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Claire Stephenson

The Growing Club is delighted to announce the new course intake dates for the second delivery of Roots and Shoots — a funded start-up course for women who would like to start and grow a sustainable business. 

Beginning in June, Roots and Shoots runs over 12 months, and has been especially created for women who have a business idea and want to get started with it, surrounded by a strong peer support network and dedicated women-in-business trainers.

The course is facilitated by social enterprise, The Growing Club, a creative business training programme which has been running for three years in Lancashire. The organisation has seen over 60 women from across the north west graduate from the business training course and upwards of 200 women complete additional courses from the enterprise.

The Growing Club is pleased to be able to offer Roots and Shoots as a fully funded for women in receipt of benefits, thanks to The National Lottery Fund. If any applicants are not claiming benefits, a donation towards the course fees is kindly requested, on a sliding scale based on household income. No one will be excluded due to limited income. 

Jo Bates, a recent graduate from Roots and Shoots, set up her own business in natural soap making, called Rhubarb. Jo said:

“I’ve learned a lot of things that I’d never have known anything about, particularly on the marketing side. Also about understanding the customer and what it is I want to achieve. I didn’t know where to start, so the course was really valuable to me.

“It’s fantastic to know that you’ve got someone you can ask for support and advice anytime. It’s made a massive difference to my everyday wellbeing.”

Jane Binnion, one of The Growing Club’s business trainers, said:

“We set up The Growing Club because there wasn’t any specific business education for women. The government has an agenda where if we get more women start-ups, it will really boost the local and UK economy. It’s really important that if we want that to happen for the economy, if we want to get more women in business, we absolutely need to do more female-friendly business support.”

“The whole programme was about taking the women from a standing start — from just an idea — right through to navigating obstacles, building confidence and really understanding the issues for women in business, so that they are able to use their skills to earn their own living.”

There is an introduction meeting which will be held on Wednesday 12 June, at 10.00hrs until 12.00 midday, at the Women and Enterprise Hub, 6-0-5 Alston House, White Cross, Lancaster LA2 4XQ.


An 80% course attendance is required. To apply for a place or for more information on the The Growing Club, please contact Jane Binnion or Lisa Corkerry: or call 07892 712417

The course dates for Roots and Shoots are as follows (all timings are 10.00hrs until to 12.30hrs):

2 July, 23 July
6 August, 27 August
3 September, 24 September
8 October, 22 October
5 November, 26 November
3 December, 12 December
14 January 2020
11 February
10 March
14 April
12 May (Course graduation)