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Dundee women’s group part of First Minister initiative

From left: Rachelle Coltier and Lori Hughes in the Dundee Amina office.
From left: Rachelle Coltier and Lori Hughes in the Dundee Amina office.

The work of a women’s support group in Dundee will be highlighted in a bid to tackle gender inequality in Scotland.

Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre’s Eve Project has been highlighted as part of the First Minister’s National Advisory Council (FMNAC) on Women and Girls, which looks to learn how groups across the country are creating a more equal society.

Amina has developed the Eve Project (Empowering via Enterprise), which offers Muslim and ethnic minority women help in starting their own business, with help from the RBS Skills and Opportunities Fund.

Amina were asked to compile a case study on what they do, which is now on the advisory council’s website and should be discussed at the next FMNAC quarterly meeting on September 11 and 12.

The charity’s employability scheme was started in 2014 and the Eve Project, which was formed last year, falls under its umbrella.

The Starting Your Own Enterprise illustrated booklet.

It was started by the charity’s enterprise officer Rachelle Cloutier. During 2017 and 2018, the Eve project helped more than 50 women and been involved in setting up nine new businesses in Dundee and Edinburgh.

As part of the project, Amina worked with Dundee Comics Creative Space to produce an illustrated booklet that shows some of the main steps and considerations when setting up a business. It is currently available at Amina’s Whitehall Crescent office, with plans to upload it online.

There are also sessions taking place in the charity’s office where women are taken through the process. Among the new businesses set up with Amina’s help include women selling home baking and chai tea from home.

Ms Cloutier said: “It’s really nice to be included in the First Minister’s scheme and raises what we do.

“Other people might like what we do and it could pop up in other parts of the country. The project is a great way to build confidence and meet other women.”

Lori Hughes, employability project coordinator, was at the last advisory council meeting in June, where it was announced September’s theme would be “women and enterprise”, when she decided to put the Eve Project forward.

She said: “We’re sometimes told that we don’t shout enough about what we do, so this is a good opportunity to do so.

“We have limited resources, like everyone in the third sector, so this is a great chance to get noticed.

“The council is about bringing like minded people together and we can shout with one voice that is stronger and hopefully bring about a more equal society.”

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