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Emerging Female Entrepreneurs in Moray Graduate from Scottish Govt Funded E3f Programme.

1 April 2024 • Sarah Medcraf

Last week saw a group of eighteen budding female entrepreneurs based in Moray complete a six week long incubator programme called E3f. The cohort got together at Greenbrae Steading for a close of program celebration event.

The programme was designed by Elevator UK, an Aberdeen-based social enterprise who support business growth activities across Scotland. The cohort got together at Greenbrae Steading for a close of program celebration.

Scottish Government funding was allocated to the programme following the independent Pathways Report on the barriers to entrepreneurship faced by women in Scotland, compiled by Ana Stewart and Mark Logan.

In order to deliver the programme in Moray, Elevator UK partnered with Lucy Morrison, owner of local co-working space Greenbrae Steading. With support and guidance from Elevator UK, Lucy curated a team of established local women business owners, coaches and consultants to train and mentor the eighteen participants.

The choice to deliver the programme via Greenbrae Steading not only provided a physical place for the women to get together but it also helped them to get established in an existing small business community, fast-tracking their network of contacts and support.

Lucy Morrison from Greenbrae Steading said:

"As soon as I heard about the programme I knew we had to be involved. Not only was the project fully in line with our values, it also tapped into all of the benefits we feel we have to offer as a co-working space for small businesses."

Richard Lochead MSP for Moray said:

“It was inspiring to meet so many women who are potential entrepreneurs and who took part in the Elevator Moray Program funded by the Scottish Government. It was great to hear how they’ve benefited from the mentoring and support the scheme provides and to celebrate their success.

“All credit to Lucy and her team for her leadership in encouraging more women in Moray to pursue their business ideas and ambitions, and ensuring they have the connections needed to grow their skills.

“Moray benefits from a high number of women entrepreneurs making an impressive contribution to the local economy. We need more though and there is now a concerted effort to knock down the barriers that prevent more women starting their own businesses. With a supportive and encouraging community like that supported by E3f Moray hopefully we’ll see many more women entrepreneurs going on to great things and achieving their dreams.”
David Steyn, Strengthening Communities Operations Manager at Elevator said, "Our goal from the start of this programme was to provide a transformative experience for women who aspire to reach their full business potential. At this celebratory event it was clear that through the inspiring work of Lucy and our team, we delivered a programme that broke down the barriers and created an environment where women thrived in their entrepreneurial journey. We are so very proud of all the participants and look forward to seeing where their journey takes them to next"

Participant, Charlotte Goodwin said:

I’ve absolutely loved this course and will miss being inspired on Tuesday and Thursday evenings! I’ve really enjoyed how the program brought in so many local businesswomen - it really feels like being part of a network. I’ve found each presenter so inspiring for their knowledge and their own business journey stories.

The program felt like such a rich mix of business skills and knowledge, interwoven with the importance of self-care and following our own business journey whatever that looks like, in a way that works for us.

I came into the course with the idea of developing a product, but given life is busy on several fronts right now I’ve decided to use what I’ve learnt to really develop my existing self-employed work.”

Mirror programmes have been taking place in both Angus and South Glasgow, but the Moray programme was the first to run full course.

Now that the programme has come to an end it's not yet clear whether further funding will be available. However, what is very clear is the significant benefits the E3f programme has brought to the Moray small business community and Lucy and her community at Greenbrae Steading are already formulating further plans to provide ongoing support and networking opportunities for the E3f cohort as they continue their entrepreneurial journeys.

This project was funded by the Scottish Government Pathways Fund.

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