AWE Final Conference – Mon 29 Nov – Thurs 2 Dec 2021

The Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) programme was launched in 2018 and comes to an end in December 2021. The programme has been delivered by a consortium of partners in the UK and France and supported by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, with European Regional Development Funds. The programme aims to improve the quality and effectiveness of support to socially or economically disadvantaged and under-represented groups and to address the gender imbalance in entrepreneurship.

The legacy of AWE is to share all the learning and the resources created during the programme so that others can adopt and integrate them to improve their own support for the female economy.  We therefore warmly welcome stakeholders, intermediaries, interested organisations and female entrepreneurs to attend our final conference.

The Final Conference Programme

The AWE conference will bring together project partners, participants and stakeholders from the UK and France to share their unique insight into the Accelerating Women’s Enterprise programme and to demonstrate the practical learning resources now available.

The conference will be online, in French and English, with different morning and afternoon sessions running over four days – Mon 29 November to Thursday 2 December. Each session will have time for questions and answers and participation of the audience.

The sessions cover topics including:

  • The programme – what we achieved, what we learnt, what we co-created and the impact of COVID-19
  • Stories from our entrepreneurs – their business start-up journeys, their experience of the support they received and how COVID-19 affected them personally
  • The findings of our research reports into the support environment and the social and economic situation for female entrepreneurs
  • Perspectives from our External Committee Members and Stakeholders on what they have learnt, plus an update on the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship (UK)
  • The Legacy – our practical learning Toolkit – and introduction to the content and how to use it
  • The value of mentoring from the perspective of the mentees and mentors
  • Communication – good practices for engaging with female entrepreneurs

Places are free but we request that you book in advance, using our easy booking system on Eventbrite so that you can receive the details to join the session at the correct time.

Day One – Monday 29 November

Session 1

The Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) programme from the delivery partner perspective

10-11.45am UK time/ 11am – 12.45pm French time

Led by YTKO, this session will provide the introduction to the AWE programme in the UK and in France, its aims, what it has achieved with examples of good practice and key learnings including how we adapted practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Session 2

The Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) programme from the client perspective

1.30 – 3.15pm UK time/ 2.30 – 4.15pm French time

Presentations from French and English client entrepreneurs talking about their business start-up journey, and how the programme has supported these ambitions.

Chaired by Outset CIC and Entreprendre au Feminin Bretagne (EAFB).

Day Two – Tuesday 30 November

Session 3

The Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) programme from a mentor/mentee perspective

10-11.45am UK time/ 11.15am – 12.45pm French time

Mentoring is a key part of the AWE programme, and we hear from a range of mentors and mentees engaged in the mentoring process about their experiences and the value of this form of support. Chaired by the School for Social Entrepreneurs and Club Normandie Pionnières (CNP).

Session 4 

The Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) programme from a stakeholder perspective

1.30 – 3.15pm UK time/ 2.30 – 4.15pm French time

Hear from our External Committee, important organisations in the business support ecosystem, as well as an update from Julie Baker, Head of Enterprise at NatWest on the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. There will also be an update from Club Normandie Pionnières (CNP) on their work with the Rouen entrepreneurial ecosystem for female Entrepreneurship.

Day Three – Wednesday 1 December

Today we focus on sharing the two research reports carried out as part of the AWE project.   You’ll hear the findings of their reports into the Entrepreneurial Ecosystems in France and the UK and Good Practices and Opportunities for the evolution of this ecosystem for disadvantaged female entrepreneurs, and welcome your discussion of the findings. Chaired by the University of Portsmouth and the University of Essex.

Session 5

The Research Report – part 1

10-11.45am UK time/ 11am – 12.45pm French time

Session 6 

The Research Report – part 2

1.30 – 3.15pm UK time/ 2.30 – 4.15pm French time

Day Four – Thursday 2 December

Session 7

The Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) programme Toolkit

1 – 3.15pm UK time/ 2 – 4.15pm French time

In this final session we will present the training resources, mentor documentation and training guides, research reports and Communications Guide which will make up the Legacy Toolkit which will be made available at the end of the programme for other individuals and organisations to access. Chaired by YTKO and Entreprendre au Feminin Bretagne (EAFB).