New scheme to support local women’s businesses

Dance group with Enterprise BusSouth London “business incubator” Hatch Enterprise is working with the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation to help 60 women grow businesses.

Hatch’s Dirk Bischof said women entrepreneurs faced extra barriers when trying to access funding.

The new scheme, Women Enterprise Growth Accelerator (WEGA), launches in February and Hatch is keen to hear from women who want to get support.

The Women’s Business Council estimates that there would be a million more female entrepreneurs if women were setting up new businesses at the same rate as men and that this could increase the UK’s GDP by 10% by 2030.

WEGA will support ambitious women in growing and scaling their business.

Bischof said: “Starting and running a business is the hardest thing anyone can do, and without support many entrepreneurs fail. In fact, nine out of 10 will fail over any 3-year timeframe. Through WEGA we want to offer the right support so female founders can focus on growing their businesses.”

One of the businesses being supported in 2017 will be Neon Performing Arts.

Woman who runs Dance businessEmanuela Pagliei (right), a Brixton resident, started it in 2014, offering performing arts classes to south London young people, often from low-income backgrounds.

She works with the Royal Opera and the Royal Ballet to support the most talented students into the arts.

Neon received start-up support from Hatch in 2014 and recently secured premises, but still struggles to make the business sustainable.

Pagliei said: “I have to be everything and everywhere. I’ve had to learn to not only work in my business but also on my business, whilst at the same time making sure I can spend enough time with my kids and my partner.

“I look forward to the support from the Accelerator to help me achieve my business goals and supporting many more young people into performing arts.”

More information here