Supporting Startups

Women in Business

Together with Aberdeenshire Council, our award winning programme is supporting mothers who are considering self-employment or starting a business of their own.

Have you ever considered increasing your earning potential through self-employment? Have you considered starting your own business as a flexible means income?

Finding a work-life balance can be tricky but this can be especially challenging when you have parenting responsibilities.

HeraldHigherEducationLogo2023winner-3-500wOur award winning Women in Business enterprise skills programme has been designed to support women with children who are considering starting their own business as a flexible means of income. This friendly and interactive workshop programme will take you through the necessary steps to create a feasible and viable business that works for you.

Women in Business is a free and fully funded by The Scottish Government Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF) for those living in the Aberdeenshire Council area and Pre-start pathway funding for those living outside Aberdeenshire.

Winner of Outstanding Business Engagement at The Herald Higher Education Awards 2023.

About the programme

  • Free – no cost to you (Applicants must meet PESF criteria)
  • 7-week workshop programme
  • 100% online
  • Two-hour, live, interactive workshops every week at the same time
  • Supportive female-led environment
  • Access to an accompanying online course
  • Built-in holiday week covering February school in-service days
  • Session Dates: 16 January - 6 March 2024

What you will learn

These two-hour workshops will be held twice weekly every Tuesday and Wednesday. Participants should attend all sessions.

Week 1 – Motivation and Values

The first session will help you get to know others in the group and learn more about the programme. You will be encouraged to think about your motivations for becoming self-employed and explore your own personal values. 

Week 2 – My business and it's customers

Learn how to map out what your business offers by using cutting edge theories and tools. Get to know what makes your customers tick and learn how to meet their needs effectively.

Week 3 – Resources, Activities & Promotion

Consider the essential activities, resources and partner of your business. We will also consider how to effectively promote your business through branding, marketing and social media. 

Week 4 – Making Money

How do you ensure that income exceeds expenses? How can you cut costs and increase income?  Consider pricing strategies for your products and services. 

Week 5 - Keeping it Legal

Learn the laws around running a business, business types (Ltd, sole trader etc.) Find out about self-assessments, national Insurance, VAT, bank accounts and get introduced to support providers in the local region.

Week 6 – Making it happen 

Learn how to gain confidence in yourself and your business. Get tips on how to pitch your business effectively and set goals for the future.

Week 7 – Women in business

Learn how to overcome common challenges and consider resources and networks available to you.


Who is the programme for?

This programme is for mothers or women with parenting responsibilities. Priority will be given to applicants from::

  • Lone parent families
  • Families which include a disabled adult or child
  • Larger families
  • Minority ethnic families
  • Families with a child under one year old
  • Families where the mother is under 25 years of age

Applicants must live in an Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen city, Angus or Moray.

Find out more about the funds:

Hear from our participants

Participants Pippa and Leticia share their experiences of taking part in the programme:



The programme is no longer accepting applications. Register your interest for updates on upcoming cohorts:

Have a Question?

Contact Innovation Manager (Regional), Candace Elson:

or Aberdeenshire Council:

This programme is delivered by RGU and funded by Aberdeenshire Council through the Parental Employability Support Fund (PESF). Find out more about PESF governmental funding:

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