Rochdale Borough Womens Enterprise Network

Triple award - 18/3/2009

Triple award for RBWEN - 18 March 2009

Rochdale Borough Women’s Enterprise Network has received the highest accolade for its business support services.

The 400-strong network of local businesswomen are celebrating after bringing home a hat-trick of awards.

Rochdale Borough Women’s Enterprise Network (RBWEN) is the only organisation nationwide to win all three Prowess Flagship Awards - the highest accolade in service delivery.

Prowess is the official body representing individuals and groups supporting women in business across the UK. It sets benchmarking standards, lobbies parliament to raise the profile of women in business and shares best practice amongst its members. The Flagship award scheme has three strands, recognising excellence in support for new start-ups, established businesses and networking.

Penny Sharp, Head of Rochdale Council’s Regeneration Department said: “This is a tremendous achievement and couldn’t have come at a better time for the network.

"The new government business simplification initiative means that delivery of business support is changing, so organisations like RBWEN need to demonstrate their readiness to meet stringent new criteria when working in partnership with regional development agencies. RBWEN has clearly demonstrated its effectiveness and we are thrilled to see this acknowledged.

"The network has blossomed since the Council set up the Women into Enterprise project eight years ago and is now a fully independent social enterprise. It has been a delight for me to watch it flourish and I am sure it will go from strength to strength.”

Barbara Davidson, Women’s Enterprise Initiative Co-ordinator said: “Rochdale has been much maligned in the national press recently, but this success shows that there is a tremendous work ethic in the borough.

"Since our inception in 2001, we have helped more than 500 women towards setting up and expanding their businesses, creating local jobs and boosting the borough’s economy.

"Rochdale Council has helped us effect a smooth transition from a Council-led business support project to a thriving social enterprise for which we thank them.

"Our new status will allow us to compete within the new regional business support framework, so that local residents can continue to be supported as they start or develop their businesses."

The awards were presented at a gala dinner last week in Blackpool. The event followed a day of practical workshops, where once again Rochdale led the way with two seminars hosted by local network members.

The network has further events planned locally to tie in with International Women’s Week.

Rochdale Borough Womens Enterprise Network is run by women entrepreneurs from all over the Rochdale Borough for women entrepreneurs from all over the Rochdale Borough.

Contact Information

Rochdale Borough Womens Enterprise Network (RBWEN)

Opening times

Quarterly Networking Events