Plans to create a new centre for female entrepreneurship in Dundee will be announced today.
Women’s Business Station intends to create a permanent base at Wellgate Shopping Centre to support thousands of people who want to start of grow a business in the city.
The social enterprise will continue the aims of the popular Coca-Cola 5by20 entrepreneurship programme, which the drinks giant will stop funding at the end of this year.
The group plans to transform the 8,000 sq ft former Iceland premises in the shopping centre into a unit that will house 10 co-working pods, meeting areas and retail spaces.
The plans will be announced at the launch of Women’s Business Station’s Christmas market in the shopping centre today.
Chief executive Angie De Vos said: “We are in discussions with Dundee City Council and the landlords of Wellgate Shopping Centre to transform a former retail unit into a business start-up and growth station for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
“It has been designed with input from women who took part in the Coca-Cola programme, in conjunction with Dundee architect Alastair Fitchet of AJFitchet Architect.
“It will house 10 co-working pods, community area, meeting spaces and retail spaces where women can test the market.”
Mrs De Vos said she hoped work on the project would commence next Summer and would require an investment of around £70,000.
The Coca-Cola 5by20 programme was established with the aim of economically empowering five million women across the world by 2020.
In Dundee the scheme has supported over 170 women, over 90 of whom have launched their own business and over 40 of whom continue to grow their business since 2017.
Women’s Business Station has set its own ambitious 10by30 target – to enhance the socio-economic empowerment of 10,000 women in Scotland by 2030.
Its 10 year plan sees the group active in five cities across Scotland with the themes of training, trading and talent.
Mrs De Vos added: “The results and evidence from the last two years clear to see, it’s time to take this to the next level, act on our ambition and those of the women themselves and extend our support right across Scotland.
“Women’s Business Station is here to support you whatever your business goal, whether it’s turning a hobby into a micro-business or embarking on a more ambitious plan.
“We’ve already shown we can make a tangible difference and are now set to inspire and support even more women on their business journey, making a truly positive impact on their lives, and in their communities.”
More than 100 businesses are displaying at the Christmas market at the Wellgate which runs until tomorrow – the largest Christmas market the city has seen.
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: “This programme has made a significant impact on female entrepreneurs but has also shone a spotlight on how we can develop and nurture new businesses in Dundee.”