#InvestinWomen -changing the world for the better

Invest in women social entrepreneurs & develop peer learning/mentor programmes to support women to act as positive force for social change!

We did it!

On 30th Apr 2017 we successfully raised £9,410 of £7,000 target with 77 supporters in 56 days

New stretch target

By supporting us to hit our stretch target we can invest in more Women Changemakers through the 'Mentor a thon', increase the award size (which is currently approximately £2-300 dependent upon need, pitch and impact) as well as develop e-learning tools for people who are more house / enterprise bound and can't get to peer learning events so easily.

Flourish is a peer network supporting women to create the change they see needed in communities.

We are asking for your help to invest in a '12 hour Mentoring marathon' and seed fund to invest in local women, as well as strengthen network and create more open access peer learning events for women change makers, innovators & entrepreneurs.

This is our 3rd annual campaign and we need your help to make it a success!

We are running a 12hr mentoring marathon in July and need your support to provide seed funding to promising projects. 50% of the money raised will be invested directly into the enterprise ideas of local women and the other 50% will support the development of a supportive peer network offering training, mentoring, showcasing women change makers & events to inspire! Now 3 years on, we also aim to produce an impact report to share with our investors and supporters

Please help us enable women to aspire, flourish and progress as well as make positive social change in their communities! Your investment may cover anything from childcare to equipment, marketing, admin support or travel costs - we will invest in those who can demonstrate best use of resources to develop themselves personally & professionally.

Why is this a great idea?

We trialled this on Crowdfunder in 2015 and 2016 and we know it works! We now want to up our game and scale our work to support more Women Changemakers to give them a voice to influence, create impact and realise their vision to create social change for the better through businesses, campaigns and projects. With support from people like you over the last 2 years we have been able to achieve the following:

  • £6,500 has been raised through the crowd across 2 campaigns 
  • 22 women have received a cash investment to support their personal development and social venture growth decided via support sessions across two 12 hour mentoring marathons 
  • 250 women have attended our peer learning activities over the last 2 years with a core group of 50 women who have attended 2 or more events, with 25 peer learning events taking place
  • 32 mentoring relationships have been brokered offering approximately 12 hours of sounding board support each, access to connections and opportunities and a route to developing fast track knowledge
  • Over 1000 hours of volunteer time have been racked up through event co-ordination, mentoring and peer learning training sessions

Please help us build on this to create an independent, community-led investment and support programme and support for our diverse network of women who need help to start up and scale up!

We have reach into communities across Greater Manchester and beyond through a network of over 250 women social entrepreneurs.  Social Enterprise as a sector has long been a champion of gender equality we want to support and showcase the talents of more women as social leaders, innovators, campaigners and entrepreneurs. Through national research and our own local focus groups, we have found women lack access to appropriate resources, training and support that accommodates personal priorities around care commitments and there is an absence of active & consistent social enterprise support networks, role models and diverse mentors in Greater Manchester. Our project helps address these issues. 

Plus, with recent funding cuts and grant funding being difficult to find - as well as very competitive, we want to develop a model where those with less access and confidence to recieve grant funding can find ways to independently get their ventures and ideas off the ground.

How will we achieve impact?

  • We have a dedicated and experienced team who meet regularly to plan and co-ordinate activities
  • A monthly events programme has been developed and designed by women in our network
  • We have a host venue for our 12 hour mentoring marathon or 'Mentor-a-thon' plus women ready to get involved
  • Through a collaborative, women led, decision making process we have the ability & experience to transparently re-invest our seedfund
  • We will match mentees with appropriate mentors and have so far brokered 32 relationships to date
  • We are developing a range of on-line learning tools to help more women who are less able to attend events
  • We evaluate the impact and share this learning back with our network and investors

What impact will your investment create?

  • Over 30 women will be engaged in a 12 hour mentoring marathon benefitting from learning, new contacts and support
  • 10-12 ventures will be part of a supportive, women led pitching event and have the opportunity to secure investment
  • A programme  of 6 peer learning events to inspire, support and develop social entrepreneurs
  • Support the ongoing development of a mentoring programme
  • Creation of a social value report

What kinds of women and initiatives will your investment support?...

Jo Taylor, ABCDiagnosis attended the Mentor-a-thon and received £300 of investment and a mentor in 2015.  In spite of living with secondary breast cancer she runs an advisory and advocacy social venture helping people be better aware of the needs of those living with cancer and secondary cancer. "The support I've had so far, has helped me make useful connections, paid for some marketing materials and I'm in the process of securing further funding from a charitable trust to hold up to 4 residential retreats per year, as well as develop day sessions for local patients living with cancer".

Geraldine Esdaille, Freedom to Be benefitted from the Mentor-a-thon and secured £300 to invest in herself and her developing social venture.  "This year I have seen spectacular benefits from the support and mentoring that I have received. As well as continuing to provide regular sessions helping women with domestic violence and abuse issues, I started working for The Women's Resource Centre, an amazing organisation in the women's sector.  I am also really proud to have won a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship that provides a remarkable opportunity to travel to the USA and research what I am passionate about, and to top it all off, I have been shortlisted for the Northern Power Women Awards 2017, it's incredible!"

Nikky Norton Shaffau, Becoming Storybook was awarded £300 in 2016 and has received mentoring support to develop her work and future focus.  She used the money to pilot a series of creative storytelling workshops for adults seeking adventures and wanting to awaken their imagination for work or pleasure. “The Mentor - a - thon was a great opportunity to talk out my idea and gain honest feedback. The offer of a mentor and seed funds to buy materials and equipment to pilot my services successfully with my first client gave me confidence. Flourish CIC continues to be a support as I prepare to launch an enterprise that I hope to benefit both the local and global community.”

Karen Morris, Music Smile was supported via the Mentor –a- thon in 2016 and secured £300 and mentoring support.  Karen has overcome her own disabilities to start running regular workshops, teaching music to communities in Salford to use music as a tool for positive wellbeing. "The support I've received has helped me make useful connections, paid for some marketing & equipment to help develop Music Smile and I've recently secured further funding from a national charitable trust".


We've an ambitious target this year to help us support more women developing initiatives with real impact who need this support to start well, thrive and scale their work.  PLEASE HELP US, help them to  create change!  Whether £5, £50 or £500 any investment will make a difference - plus if you are interested in mentoring or being a judge on the investment panel get in touch!  You can follow the campaign @FlourishCIC .

Want to get further involved?

There are loads of opportunities for you to get involved with the network as we move forward. 

Look out as we expand on these opportunities over the coming weeks! To get in contact email wssegroup@yahoo.co.uk

  • Do you want to be a mentee? 
  • Could you mentor?
  • Can you help with planning and marketing?
  • Are you able to offer in kind support, such as venue space?
  • Are you willing to wear a mascot suit and run around Manchester city centre?? (Only joking.) 

Got an idea like this?

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