Knowsley Housing Trust (KHT) has teamed up with an award-winning enterprise organisation to help hundreds of women start their own business.
Working together KHT and Liverpool-based The Women’s Organisation aim to engage women in the Knowsley area and support the start up of up to 120 new businesses by helping them access financial support, advice and training.
The project’s first quarter has already seen 12 business start-ups including Beauty and the Beasts Groomers in Whiston, owned by Prescot resident Sharon Parr.
Sharon Received a £200 business start grant from The Women’s Organisation and £800 from Knowsley Council’s Fresh Start scheme towards the initial start-up costs.
She said “I am immensely proud of what I have achieved, and I can only hope it continues this way.”
It also offers support in business planning, tax and national insurance, basic book-keeping and promoting and selling your business online.
The project with KHT is predicted to save £2.7m in benefits payments. It will also bring wider benefits for the Knowsley economy – for every £1 invested in the project, a further £41 will be invested in the local area through creating businesses and jobs.
Louise Reese, Social Responsibility Manager at KHT, said: “This partnership aims to encourage start-up businesses and open up opportunities for women in the borough, and it is already working – as Sharon has proved.
“KHT is committed to giving back to our communities and improving lives and this is a project that has the potential to do just that.
“We want to hear from budding entrepreneurs who have the ideas and the passion but need a little help to turn it into a business. There is a wealth of support available so please get in touch.”
Maggie O'Carroll, chief executive of The Women's Organisation, said: “We are delighted to join forces with Knowsley Housing Trust to help women set up their own businesses in the borough.
“We know that there are many entrepreneurial women out there who just need a little help, support and encouragement.
“With female unemployment at a 23 year high and changes to tax credits, child benefits and public sector pensions hitting women particularly hard, it has never been more important to assist women into self-employment. It can also help to empower women, give them more control over their lives and lift them out of poverty.”
Women in the Knowsley area who would like support to start their own business can contact The Women’s Organisation on 0151 706 8111 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.