Peterborough Women’s Enterprise Centre launches today

The new Centre is managed by YTKO and supported by Enterprising Women, and the launch event was attended by over 80 guests and entrepreneurs. The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Irene Walsh welcomed the audience, and Rachel Bosworth, Deputy Chief Executive of the East of England Development Agency, and Peterborough’s leader of the council, Marco Cereste, addressed how the centre was already contributing to the economy of the city and region.

Stewart Jackson MP for Peterborough unveiled the plaque to mark the centre’s official opening. He commented:

I’m delighted to play a part in the launch of the Women’s Enterprise Centre. This region now leads the UK, with the female early-stage entrepreneurial activity over two per cent higher than the rest of the UK. But with women owned businesses still a relatively small proportion of the whole, it is vital that we sustain our commitment to helping women to start to create new businesses, and to help those who want to grow their existing businesses, and create new jobs and value.

The centre is the second of its kind in the UK. As well as offering advice and training about all aspects setting up a business and accessing finance, 1:1 coaching, mentoring, and access to finance services, the centre includes a Wi-Fi enabled computer and hot-desking area, a training room and mailbox facilities which women can use for business correspondence. A crèche is on site for use by mothers who are taking part in the centre’s wide range of training courses and a café and a wardrobe exchange coming on stream shortly.

Centre manager Georgette Rouncefield is happy that the doors of the Centre are finally open:

We’ve been working alongside the council all the way, and are delighted that all our hard work has come to fruition. Whilst the Centre has been refurbished, we have already assisted more than 100 businesses and helped nearly 50 women to develop their skills since the beginning of January. 4 new women-owned enterprises have already been set up as a result of our training programmes. We’re really looking forward to helping many more women unlock their potential, and to help make the city centre a dynamic and successful business hub.

Councillor Marco Cereste, leader of the city council, said:

Business is the lifeblood of our economy, and we must constantly enhance our ability to start and grow successful and innovative enterprises. Women can make a huge contribution to our future if we give them the right support to develop their talents. Today is all about our tangible commitment to women’s enterprise, by providing a wonderful new centre and a wealth of expertise, services and support coming together in one place. I wish it great success, and look forward to meeting lots of Enterprising Women in the coming years.

Rachel Bosworth, Deputy Chief Executive of EEDA added:

In the East of England whilst women make up 50 per cent of the population, women owned businesses still only make up 15 per cent of the business stock and 29 per cent of the self-employed population. With the opening of this centre, I hope that I’ll soon be invited back to hear of its successes and meet some of the new female entrepreneurs who know they can do it for themselves and are benefiting from the centre and Enterprising Women’s support and encouragement!

The centre is funded by the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and Peterborough City Council. It is managed by YTKO and supported by Enterprising Women.

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