Women and minorities given help to start own businesses

Project offers grants and one-to-one support for would-be entrepreneurs.

Women and minorities given help to start own businesses in Dundee STV News
Underrepresented groups are being encouraged to start their own company.

A business mentoring scheme in Dundee is hoping to encourage more women and minority groups to start their own company.

The E3 Project is run by Elevator UK and funded through the UK Government’s Community Renewal fund.

It offers grants and one-to-one support for businesses and those looking to start their entrepreneurship journey.

David Steyn, from Elevator UK, told STV News they’re hoping to encourage people who are underrepresented in the sector to start their own company.

He said: “We’re talking about female entrepreneurs and challenges-based groups, ethnic minority communities.

David Steyn from Elevator UK
David Steyn from Elevator UK

“We’re telling people that, although business support may be available, it’s difficult for them to seek out, there may be barriers to engage with it and we’re looking to be there in the local community to break down those barriers.

“The approach we’re taking is to employ local people to get into the heart of the local community.

“We have mobile hubs in the form of electric vans, which have an actual office in the back of the van and that enables us to take business support top the people who need it most.”

Carol Arnott runs the company Get Set Yeti, an educational resource for children. She’s been supported to grow her business online after the pandemic stopped her going into schools.

“The pandemic happened which stopped us carrying on with the business model which we had,” she said.

“Schools really couldn’t have anybody coming through the door, so it’s been a good almost two years since we’ve been allowed to go in and deliver anything face to face. It’s only now after this summer we’re starting to get back into schools.

Carol Arnott, owner of Get Set Yeti
Carol Arnott, owner of Get Set Yeti

“We were given the challenge by Dundee City Council to try and still help parents, but do it in a more remote way. So that was the catalyst for the digital platform.

“They’ve given me some access to specialist help, which has been really amazing and they’ve also connected me with other organisations to help me with a more up-to-date business plan.

“We’re planning on going for investment quite soon, so that that’s been really great because we’ve been wading through an old fashioned one and this has been so much better and easier.”