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Sign Up Today for Our Engage and Excel Programme (Cohort 2)

Updated: Sep 20, 2020

“Let the improvement of yourself keep you so busy that you have no time to criticize others.” R Bennett.

Meet the founder of WEWN

My name is Shamiso Machaya, an ex-asylum seeker and refugee woman born in Zimbabwe and fled to the UK in 2002. My main core interests and passions are to promote women economic and social integration within the UK society particularly the Northeast Region, this interest, passion, and professional pathway has enabled me to participant in multiple Directorship roles within some local charities in the region.

Ultimately the roles empowered me with opportunities to listen to some of the women stories directly and indirectly. Unfortunately , most of the stories I heard reflected inequalities within the women economic engagements ,I personally observed significant traits in unemployment or underemployment ; working on jobs not commensurate to qualifications, skills, and experiences , enforcement to work in minor jobs like carers, support workers, cleaners or workers at shops and factories, to support and feed families.

Having subdued to listening to many of the women stories without recourse of action I decided to take a plunge into making a difference through founding Women Empowering Women CIC in 2017.

So, who is WEWN?

WEWN is a community interest company founded and registered in 2017, its focus is to empower BME migrant women inclusive of those from (asylum seekers, refugees and generally marginalised premises) in the North-East of England and beyond to actively activate their local economies.

WEWN’s aim and objective is to provide women with the opportunity to learn and understand how to access the business world through support in the creation of startup businesses, charities, self-employment, community organisations or social enterprises. Thus, generating positive impact both socially and economically within the region and the world beyond. WEWN, seeks to understand and reduce recognisable barriers found among BAME migrant women and locals during the processes of social and economic integration.

To date, WEWN helps its target market with the delivery of bookkeeping and accounting services, entrepreneurship skills training, volunteering, apprenticeship , personal development mentorship and coaching.

If you live in Newcastle or South Tyneside and looking for enterprise and professional development training, DO NOT HESITATE to enroll in our UPCOMING Engage and Excel Programme.


Launch (1st of Sept 2020)

Name: Engage and Excel

Value Proposition

“Promoting socio-economic equality and engagement through entrepreneurship”

Aims and Objectives

Focusing on supporting BME migrant and refugee women from Newcastle and South Tyneside to eliminate barriers to self-employment and professional progression. The program will enable access to business startup information and guidance with good quality development and mentoring opportunities, to as wide a range of BAME women within South Tyneside and Newcastle locations regardless of their personal circumstances, level of qualification, geographical position, and access to money.

It will provide participants with information and guidance that stimulates clear practical ways of how to engage in economic activities within the Northeast. The programme initiates realistic steps that opens opportunities to socio-economic opportunities for the women and promotes them to take control over their lives and enrich the creation of a better world for themselves and their communities through sharing of UK business knowledge , confidence building and how to access finances for business purposes.

Programme Need

A clear lack of opportunities to be addressed

There is a clear lack of development opportunities that can help BME women build the skills and behavior's necessary to advance in their personal and professional lives. Training and development courses, mentoring programmes, and stronger networks are ways that BME women can better progress and further their lives.

Absence of BME role models

An almost absence of role models is another factor in limiting the advances of BME women. More inspiring role models are part of the solution to overcome the progression barriers faced by women from BME communities, this forms the drive of our partnership with PNE within the delivery of this project.

Programme Benefits

Participants will receive:

•Two days enterprise and skills building workshops

•A dedicated mentor to support their progress throughout the programme and help them identify and support progression opportunities

•Access to a one-to-one business adviser

•Travel costs, enabling inclusive participation

•A £50 budget to access additional learning

Programme partnerships

PNE Group

PNE have 40 years’ experience delivering innovative, impactful projects that generate business and job creation across the North East, helping over 10,000 businesses start-up in the region and supporting over 80,000 people with their professional development. Our track record of delivering similar projects includes:

Since 2015, we have delivered an enterprise support programme on behalf of the European Commission, providing 12 hours support to help individuals enter self-employment across the Northumberland and Tyne and Wear via one-to-one mentoring, courses, workshops, and community outreach activities. In 2018, we supported 50% of participants to successfully enter self-employment, significantly above the 20% sector average.

Since 2011, PNE has delivered a DWP programme supporting Universal Credit claimants into self-employment, utilising group learning and one-to-one mentoring. New Enterprise Allowance participants are likely to face multiple disadvantages, including long-term and multi-generational unemployment, financial hardship, and low skills attainment, which can create barriers to engagement with the course. Through experienced business advice, mentorship, emphasis on peer-support and confidence building, 64% of the learners who completed the course (75%) entered self-employment.

2019-2020 project Green for Go, funded by a local foundation trust, that builds the skills, confidence, and perception of self-employment among students (166 to date) from North East colleges who face socio-economic disadvantage and are unlikely to progress to higher education. The project demonstrates experience in supporting individuals facing barriers specific to background, religion, and language, with 41% of participants identifying as non-White.

Impact includes a:

•36% increase in students reporting they feel they have most or all of the right skills to get a job when they leave college.

•138% increase in students reporting they feel ‘a lot’ or ‘very’ confident, they could set up a business.

•36% increase in students reporting ‘I am sure of what I would like to do and what I need to do to get there’

Other relevant projects include our role as enterprise consultant to NatWest on their three-year national Back Her Business campaign, providing best practice advice on supporting women into business and effectively reporting interventions. Since 2019, it has helped 459 women into business and trained thousands more.

From 1992 to 2019, PNE provided enterprise research and intervention consultancy internationally to Shell (contract value £250,000+ annually), including in 12 countries in Africa and the Middle East. This gives us expert insight into many of the cultures that participants will have come from and an understanding of enabling enterprise in a way that relates to multiple cultures.

Programme Funders

ESF LA6 Community Grant


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