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First region wide Business Link achieves Prowess Flagship Award for women's enterprise

22 September 2009

Business Link in the South East is the first regionally run service to be recognised by Prowess for its excellent service to women looking to start their own business. Prowess is the UK wide association working for equal numbers of women and men starting and growing businesses.


Flagship status has been awarded for the start up services which supported over 8,000 men and women last year through workshops, events and help from Business Link Advisers.


The award recognises that Business Link has excellent standards in quality, client focus, inclusion and equality in the provision of services. Over 50% of those using the start up services are female.


Rosemary French, who leads on women's enterprise for Business Link comments, "At Business Link we are passionate about meeting the needs of our customers and providing excellent service. Our start up services have been designed to be attractive to all and support and inspire individuals to turn their business ideas into reality. Running specific events for women is just one of the ways we have developed our support in response to feedback from customers."


Case Study


Last September, after 10 years as a primary school teacher, Sarah Turnbull launched Domestic Property Services. Sarah benefited from Business Link's support and advice in a number of ways. She attended the Start up workshops on Managing Money, Customers & Marketing and Business Planning.


Sarah commented, "The events were really good, informative and friendly. What's Stopping You? particularly inspired me. Hearing from the female speakers gave me confidence to say 'if they can do it, well so can I!'"


Once the company was up and running, Sarah had a business review with her Business Link Adviser, Sara Charlesworth, who helped Sarah to transform her sketched business plan into a fully fledged action plan, advised on employment law, and how to write and implement risk assessments and policy documents.


Sarah explains, "All this experience, running my own business and the contacts I'm making, are helping me to build up my knowledge and credibility in the property business. I'm really enjoying learning about the industry and I'm glad I've chosen this new career."


Commentating on the Award Jo Makepeace, Quality & Standards Officer at Prowess said, "One of our aims is to help members provide the most effective support to all their clients, but especially their female users. We developed the standards to be measurable and transparent, and as objective as possible. Business Link in the South East has been through a rigorous assessment and we congratulate them on their achievement."


For more information about Business Link's support for those thinking of starting, or those running an early stage business, please contact:


Tel: 0845 600 9 006





For more information please contact our press office

Tel: 01483 470155