Design Innovation for female Entrepreneurs

Dorset LEP successfully secured £20,000 of funding from NatWest to run a small, funded programme aimed at inspiring and supporting female entrepreneurs launch and develop new business ideas.

This programme is offering new female-led enterprises with grants of £1,000 matched by Dorset Growth Hub’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) grants as well as specialist support new or pre-start female-led enterprises/female entrepreneurs.

What’s involved

Funded by NatWest and run by local product design agency, Aetha Design, we are offering Dorset-based female entrepreneurs and female-led enterprises access to specialist, expert advice about product design and development.

Through a series of individual four half-day workshops their team will work with groups of up to five female entrepreneurs and business leaders at a time to help develop their products or want to discuss a product idea.

Who they're for

Ideally, we want to hear from women who have an idea for a product but who have not done any significant product development yet, although they may have made their own prototypes at home which they use.

What will be covered

  • Introduction to the specialist team running the workshops
  • A chance to share your journey so far, and what you're trying to develop in terms of a product
  • Why and how you have come up with the product idea – e.g. to solve an issue/help with a medical problem, improve on an existing product, or simply to improve someone’s life
  • Project run through - a chance to talk through each product idea in an open group, looking at product scope, technical design, feasibility, sustainability, intellectual property and much more.


After each workshop, each person will have been able to discuss their own product idea with the group and the design specialists. You will end the workshops feeling more confident, better informed and inspired to go off and work on your product.

You will also be introduced to key business support contacts including Innovate UK, local university contacts and other networks who can support the next steps of your journey.

Register your interest

If you are a Dorset-based female entrepreneur or female-led enterprise looking for specialist, expert advice and support on how to develop a new product idea then we want to hear from you.

Simply email Sophie Parsons, Director and Co-Founder of Aetha Design!