Support for 20 Chichester women starting their own businesses

Chichester Community Development Trust (CCDT) will be supporting 20 women from the Chichester district for a full year helping them to start up their own business.

Monday, 29th March 2021, 1:57 pm
Updated Monday, 29th March 2021, 2:00 pm
Rosie Hemming of Sistabliss Tribe, a member of the pilot project of Discover Your Future

The launch of the project is thanks to funds secured from ESF Community Grants, as they launch a new programme of Discover Your Future.

Designed to help those in greatest need at this difficult time, the project will support women who are not currently in any employment or education, coaching and training them in key skills needed to start up on their own and become self-sufficient.

A pilot programme which ran in 2019/20 supported 20 women to build and develop business ideas that varied from hairdressing and stand-up comedy to life coaching and the development of a social media and web platforms.

Following on from the success of the pilot, the team at CCDT are excited to be able to develop the project even further. Each of the 20 women who secure a place on the programme will be partnered with a one-to-one mentor to support them throughout the year.

A programme of 12 months skills workshops in everything from confidence to marketing and accounting will be delivered, as well as peer-to-peer mentoring - supporting each other and coaching each other as they go through the process of discovery.

Rosie Hemming of Sistabliss Tribe, a member of the pilot project of Discover Your Future, said: “I was incredibly lucky to join the Discover Your Future program last year, where not only did I get access to expert workshops and advice to help me grow my business, but also to be part of a group of truly inspiring and uplifting women.

"I gained invaluable knowledge about handling finances, branding and identifying business opportunities, but for me most importantly, the supportive team and other participants gave me the confidence I lacked before to trust in my ideas and keep going. Now I’m making extra income doing something I love.”

The programme is open to women across the Chichester district, and will cater for any social distancing or shielding required by those participating, providing virtual and online access to mentoring and workshops where it is not possible to bring the cohort together. Once regulations allow the candidates will also have the opportunity to use the facilities of the CCDT office, located in Graylingwell Park, as part of their business development.

What proved most successful in the pilot was providing the advice and guidance of experts in the field that otherwise wouldn’t be open to them, but also creating a sense of real community between all the women who were involved. They shared advice and contacts, reviewed each other’s products and marketing concepts provided invaluable feedback and advice but most importantly were there to support each other, cheering each other on.

Clare de Bathe, CCDT director, said: “It can be an overwhelming and lonely experience setting up your own business, and this wonderful programme helps to take away so many of the fears when going into it. The women on Discover Your Future need not feel alone or worry that they don’t have all of the skills required to launch a new business because at every step there will be somebody there to guide them. Everybody has had to reflect on how they would like to work in the future during lockdown, having been confined to our homes for so long, and we are so excited that with this initiative we can make the dreams some have made a reality, giving them the perfect building blocks for future success.”

Anybody that would like to be involved in the programme, either as a candidate to start up their own business – however large or small – or become a mentor is invited to get in touch with CCDT for more details by simply emailing [email protected] The programme is due to get underway in May 2021 once the full team of 20 women have been signed up to the project.

CCDT was set up to represent the needs of new communities on the Graylingwell and Roussillon Park sites in Chichester, and the Pavilion was funded by money collected from housing developers to spend on community improvements and facilities.