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Only accessible for use on the Accelerating Women's Enterprise project, to Courtney Elkins, Zoe Dann and Amy Doyle.

Support for your startup enterprise

The University of Portsmouth offers support for women entrepreneurs and start-ups through toolkits from the Accelerating Women’s Enterprise project funded by the European Regional Development Fund from 2019 -2023. The toolkit covers topics such as:

  • Social Media for Business
  • Personal Effectiveness
  • Time Management
  • Managing Money and Risk
  • Branding
  • Marketing

If you’re a woman running, or thinking of running your own business,  listen to our podcast series,  and if you’re based in the Solent area think of joining our networking events through our Female Entrepreneurs Network.

Accelerating Women's Enterprise podcast

Hear from entrepreneurs including business owners, leaders, researchers and mentors who have been involved in the Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) Project and meet the women behind their enterprises.

Listen now

Support for women: based on experience, backed by research

The support provided by the AWE programme is backed by new research.  We looked into how issues of location and socio-economic status interact with gender in the context of business start-up and development. 

Click on individual report listings below to gain access to the full document:

Our forthcoming reports:

  • Report 4: Life at the Intersectional - Intersectional case studies of women entrepreneurs
  • Report 5: The Impact of the AWE Programme on Women Entrepreneurs in France and England
  • Report 6: Gendered Financial Challenges for Disadvantaged Women Entrepreneurs: Insights from France and England

Our Impact

The AWE project has provided:

  • over 50 hours of new learning content to help women entrepreneurs start a business
  • trained 750 women entrepreneurs
  • recruited and trained more than 200 mentors
  • helped over 100 women start businesses

Check out some of the women who benefited from AWE

"I just felt connected with the AWE, they could understand how I felt. I was beaming throughout the first day of the Business Builder course, it was great to be with other women who were experiencing similar issues. Everyone has been so kind and supportive." - Ceri Winfield

More success stories can be found here

View our online training options and legacy toolkit

Organisations wanting access to our training materials can also register.

Some of the AWE training modules are also available as part of the toolkit.

Our team

Dr Zoe Dann is a Senior Lecturer in Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, with a special interest in female entrepreneurship. Zoe is the Principal Investigator and project manager for the AWE project in Portsmouth.

View Zoe's research profile.

Courtney Elkins is the AWE Programme Coordinator.

Mrs Amy Doyle is the founder of the University of Portsmouth's Female Entrepreneurs Network. Amy is the Entrepreneur Liaison for the AWE project, providing a first point of contact for entrepreneurs and organisations interested in participating.

Dr Georgiana Busoi is a Principal Lecturer and Director of Undergraduate Marketing Programmes. She is the lead on materials development for the University of Portsmouth in the training element of the project.

View Georgiana's staff profile.

Professor Johnston is Professor of Organisational Studies at the University of Portsmouth and Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Business and Law. Professor Johnston has a strong research interest in gender representation. In 2015 she was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences for her contribution to the study of gender equality.

View Karen's research profile.

Dr Carol Ekinsmyth is an Economic Geographer and researcher of gender and entrepreneurship. A main responsibility for Carol on this project is the data capture and analysis of the England-based element of the research.

View Carol's research profile.

Dr Beldina Owalla is a Research Fellow in the Faculty of Business and Law. Her research primarily focuses on understanding the impact of gender and culture on entrepreneurial activities. She is working on intersectional case studies for the project.

Dr Xing Huang is a Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Financial Management at the University of Portsmouth. Her current research interests include Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) issues in finance and enterprise. On this project, she is mainly looking at disadvantaged female entrepreneurs’ obstacles in accessing financial resources such as bank credit. 

Accelerating Women’s Enterprise (AWE) is a collaborative project supporting women's entrepreneurship in the UK and France. AWE funded by the European Union’s Interreg Programme.

Get in touch

If you'd like to find out more about the AWE Project, simply email us at

How we can help your business

From offering our expertise and facilities, to finding office space and business support, we can help your organisation succeed.

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Business services

Is your business ready to take a step forward? We have a long track record of helping businesses and startups in different markets to grow and develop.

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Train your workforce

From degree apprenticeships to work-based Learning at Work programmes and bespoke training, we offer a range of tailored training options to meet your needs and help you to grow.

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