Pre-start up for BAME Women: Hounslow

Programme:  Innovate and Grow – BAME Women Pre-start-up (ARG funded)

Services: Training and mentoring

Target Audience:  BAME women

Innovate and Grow

Innovate and Grow is a London Borough Hounslow programme of support to help businesses with the challenges that face them following the pandemic. It looks to encourage innovative entrepreneurs as well as supporting existing businesses by providing the information, training and mentoring they need to grow. 

Support for BAME Women was one of a number of strands we undertook in this programme. Close to 50% of Hounslow’s residents are from BAME backgrounds and this population is often underserved. We partnered with Shewise, a Hounslow-based not-for-profit organisation that has experience in working with the female and BAME communities. Teaming up for delivery offered the opportunity for entrepreneurs from this community to be supported in turning ideas into thriving and diverse businesses.

start up business support

How we worked together

  • Project management including reporting.
  • Joint development of a programme of mentoring and training for 40 participants.
  • Writing and delivery of six workshops covering business planning, digital marketing, finding customers, making sales and setting up a website.
  • Provision of four hours of peer mentoring per participant to grow confidence.


  • Pre-start-ups supported to get the core elements in place to launch businesses
  • Accessible and engaging training targeting BAME Women entrepreneurs delivered online
  • Upskilling of programme participants
  • Launch of new businesses from the diverse cultural mix in Hounslow
  • Satisfaction survey conducted with a report to inform Hounslow of the future direction of business support


‘Working in partnership with Smarter Society was a great opportunity to support women in Hounslow BAME community and encourage them to realise their potential. By teaming up we were able to effectively deliver a programme of training and mentoring that raised self-esteem and built confidence as well as developing skills. Participants are now better equipped to start their businesses and make a success of them. Together we’ve empowered women to take the first steps towards becoming entrepreneurs.’

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