Auction of Promises to Create a Seed Fund for Women in Business


On the 20th of May, The Growing Club CIC is organising a fundraising event – an Auction of Promises – where donated promises are auctioned off, with money raised to create a Seed Fund to support women’s business start-up costs.

The initial target amount hoped to be raised from the Auction of Promises is £10,000. Promises already donated include photography tuition, a small private cinema for an evening’s hire, proofreading services, bespoke tailoring services and much more.


There is less support than ever for women on benefits to enter into self-employment. Until December 2021, the Department for Work and Pensions offered the New Enterprise Allowance scheme. This provided both mentoring and financial support for those starting out as self-employed.

In 2010, one of The Growing Club’s founders, Jane Binnion, was an unemployed single parent after being made redundant. It was through the support of the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) that Jane was able to start her business. There was also a grant that enabled her to buy a laptop and business essentials, and for 12 months there was £40-a-week benefit support that helped her to feed her family while the business grew.

Over the years, financial support has been reduced, but on the 31st of December 2021, with almost no acknowledgement, the NEA ceased to exist. Support is only now available in the form of a loan, with many women being reluctant to take on more debt.

The possible outcome is that if we don’t take action going forward, it will only be women with capital that will be able to start businesses. Women trapped within the benefits system will have another exit route blocked, meaning regardless of their knowledge, skill and experience, they will once again be left behind.

The Growing Club have advocated for all women to use their skills to strive towards financial independence – be that via employment or self-employment – and this Auction of Promises event will enable us to build a Seed Fund to help reduce the barriers to achieving that.


You can book your tickets on Eventbrite here and download a flyer here. If you'd like to bid on any of the amazing items up for auction, please follow this link here.

If you are interested in offering your own promise, please download and fill out this Auction form and return it to:

The Growing Club,
605, Alston House,
White Cross, LA1 4XQ.

or email it to:

Alternatively, you can call the office at 01524 383848 and your donated promise can be logged over the phone. Everyone who donates a promise will receive a free ticket to the event.