AWE Making a Difference

A cheerful group of women attending a previous AWE course

Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) is a collaborative project to help women living either side of the English Channel to increase their skills and develop their business ideas and knowledge.

We are offering women free training workshops, face to face advice, mentoring and online learning, provided by our teams in the South West and Hampshire, in partnership with YTKO.

This course has just been incredible for providing the foundations with which to grow an enterprise”

What’s on offer?

Starting this October you’ll be able to access online Sofa Sessions. More events will follow in early 2023 to build your knowledge, skills and abilities.

Available now:

Sofa Sessions

An informal online meeting introducing ways you can work for yourself, or start a business that helps your community or the environment. These are available to women who live or work in Hampshire, Wiltshire or Dorset.

The deadline for applications is 26th September 2022

Apply for Sofa Sessions in Hampshire

Apply for Sofa Sessions in Wiltshire

Apply for Sofa Sessions in Dorset

Coming soon:

The following courses start in early 2023. To express your interest and be updated when booking is available, please contact Fliss: [email protected]

Nuts and Bolts

Practical skills such as finding funding, marketing yourself, and how your work can make change. Available if you’re in Hampshire, Wiltshire or Dorset.

Weekend Residentials

Two days focussed on how to increase impact or grow your business, with overnight accommodation provided. Offered to residents of Somerset and Plymouth.

Peer Networking and Mentoring

We help establish supportive professional relationships for people who attend our Weekend Residentials to help their businesses thrive.

Get in touch if you want to find out more about course content and joining [email protected]


“What have I learned from the AWE programme? So many different things ranging from how to develop my ideas, how to plan around them, how to market, how to use social media better, how to manage money better both personally and professionally, how to move things forward, where my weaknesses lie and lots more.”

Hear more about students’ experiences on the AWE website.

Am I eligible?

These courses are for people who identify as women, or are non-binary and comfortable being part of a course primarily for women.

Sofa Sessions and Nuts and Bolts workshops are available to people who live in Hampshire, Wiltshire and Dorset. This online support is intended for those who live in the county where sessions are delivered. If you live outside these areas, please contact us before applying.

Weekend Residentials will take place in Somerset and Plymouth. Peer Networking and Mentoring are available to participants who want to take the next step.

There are priority places for people with less privilege or perceived as disabled, from low-income backgrounds or racialised and minoritised communities – and for people and organisations supporting these groups.

If you face financial barriers to applying, get in touch with Fliss to see if we can help: [email protected]

If you are not eligible, try searching SSE’s other courses, or download the AWE Legacy Toolkit for more independent learning.

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AWE is supported by the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme, which is contributing over €2.6m of European Regional Development Funds to address economic and social issues in regions either side of the Channel.

Through this collaborative, cross-border approach, we seek to improve the quality and effectiveness of support to socially or economically disadvantaged and under-represented groups and to address the gender imbalance in entrepreneurship.

The AWE project aims to:

  • create new learning content
  • train women entrepreneurs
  • recruit and train more mentors
  • help women to start new businesses
  • conduct new research on women’s entrepreneurship

Find out more on the AWE website.