Dare to be Different

Swedish Visit May 2011

The West Midlands region is lagging behind other UK regions in women led enterprises, (Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2007). Women running small to micro-sized businesses, may work in confined geographical areas, often lacking the support to develop their business and gain any personal development. Study visits allow women to develop new skills and knowledge. In Go-Woman! ’s experience, women rarely travel outside their comfort zone and particularly abroad, except for family holidays. Their perception of women in business may remain very narrow and aspirations very restricted.

Through this programme, participants will learn how women-led enterprises are supported in one of the Swedish regions and then use this experience and knowledge to improve their own business or in supporting other women-led enterprises.

The project will encourage small to micro sized businesses to see themselves as part of an EU economy and not just the local economy.

Aims of the project
The aims of the project are:
• to engage women who do not normally engage in these type of activities, to take part in a trans-national study;
• for women to learn new and innovative ways of how to support business start up, growth and sustainability;
• to encourage women led micro businesses to explore opportunities for doing business in a wider geographical context;
• to learn from best practices, to become more competitive (Lisbon Agenda) especially in the current financial climate.

Why Sweden?
Sweden has a vast range of expertise in entrepreneurship development. Small to medium sized enterprises have greater opportunities in Sweden to start a business. Although UK has greater female business start ups; Sweden has higher rate of established female owned businesses (GEM 2007). The right support is vital so the project is aimed at taking a group of women that either run their own business or those involved in providing support, delivering and training for women in business, to learn best practice from the area around Skovde, Sweden.

We will be working with partner organisation, 2Core from the Vastmanland region, Skövde, Sweden, who specifically work with women in enterprise. The participants will look at how businesses are supported and how this support in Sweden is contributing to a much higher rate of survival after the first year.

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