The Growing Club receives funding to help more women

The Growing Club in Lancaster has received additional funds to launch more of its business support courses and skills training for women.

Supported by The National Lottery Community Fund, Boost Lancashire, Lancaster City Council, Rosa Fund and the Workers’ Educational Association, The Growing Club is now able to deliver more training and courses to support women in business throughout COVID-19 and beyond.

During the lockdown, The Growing Club adapted its training provisions to deliver courses online via Zoom. Women were joining courses from all over the UK and beyond. This led to the business growth and sustainability programme, Bloom & Grow, being offered as an online course for the first time, starting this month.

The club has recommenced its face-to-face business training delivery starting with a new session of its start-up programme Roots and Shoots, helping women to begin their own business with support and skills training.

Additionally, the organisation have been awarded a contract to deliver a fully funded government initiative of peer-to-peer action learning and coaching for women running businesses or not-for-profits in Lancashire, who, up to the pandemic, had more than £100,000 turnover. This starts in mid-November.

Working in partnership with Lancaster City Council on the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Initiative, The Growing Club is now offering a second Peer Mentoring training programme for women who run businesses in Lancaster, following the successful roll-out of the first course. The initiative sees women train as a mentor for other women in business, and they are also provided with their own trained business mentor for 12-months. This comprehensive training programme is fully funded for women who have been in business for at least three years.

Women and young people were more likely to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic

Jane Binnion, founding director and lead trainer at The Growing Club said: "We are delighted to return to our work, delivering a variety of training courses for women in business, especially during this worrying time of a pandemic. Our online training is a perfect learning solution for women who are interested in receiving business training in sustainable growth but are unable to travel to Lancaster."

Jane added: "The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published their Quarterly Labour Force Survey in May, finding that women and young people under 25 were more likely to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, predicting long-term economic consequences for these groups.

"Other statistics showed that women who were mothers and also self-employed, suffered a particularly difficult financial setback, with 74% seeing their earning potential diminished because of childcare issues such as lack of access, with 44% of self-employed mothers having to give up their childcare places during the COVID-19 pandemic."

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