the world.
Find out more: https://femaleentrepreneurassociation.com/
The Women in Business Network
The aim of the WIBN is to bring together female business owners to help them to promote their businesses. The organisation is largely focused on networking and the exchange of contacts and has grown to an extensive network of ‘local’ groups around the UK.
Find out more: http://www.wibn.co.uk/
WiRE is a nationwide organisation supporting women living in rural areas who want to start their own businesses.
WiRE runs networking events and workshops, has a national conference every year and offers a full business support network for female rural entrepreneurs.
Find out more: http://www.wireuk.org/
A 700-strong working group within Tech London Advocates that’s dedicating to increasing gender equality within tech.
The group hosts and meetings and events to champion change.
Find out more: http://tlawomenintech.org/
Women Supporting Women – The Prince’s Trust
Women Supporting Women is a fundraising appeal, launched by the Prince’s Trust, aimed at successful businesswomen who want to help disadvantaged young women get back on their feet. The intention is to encourage more women to take part in Prince’s Trust programmes, whilst supporting worse off groups such as young mothers by providing money for child care costs.
Find out more: http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/women
Festival of Female Entrepreneurs
Hosted by Enterprise Nation and now in its seventh year, this Bristol-based event aims to bring together the most influential female entrepreneurs, leaders and start-ups to share advice.
Find out more: https://www.enterprisenation.com/festival/
Do you know of a fantastic women in business organisation we’ve missed? Please do let us know and we’ll add it to this page.
The list is by no means exhaustive and one we hope we can keep expanding.
Tweet me @LucyWayment or drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.