Scottish Enterprise at Green Market, Dundee hosted 11 budding female entrepreneurs as they pitched their business ideas and aspirations to a support panel of local and national business experts. The women – who are all from the Dundee, Angus, Tayside and Fife area – had completed a one-week intensive course entitled “Fast Track to Business Success” which was created as part of Coca Cola’s corporate social responsibility initiative – 5by20. The Coca Cola 5by20 program is part of a global initiative set to create 5 million female entrepreneurs by 2020.
The program sets out to economically empower women offering them practical support and training throughout all stages of their business development. Dundee is the first city within Western Europe to be introduced to the program which has been greatly received by the city’s ambitious female entrepreneurs; with 53 women having benefitted from the free training and support since April this year.
The latest group of women to benefit from this course showcased an interesting and diverse array of business concepts including; wine tasting events, dress making, holistic therapies and much more. The common ground all of the entrepreneur’s share is the desire to successfully run and manage their own business with the support and knowledge that Coca Cola 5by20 provides. The women used this knowledge amongst other newly acquired skills to develop their business concept in preparation for pitching to a support panel of experts.
The panel included representatives from: Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise, Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, DC Thomson, Coca Cola, Royal Bank of Scotland, RSB Lindsays Solicitors and freelance marketing and finance experts. The opportunities to arise from the pitches included: advice, networking opportunities, discounts, referrals and consultancy. Program Director Angie Foreman wants to ensure that the support doesn’t end once the pitch is over. Angie has been working to create a support network for the women, which now comprises of 24 local and national businesses and organisations – the support for the program is ever growing.
“It is fantastic to see how involved businesses and organisations in the Dundee area and throughout Scotland are in the 5by20 program.” “We have already had some great success stories from the 5by20 scheme and I firmly believe that the program is set to be on Scotland’s map!” – Angie Foreman Program Director. The success stories that Angie speaks of include Carrie Shannon, who is the owner of the newly founded Gin Fest which took place at the Bonar Hall, Dundee in June and throughout various locations in Scotland. Carrie pitched to the panel after completing the one-week intensive “Fast Track to Business Success” program by Coca Cola 5by20 back in April and received sponsorship from drinks giant Schweppes and national press coverage for her involvement in the program and her innovation.
Interested in attending the Coca Cola 5by20 Dundee courses? You can keep track of their course dates and other updates on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/5by20Dundee