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By brighton1973, Feb 14 2018 07:52PM

Friday 16th March, 10:00 to 14:00 at County Hall, Lewes, East Sussex

Exciting news EXCLUSIVELY for Swifters from years 1, 2 and 3.

In the spirit of the recent celebrations to mark 100 years since women got the right to vote, East Sussex County Council are keen to continue supporting women through the Swift Project with a fun and highly interactive workshop.

REVIEW, REFRESH, REBOOT will empower attendees to develop a tangible take-away bespoke plan, incorporating business and personal targets. It’s a chance to review your current situation and to consider innovative and creative ideas to diversify or develop your business. Taking time out to step away from the everyday to focus on what’s really important is vital in any business, but when you are in the midst of running one and dealing with life’s every day demands it’s difficult to achieve. This workshop provides a supportive environment to do just that and an opportunity to reconnect with your fellow Swifters.

We have an inspirational facilitator lined-up to deliver this workshop so please expect some fun and laughter along the way and to leave the session feeling empowered, motivated and enthused.

This FREE workshop will take place at County Hall in Lewes and will run between 10am and 1pm with a chance to network over lunch between 1pm and 2pm. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

Places on this workshop are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, so please don’t miss out on this fantastic one-off opportunity – email [email protected] as soon as possible if you would like to be included.

By brighton1973, Jul 26 2017 10:27AM

The latest cohort of women entrepreneurs to take part in the Swift Project celebrated their successful completion of the programme with Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Becky Shaw, CEO of ESCC, on Friday 21st July in Hastings.

The Swift Project, which is funded through the NatWest Skills & Opportunities fund, run by local charity, Sound Architect and supported by ESCC, helps women entrepreneurs to expand or set up new businesses giving them the confidence and ongoing support they need to make their businesses sustainable.

Since 2014, the programme has helped over 100 women with digital and business skills training, peer-to-peer group work, target-setting and mentoring. The latest project, which was centred in Hastings, helped 25 businesswomen who came from as far as Fairlight in the East of the County to Brighton in the West.

Alongside the facilitators on the programme, a number of businesses and organisations volunteered to share their expertise including Aviatrix Solutions, Fugu PR, Reid Briggs Insurance, NatWest, Entrepreneurial Spark, and Business East Sussex.

The celebration event was the culmination of the six month programme and kicked off with a fun and interactive workshop run by The Maydays, an improvisation-based training company, who worked with the participants on their presentation skills. The participants were then given the opportunity to pitch their businesses to the invited guests and to hear from Amber Rudd and Becky Shaw.

Said Ruth Maddison, Project Director, “We have been delighted with the engagement of the women on this programme who have not only made the most of every opportunity on offer but have also supported one another on every level, and that is what Swift is all about – women supporting other women.”

Amber Rudd, MP for Hastings and Rye commented:

“Thank you to Ruth and her team for inviting me to speak at the graduation of inspiring women entrepreneurs from the Swift Project. It is great to see all of the opportunities that the latest cohort of businesswomen have available to them in order to thrive and succeed in the business community.

“I look forward to hearing about the success stories over the coming months, and I would like to pay tribute to Ruth and the Swift Project for enabling this to happen.”

By brighton1973, Jan 17 2017 11:44AM

We are pleased to announce that Swift has been awarded funding from the NatWest Skills & Opportunities Fund to deliver FREE digital and business skills training for women in Hastings & St. Leonards, Bexhill, Battle, Rye or the surrounding area. This project will help up to 25 women to develop an existing business or to support them in starting a new business through a series of business skills and digital training workshops.

Alongside these there will be opportunities to attend peer to peer groups with like-minded women to share knowledge and experience with the support of a business facilitator and the chance to team up with a mentor to develop strategy and ideas and set targets going forward. The courses start in March and the project runs through until July so to find out more about this fantastic opportunity please call Ruth Maddison on 01825 891094 or send an email to [email protected]

By brighton1973, Feb 22 2016 08:25PM

Participants, facilitators and staff from the highly successful Swift project will be joining together with members of the local business community on International Women’s Day, Tuesday 8th March to celebrate their participation in the Swift Project and to launch a mentoring scheme to help the businesswomen going forward.

Funded by the Government Equalities Office and run in partnership with Sound Architect Creative Media (a local charity who provide multimedia and IT training) and MDHUB (a peer to peer business support organisation), the Swift Project has delivered over 25 different sessions on digital and business skills to 32 business women in East Sussex resulting in over 450 places being booked. The courses included social media, web/graphic design, writing a business plan, marketing, finance, time management, presentations skills and selling on-line to name but a few and the project has now moved onto phase two which includes a mixture of masterclasses, peer to peer group sessions and mentoring.

The participants, some of which are in the process of setting up a business and some of which run established businesses, represent a diverse range of sectors including architecture, retail, charities, design, photography, social media, manufacturing, plastering, hospitality, recruitment, catering, and fitness training. With the help of Swift, many of them have set up and launched their own websites, increased their presence on social media, taken their first orders or expanded their client lists. As one participant put it, “I have found a reignited passion for learning and a new determination to make my business a success. I cannot describe the impact this course has had on my life and the unlimited enthusiasm the tutors have had for each and every participant’s business is inspirational. I will always acknowledge the fact that being part of the Swift Project has made me a braver, stronger and more confident person who had a ‘good idea’ and with help from the course is going to turn it into a ‘great business’!".

At the Project Celebration and Workshop on 8th March the Swift participants will have the opportunity to participate in a business surgery with MDs and senior directors of established businesses who will be sharing their knowledge and expertise. They will also hear from a range of speakers including Natasha Innocent, Superfast Broadband Demand Stimulation Lead for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport who will speak about the roll out of superfast broadband and the impact it is having on businesses nationally.

For further information please contact Ruth Maddison via email: [email protected]

By brighton1973, Oct 4 2015 04:00PM

Women in business in East Sussex are set to benefit from a share of the £1.1m superfast broadband fund announced by the Prime Minister in July to ‘end the gender pay gap in a generation.’

East Sussex County Council successfully bid for the money which is being made available as part of the extension of a Government initiative, announced in the Chancellor in the Budget, to help women take advantage of faster broadband to move their businesses online, expand or set up new businesses.

The funding will build on the highly successful Swift Project that supported over 40 women in East Sussex with their digital and business management skills in 2014/15, by opening up the training opportunities to a new cohort of businesswomen.

Run in partnership through East Sussex County Council (ESCC), with Sound Architect Creative Media (a local charity who provide multimedia and IT training) and MDHUB (a peer to peer business support organisation), the Swift Project consists of modular and flexible training sessions which focus on delivering IT and business/personal development training.

Amongst others, the part time courses include: social media, web/graphic design, writing a business plan, marketing, finance, time management, presentation skills, and selling on-line.

Sessions start on 2nd October at venues in Crowborough and Eastbourne and are completely free. Alongside the training participants will be able to attend regular peer to peer groups to share knowledge and experience with the support of a business mentor.

Funded by the Government Equalities Office 1 Minister for Women, Equalities and Family Justice Caroline Dinenage said: “The government is doing more than ever before to ensure that women have equality in the workplace. “I am delighted to hear that East Sussex has been awarded funding, so more female entrepreneurs can take advantage of superfast broadband.

“If women set up businesses at the same rate as men there would be 1 million more female entrepreneurs –I hope that this fund helps women in East Sussex take their first step in to the business world.”

Said a spokesperson for Sound Architect and MDHUB, “Female entrepreneurs face many obstacles in setting up and growing their businesses, putting them at a competitive disadvantage. The Swift Project aims to combat that by giving participants on the programme the skills, confidence and ongoing support they need to make their businesses sustainable.”

The Swift project is specifically targeted at women who are serious about developing their business idea or who are already in business and are committed to investing their time to attending a programme of development. No qualifications or experience are required to join the programme, just a desire to learn, develop, and improve digital and business skills in an environment that supports women’s specific needs.

Places are limited to 32 and the deadline for applications is 16th September so to avoid disappointment, please apply early. For further information please call 01825 891094 or email Ruth Maddison at [email protected]

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