One such programme is Enabling Enterprise, a business support programme committed to offering growth opportunities and guidance to underrepresented SMEs within the construction sector.
Supported by the JP Morgan Chase Foundation, through what is their third grant to Newable. Newable have been working with the foundation since 2015 to support local businesses grow.
The programme is focused on supporting diverse entrepreneurs grow and connect with new markets/access new supply chains, with a particular focus on women in construction.
We started the project by conducting research into the topic of women in the construction industry, looking at why there are so few, if this can be improved and what can be done to change this.
What became quickly evident was that female led-businesses were facing barriers in the industry which resulted in a lack of confidence leading to decisions, such as consciously deciding not to bid large contracts.
In discussions with female construction entrepreneurs, we recognised a trend away from working on large commercial contracts as this involves considerable delays in payment, impacting cashflow.
Additionally, commercial contracts involve time-consuming paperwork that negatively impact their business operational model. The use of business diagnostic tools indicated that the majority of female sole traders rely on word of mouth marketing. Whilst many want to improve their brand presence, they place no great importance on this as the majority of their work comes via referrals/networking. As a result, they welcome networking opportunities that are focused on more than just contract opportunities.
How we aim to help
The programme will support 150 SMEs, 65% (98) of which will be female owned. Throughout the programme we will deliver workshops aimed at strengthening client propositions and ensuring key support is provided on topics like Accessing Finance for Growth, Routes to Market, Fit to Supply, Pitching, Costing & Pricing.
There will also be an average of 14 hours of one to one support per SME provided by our experienced business advisers with tailored and in-depth business support advice.