Female founders of science, digital and technology businesses based in the South are invited to take part in a women-only two-day business support initiative at the Southampton Science Park in Chilworth on 6th and 7th March.

Following a highly successful first event in 2022, which attracted female entrepreneurs from various backgrounds and sectors, including electronic vehicles, fin tech, health tech, app development and educational tools, the Women’s Entrepreneurs Workout is again open for applications.

The timing coincides with the lead-up to International Women’s Day (IWD), which, for over a century, has been a call to accelerate women’s equality. This year, IWD has a specific aim to #inspire inclusion. It highlights the need to ‘recruit, train and develop female talent’, and to ‘support women and girls into leadership, decision-making, business and STEM’ as important stepstones in the pursuit of this universal goal.

This is one of the reasons that Southampton Science Park and globally renowned business incubator, SETsquared, have joined forces to create a Women Entrepreneurs’ Workout to coincide with International Women’s Day in 2024.

Under the guidance of expert business mentors, this event is designed to give participants an inclusive and supportive environment to work in a small group of likeminded women to build the foundations of a successful businesses. Find out more about the Women Entrepreneurs’ Workout and apply before 28 February.

Careful consideration was given to the idea of organising a gender-specific event. However in the context of ongoing gender inequality in the technology sphere (while the UK’s technology sector employs around 2 million people[i], just 26% of these are women[ii]), the hope is that this event, specifically for persons identifying as female, will help boost confidence in the value of women in STEM and entrepreneurial environments.

The value that women bring to the table is well documented. For example:

The UK economy would grow by £250bn if as many women as men founded their own businesses[iii].

Investors are increasingly interested in female entrepreneurship: the Investing in Women Code accounts for 39% of UK venture and growth equity deals in the SME lending market.

Women rate highest in 75% of the competencies that make outstanding leaders[iv]. Further, women tend to be motivated by purpose and achieve goals through communication and collaboration, all essential attributes for a successful start-up.

Mentoring and support is a known critical success factor in releasing this potential. A recent survey reported that 58% of women who accessed mentoring felt that it helped increase confidence in their abilities and 54% were inspired to achieve more[v].

Begin your entrepreneurial journey today. Apply for the Women Entrepreneurs’ Workout before 28 February.

[i] https://thephagroup.com/blog/uk-tech-sector-leads-way-for-global-growth/

[ii] https://stagetechn.wpengine.com/a-decade-of-uk-tech/#talent-and-diversity

[iii] Alison Rose progress report on female entrepreneurship

[iv] Harvard Business Review

[v] https://wearetechwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/women-in-tech-survey-2021-ipsos.pdf