The Duchy of Cornwall has joined forces with Women in Rural Enterprise (WiRE) to create a new initiative to support female entrepreneurs in the Eastern District.
Duchy Women in Rural Enterprise will deliver a series of workshops focused specifically on social media and marketing for rural business, and how to improve leadership skills and to build a business.
The initiative has the full backing of HRH The Prince of Wales who named WiRE's director, Polly Gibb, as one of his 'countryside champions' in his recent guest edit of Country Life magazine.
As Duke of Cornwall, His Royal Highness is keen to ensure that as many women as possible benefit from the new partnership. In addition to financing the project, the Duchy of Cornwall is also offering women in business across the Duchy Estates a 50% discount on the current WiRE annual subscription charge which gives members access to a network of business support and promotional opportunities.
Eastern District Land Steward, David Curtis, was instrumental in setting up Duchy Women in Rural Enterprise and Lady Arran has been the driving force in connecting with and championing the Duchy women in business. In time, it is hoped that the Business Enhancement Programme will be rolled out in at least five other regions across the Duchy of Cornwall.
The first programme is already underway in Bath/Blagdon where 15 Duchy women running or thinking about starting a business attended a workshop on November 6th to learn about why the web works and what you need to do to engage customers, culminating in an action plan for using the best social media tools for their business.
WiRE business manager, Fiona Davies said: “There are some fantastic and diverse businesses being run by women across the Duchy Estates and this initiative is a great opportunity for them to not only grow their businesses but to tap into the expertise that already exists and support each other as their businesses grow. The first event was energetic and noisy with the attendee’s committing to make changes in their business as a result of the newly learnt skills”
WiRE was set up in 1996 when research conducted by senior lecturer Izzy Warren-Smith at Harper Adams University College identified a significant number of farm diversifications were established by women. Having started and supported many thousands women in rural businesses across the UK, WiRE will use the tried and tested methods to support Duchy businesses and equip them with the knowledge and skills to develop and grow and develop network groups; where businesses are not left to implement these new skills and knowledge alone, but can go forward together sharing their collective experiences and growing expertise as a group.
If you have any queries about Duchy Women in Rural Enterprise, please contact Rachel Price-Greenow at the Hereford Office on 01432 356 546
More information about WiRE can be found at www.WiREUK.org
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