Intoducing W-Power

If you are a female business owner or entrepreneur and based in HIE Argyll and the Islands area, Arran, Cumbrae, or Dumfries and Galloway then W-Power is for you!

W-Power is an EU partnership project that aims to support and empower women setting up or growing their businesses in sparsely populated areas across northern European and Arctic communities.  Over three years from 2019 to 2021 W-Power is piloting a series of new approaches to supporting women in business in remote, rural communities:  

  • an international peer learning and exchange programme for female start-ups 
  • gender-aware business support 
  • an online innovation platform for women-led businesses 
  • digital community of business learning & support for female entrepreneurs

So far initial mapping work has identified a number of challenges in setting up running a business in a remote area – access to finance, additional delivery costs, broadband and mobile coverage and childcare provision.   

In Scotland, the project is being delivered by HIE and SIF is one of a number of Associate Partners.  You can find out more including reports and resources on the project website or visit the Facebook page.

How to get involved – The W-Power Female Entrepreneurs Online Network for Business Learning & Development 

As part of the project, HIE has set up a new online network which is open to all women running or thinking of running businesses of any size across the project area – HIE Argyll and the Islands area, Arran, Cumbrae, and Dumfries and Galloway.

The network is run on a digital platform called ‘Slack’, is free to join and provides a great range of support and inspiration.  There are regular meetings using zoom, coffee break chats, inspiring podcasts and webinars on a range of different themes particularly tailored to the needs of female-led rural businesses, and now a large back catalogue of webinars on everything from setting goals and planning to financing your business; creating an online shop to using LinkedIn to promote your business.

We would love as many women to benefit as possible so if you are in the project area please have a look – to join the digital network just visit the landing page for the group here from where you can e-mail Pamela Looper who will give you access to the group.  

For more information about the network, or about the project in general and how it could help your business, please get in touch with Cathy Higginson, W-Power Project Manager at

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