“First was making cake for my friend but now I know I can sell”
“All my friend at business class like my cake that mean other people can like it”
“I feeling happy and very strong and thank you very much for helpline me”
“In my mind it was something I can’t do”
Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre has a wealth of experience in working with members of Scotland’s most economically disadvantaged and marginalised community. Under a holistic employability banner, we have promoted enterprise and entrepreneurship as an alternative route to income generation since project inception back in 2014. With funding from RBS Skills and Opportunities fund, we have developed and grown this support to become the innovative EVE project – Empowerment via Enterprise – offering a personalised and assets based approach to empower Muslim and minority ethnic women in Scotland to start their own businesses.
Embedding learning and experience from direct client engagement, our EVE project is designed to simultaneously offer classes and opportunities to acquire business acumen and develop entrepreneurial mindset alongside more practical skills and hands on learning such as how to make mineral make-up or how to make your own candles. Workshops and barrier free learning activities explore; market research, budgeting, marketing, registering ones’ business and business planning. Resource intensive one to one support sessions to address individual barriers and more specific needs are also available. Where appropriate, we signpost service users to specialist agencies and support services, to further increase the human and social capital of the women we worth with.
What are the barriers inhibiting Muslim and Minority Ethnic women from setting up their own enterprise? They vary according to the individual but include; a lack of confidence and self-belief, levels of English language fluency, access to equipment and practical tools, high quality accessible childcare and start-up funding/seed money. In a bid to be as inclusive as possible, we have worked in partnership with Dundee Creative Comic Space to produce an illustrated guide outlining 10 steps to starting your own business. Designed with accessibility as a primary objective, we have simplified complicated and often very jargonistic ideas into simple powerful images. This booklet is currently available in hard-copy from our three Amina offices and via e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s next for the EvE project? Exploring an alternative service delivery model, focusing on acting as a nurturing and empowering conduit for Muslim and Minority Ethnic women in Scotland to access mainstream enterprise support; with greater focus on ideas generation and testing the market for their products, resulting in more structured entrepreneurial endeavours which can then be picked up by long-established mainstream enterprise agencies.
During 2017-2018, the EVE project engaged with over 50 Muslim and minority ethnic women who originate from all corners of the globe. Promoting diversity as a strength to be utilised, we have been involved in the setting up of 9 businesses including one which sells aromatic Chai for special occasions and events. As a result of our intervention, 70% of EvE regular attendees have reported in increase in their confidence levels and 100% have reported increased financial capability. Results we are very proud of.
If you want to find out more about Amina and the work we do please go to https://www.mwrc.org.uk/what-we-do/enterprise/