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Evaluation of Women into Business workshops and networking: final report


The Women into Business (WIB) project runs workshops and networking events within Edinburgh and Lothian. Networking events are part of a national Women into Business programme, while the WIB workshops are a local initiative. The purpose of WIB is to tackle the market failures which act as barriers to women wishing to start-up in business. The evaluation aimed to assess the effectiveness and impacts of both these programmes between Jan 2003 and Jan 2005.


The methodology consisted of: inception period; partner consultations; beneficiary survey; and analysis and reporting.


Discusses the economic impacts of the WIB workshops and networking events. Looks at the market failure rationale and examine the extent to which WIB addresses this market failure. Assesses the performance of WIB against quantitative and qualitative measures. Looks at the relationship and fit with other business gateway services and products; and feedback from participants on the programme. Provides an economic impact assessment, including project expenditure, gross employment and sales, and gross to net impacts.


Recommends that targets are set and impacts are captured and tracked over time to measure the effectiveness of WIB. Provides a series of recommendations to improve workshops and networking. Suggests that WIB programme should: include teaching women the skills to approach sources of business funding; take into account displacement and additionality before workshops begin; make sure the steering group engages with partners; consider the possibility of delivering WIB within ‘Think-plan-do’ programme; support companies’ move from women-only to mainstream support; and ensure that Business Gateway should have a stand at every networking event.

Author EKOS Limited
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Enterprise
    Entrepreneurship/new firm formation
  • Equity
    Equal opportunities