30/11/2015 - Permalink

Free courses for women wanting to start up their own business

Related topics: Community / Partner organisations

Are you a woman looking to set up a new business but don’t know where to begin?

iStart is a free, digitally-focused business start-up course, enabling women living in Shropshire, Staffordshire or Telford & Wrekin to create future-proofed, agile and robust new businesses.

iStart will give women new to business all of the start-up basics, motivation, and goal-setting required, as well as sessions on websites, search engine optimisation and digital marketing techniques.

iStart is intended as a springboard for launching a new digitally-sound business that will grow with technology, making the technology work for you, not against, and give your business the best possible start in a digital world.

Course content is provided by local businesswomen, chosen for their expertise, knowledge and empathy towards women in business. iStart will have one classroom-based day in a small welcoming group, providing you with the confidence to tackle all of those niggling questions, with the support of the experts and fellow delegates.

With iStart you will also be able to take advantage of four hours of mentoring to help you overcome early hurdles. Our digital resource bank and online signposting will cut down on hours of searching, which we can all do without.

The course is being delivered by Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) as part of the Women and Broadband project, funded by the Government Equalities Office. WiRE believes that by working in small groups and using the extensive online tools, we are able offer the continued, combined and creative experiences of the peer group to boost your personal learning, moving you towards a successful woman-led business.

Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member for broadband, said:

“This project is a great way for women to learn new skills in a supportive environment and has proven very successful. The new iStart courses are specifically tailored to support women who want to start up in business for the first time. I’m sure there will be plenty of competition for spaces so my advice would be to book early.”

A spokeswoman from WiRE said:-

“We are very proud and excited to offer iStart and really urge local women who are planning a business start-up or are in the early stages to please contact us for a chat or go to the WiRE Challenge website to book; places are limited, so do hurry. We look forward to working with local women over the coming months and following their business successes.”

iStart is currently available to book on http://www.wirechallenge.org/.


  • 1 December 2015 at Telford Growth Hub
  • 14 January 2016 at Shropshire Education and Conference Centre, Shrewsbury
  • 11 February 2016 at The Beacon Centre, Staffordshire.

Further information

The Shropshire, Staffordshire, and Telford Women and Broadband project is funded by the Government Equalities Office.

The project is being delivered by Women in Rural Enterprise or WiRE, which is a national organisation of over 2,000 members. It is based at Harper Adams University and helps women in rural areas either to start up or expand a business.

The aim of the project is to inspire and enable women to start up a business, or to grow and improve an existing business, by embracing digital and cloud technology, capitalising on the opportunities offered by faster broadband.

This will create businesses which are digitally-led, embedded in the cloud and future-proofed, where barriers to start and to grow, such as remote location or limited time, are broken down by new technologies.

The project operates in conjunction with the three local broadband programmes that are part-funded by Broadband Delivery UK or BDUK, these are:

For more information go to the project website:

http://www.wirechallenge.org/ or contact Emma Bulley on 01952 815338 or at info@wireuk.org

For information about Connecting Shropshire, please go to the website:

http://connectingshropshire.co.uk/ or email Ben Walker at ben.walker@shropshire.gov.uk

For information about Superfast Staffordshire, please go to the website:

http://www.superfaststaffordshire.co.uk/ or email Louise Clayton at louise.clayton@staffordshire.gov.uk

For information about Superfast Telford, please go to the website

http://www.superfast-telford.co.uk/ or email Claire Critchell at claire.critchell@telford.gov.uk.