An aspiring Hastings entrepreneur won £1,000 to go towards start-up costs for her new business venture, Fighting Fit Foods.
Jessica Fleischer was successful in the NatWest Her Biz Women’s Start-Up Programme, winning £1,000 to help set up her business selling nutritional meals to gym-goers, kick-boxers, martial arts fighters and people looking to live a healthier lifestyle.
NatWest and Let’s Do Business Group teamed up to deliver the Her Biz start-up programme in June, as part of a series of free courses running across East Sussex and Kent. Her Biz is tailored specifically for women with the aim to address the entrepreneurial gender gap.
The sell-out programme, which runs again in Hastings in October, attracted more than 60 applicants. A final group of 14 talented, like-minded women was selected, who then came together to build on their entrepreneurial skills and benefit from one-to-one mentoring delivered by an experienced team of business specialists. Workshops included sessions in marketing, PR, and finance with inspirational talks from guest speakers including Sarah Jones, director and founder of Wilderness PR, and Sarah Richard, founder of Girls That Scuba, an online scuba-dive community, based in Hastings.
Jessica said: “Her Biz has given me the encouragement and motivation to take my business to the next step. Each session was engaging and gave me an insight into what it really takes to be a business owner. I’ve come away with a winning business plan that has made me very excited for the future ahead.”
Alison Rose, CEO of NatWest Commercial and Private Banking and author of The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, added: “It’s clear that tailored support from specialists who understand the different challenges that female business owners face, as well as the way they think and run their business, makes a real difference to success rates.”
Helena Joyce, Her Biz Mentor and Programme Leader, said: “Workshops like Her Biz are key to overcoming barriers faced by women in business, and it has been a pleasure to work with such an inspiring group of people.”
To enquire about joining the next Hastings programme, email firstname.lastname@example.org.