‘Amazing women’: Female entrepreneurs in Manchester looking for social change

A Greater Manchester peer network is looking to raise £4,000 in four weeks for local entrepreneurial women creating social change in their communities.

Women Supporting Social Entrepreneurs (WSSE) showcases the talents of women across the area by providing learning and training events along with investment.

A 12-hour mentoring marathon in July will aim to give more women a voice to influence and impact their vision to create social change for the better through businesses and projects.

Nickola Torkington, co-founder of WSSE told MM: “Support this year will really help us to invest in more women and to help create more social change.

“Whether you’ve got £5, £50 or £500 you can really make a difference by investing in this campaign.”

50% of the money raised will be invested directly into the enterprise ideas of local women and the other half will support the development of a peer network offering training and mentoring.

The project though will only be funded if at least £4,000 is pledged by 5:09pm on 13th April with around £750 raised at the time of publication.

A pilot project last year was successful and raised £2,625, enabling a wide range of investment over a number of new initiatives.

One to benefit was Haleh Morajev, a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.

With the help she founded MetMUnch, a student healthy eating initiative and had nothing but admiration for the WSSE.

“Because being an entrepreneur is such a solo journey you just think it’s me against the world but suddenly I was in this room and there were these amazing women in there with me,” she said.

“We created such a bond and I feel like the energy created in the room gave me a boost of confidence.”

Jill Clifford, founder of Tipples and Nibbles, a company which hosts small social events, also praised the WSSE’s approach.

“It’s a lot more humanised,” she said.

“It’s like they are real people and can see you on a human level as well as not just the business.

“I think if it was all these high flying businessmen sat there in suits then it would be intimidating.”

With recent funding cuts and grant funding being increasingly difficult to find, the aim is to develop a model where those with less access and confidence of funding to get their ideas off the ground.

A dedicated and experienced team meet regularly to plan and co-ordinate activities and a monthly events programme is designed by women in the network.

The WSSE now has reach into more and more communities across Greater Manchester through a network of over 200 social entrepreneurs and extra funding will increase this scope.

For further information and for donations, click here.

Image courtesy of WSSE, via Vimeo, with thanks

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