Women in business are disadvantaged due to a lack of relatable sponsorship, mentors and role models, according to The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship.
The scheme is being piloted in the West Country and Yorkshire before being rolled out across the country in 2021. Eligible, women-led businesses in Bristol, Bath & North East Somerset and South Gloucestershire can apply.
Participants will be matched with an experienced business leader who will work with them over a 12 week period to help shape strategy and business plans and work through challenges.
Alison Rose, the chief executive of NatWest Group was commissioned by the government in 2019 to undertake The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship.
She said: “One of the most striking findings from the Rose Review was that women are less likely than men to know other entrepreneurs or to have access to sponsors, mentors, or professional supporter networks. For female entrepreneurs, and the UK economy to truly prosper, this balance must be reset.
“Today I’m delighted to launch this new initiative in partnership with Be the Business, which we hope will provide female entrepreneurs from Leeds and Bristol with the guidance and support to truly take their business to the next level, empowering the next generation of female leaders in the process.”
The mentoring programme is the latest business initiative launched in a bid to address the principal issues identified in the Rose Review, which also reported only one per cent of venture capital funding in the UK goes to female-led businesses.
Anthony Impey, the chief executive of Be the Business said: “The next few months will be absolutely critical for entrepreneurs, and an experienced mentor to provide impartial advice and an external perspective could be the difference between success and failure.
“This programme will help female business owners overcome the big challenges ahead and grow their businesses.”
Tim Bowles, the mayor of the West of England, added his pledge to ensure the scheme reaches as many people as possible.
Interested entrepreneurs can find out more and apply for the programme via www.bethebusiness.com/rose-review-mentoring/
Main photo of Alison Rose provided courtesy of NatWest