Design Innovation for female entrepreneurs and female-led businesses

This has already supported 18 new female-led enterprises with grants of £1,000 matched by Dorset Growth Hub’s European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). 

The next phase of this programme is offering specialist support for new or pre-start female-led enterprises and female entrepreneurs through a series of half-day workshops run by local design agency, Aetha Design

Design Innovation for female entrepreneurs and female-led businesses

Dorset LEP successfully secured 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 Nat West 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.

The dates for the four workshops are: 

Tuesday 28th June 2022, 09:30 - 12:00
Wednesday 20th July 2022, 09:30 - 12:00 
Thursday 11th August 2022, 09:30 - 12:00 
Thursday 25th August 2022, 09:30 - 12:00

All workshops will be hosted at Aetha's offices, 2nd Floor, Enefco House, 19 The Quay, Poole BH15 1HJ

Who are these workshops 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

These workshops will include:

  • Introduction to the specialist team running the workshops;
  • a chance to explain their entrepreneur/business story and what they are trying to develop in terms of a product;
  • Why and how they have come up with the product idea – was it to solve an issue/help with a medical problem, improve on an existing product, or simply to improve someone’s life for example;
  • Project run through a chance to talk through each product idea as an open group looking at Product scope, technical design, feasibility, sustainability, intellectual property and much more.

How attendees will benefit

After each workshop, each person will have been able to discuss their own product idea with the group and the design specialists and will feel more confident, better informed and inspired to go off and work on their product. They will also be introduced to key business support contacts including Innovate UK, local university contacts and other networks who can support them on their journey.

How to 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 at Aetha Design at