Enterprising Women Launches for Fourth Year from UK's Top Startup Hub

Enterprising Women, a free business support programme for aspiring female founders, has launched for its fourth year.

The programme was delivered by SETsquared Bristol, the University of Bristol-led tech incubator that was recently ranked the UK's Top Startup Hub by the Financial Times.

Over the course of six months, founders received mentoring, coaching, workshops, online training, and introductions to a network of advisers and investors. Enterprising Women was fully funded by NatWest.

Kimberley Brook, Director at SETsquared Bristol said: “We’re over the moon to launch Enterprising Women 4.0 with NatWest’s kind support. Since the programme started in 2020, it has supported over 50 women founders to realise their entrepreneurial dreams. It has also helped SETsquared Bristol in its goal for gender parity, with women currently making up 49% of our companies’ founders and C-suite.”

Enterprising Women has supported a diverse range of businesses, with many innovations addressing society’s greatest challenges including climate change, social inequality, and online safety. Supported companies have contributed an economic impact of £23 million to date, and one company, Hedira, has been acquired.

Graduates of Enterprising Women include Jack Fertility, the world's first mail-in sperm test kit that offers lab-grade semen analysis results. Lily Elsner, CEO and Co-founder, said: “Of all of the accelerators and female founder support programmes that I have done in the world, the Enterprising Women programme is by far the best, and is the one that all other programmes should benchmark themselves against. The holistic support for both the founder and the business is unparalleled with a deep understanding of diversity within innovation and enterprises. I cannot recommend highly enough.”

Bobbi-Jo O’Gilvie, Co-Founder of inclusive career platform, Circe, added: “There’s a plethora of support available, but to have a programme that’s tailored towards women, and in community with women is invaluable.”

Enterprising Women 4.0 will run from October 2024 to March 2025, concluding with a showcase and pitching event in Spring 2025 to recognise the awardees’ achievements. Those who would like to find out more about the programme are encouraged to sign up to the launch event on Wednesday 12 June at Bristol’s Engine Shed from 12-2.30 pm.

Enterprising Women is open to early-stage founders in the UK who identify as women or non-binary assigned female at birth with tech, tech-enabled or non-tech startups, business ideas or side hustles. Apply by 31 July.