Programme launched to help 100 Manchester women who lost their jobs during pandemic – Business Live


An accelerator has been launched with the aim to help kick-start the entrepreneurial careers of 100 women who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

IN4.0 and The Landing has designed the FreelanceHER 100 programme to give the women access to the skills and confidence to pursue their ambitions as a freelancer or start-up business, it said.

The fully-funded, three-month accelerator is focused on women for whom COVID has resulted in a career break and a catalyst to entrepreneurship, as well mothers seeking to return to economic activity, it said, and will encourage Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic women to apply.

Women from across the 10 Greater Manchester boroughs can apply for the scheme, which will be delivered online, with weekly sessions designed to accommodate work and childcare commitments. 

IN4.0 with The Landing has appointed Naomi Timperley, co-founder of Tech North Advocates, to lead FreelanceHER 100 as programme director.



Naomi Timperley will lead FreelanceHER 100 as programme director

Naomi said: “This is a first-of-its-kind, groundbreaking accelerator for women and led by women, creating an opportunity for 100 female freelancers to thrive in these challenging times.

“We want to empower female freelancers to be strong leaders, to create powerful enterprises and to influence and shape the world through their companies, using collaboration, community, and innovation.”

The programme will allow participants access to weekly workshops and peer-to-peer mentoring led by experts including Tina Boden, co-founder of #MicroBizMatters Day & Micro Business Expert, and Sarah Townsend, author of Survival Skills for Freelancers.

FreelanceHER 100 ambassadors will include Rose Marley, CEO of Sharpe Futures & Cooperatives UK, Beena Puri, innovation & partnerships lead at the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and Annette Joseph, CEO of Diverse & Equal and former Co-op digital delivery manager.

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On successfully completing the programme, the freelancers will be offered 12 months business co-working space at Arrive in MediaCityUK and innovation hub membership starting at £99 per month.

FreelanceHER 100 will support participants to test and build their business ideas or freelancer service as well as develop knowledge and skills in business modelling, product development, finance, communication, and business development, it said.

Naomi added: “We want to support diverse women who have the skills to launch and lead businesses in multiple markets from idea to validation to funding readiness.

“We will ensure they can do this in a safe environment that is flexible and authentic so that after 12 weeks they have the confidence and ability to build and grow their business.”

Mo Isap, CEO of IN4.0 Group said there was an urgent need to provide the right kind of support to a cross section of women who have been impacted by the pandemic and lockdowns.

He said: “We know that because of the pandemic there are women who are now out of employment but have ambitions to use their talents to do something for themselves and Covid has catalysed their career into entrepreneurship.

“Now they have an opportunity with us through FreelanceHER 100 to help support them as they embark on that initial journey.

“This is something that is going to be distinctive, something that’s meaningful and is a support intervention to help empower female entrepreneurs and female founders in Greater Manchester.

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“We know that setting up as a freelancer can be challenging as it is a new world and there are many aspects that might not be familiar.

“By giving them access to a three-month accelerator and incubator programme led by Naomi Timperley, one of the UK’s leading growth and innovation consultants, to support those entrepreneurs in the digital creative and technology sector, is going to have a significant positive impact.”



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