Women will be helped to start their own businesses in Birmingham under plans to pilot women’s enterprise hubs, announced in the leader’s first speech to full council today.
The hubs will bring together the things women entrepreneurs need to succeed, supported by a city microfinance fund – part of the council’s aim to become the enterprise capital of Britain.
Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore said: “Giving women the freedom to work can transform a family’s living standards and for many women enterprise is a great way forward. But a lack of start-up spaces, skills and childcare can hold them back.
“We are looking at starting this work around the Alum Rock Road and Stratford Road areas with a partnership between Asian textile retailers, textile manufacturing businesses and colleges and other training providers – encouraging them to create the textile equivalent of the Balti Triangle.
“As well as improving women’s skills and employment opportunities, the success and visibility of the initiative will continue the development of Birmingham as an alternative retail destination for shoppers from outside the city.”
The council will also work with businesses to develop new economic growth zones:
• An advanced manufacturing hub at the Aston regional investment site
• A zone for environmental enterprise in Tyseley
• The Heartlands business park hub in Washwood Heath
• A medical technology campus in Edgbaston
• A SMART park – for digital businesses, linked to the digital district
• A food hub – a cluster of food businesses with the provision of shared facilities
Other announcements made in the speech include the introduction of a Buy Birmingham First policy that gives priority to local companies to bid for council work, transforming the education and training of the city’s young people and building a fresh partnership with schools, families, governors and residents.