PROSPECTS for women business owners and budding female entrepreneurs have been given a boost in Worcestershire.

The County Council has received £75,000 from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport's superfast broadband challenge fund and this will go towards the new Women2Web project, which is funding a series of free networking sessions, free training and one-to-one mentoring for women who want to start up new businesses or to help existing companies to grow.

The Council applied for the money in partnership with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Business and Midwest Rural Enterprise Network and WiRE.

Cllr Simon Geraghty, cabinet member for economy, skills and infrastructure, said: "This is a fantastic, free opportunity for female business owners across the county to access tailored workshops and training sessions to help support their business growth and understand the benefits that Superfast Broadband can have on their business. For those women who are thinking about starting their own business, it will give them the basics and help equip them with the knowledge they need to make their business dreams a reality."

Nicky Morgan, minister for women, added: "This fund will give women the practical help needed to get their businesses on-line and take advantage of superfast broadband. This will include mentors, business clubs and training courses so that women all over the country can benefit.”

The sessions will focus on a number of subjects including, how to set up an online business, creating and maintaining a website and search engine optimisation, social media as an engagement and marketing tool, using faster broadband to support rural / farm-based industry and online security.

The first network/training session takes place on September 9 In Pershore and there will be other events in Evesham, Redditch, Malvern, Bewdley, Droitwich, Upton-Upon-Severn, Kidderminster, Tenbury Wells and Worcester.

To register interest in the project, contact Business Central on 0300 1231440 or visit