Rosa invests in organisations which work with individual women who are struggling with employment, helping women to return to the labour market and find work on a par with their skills. Gender has a massive impact on economic wellbeing, influencing wealth, employment, and access to public goods and services, as well as capital and credit. Women are more likely to live in poverty in the UK than men, so Rosa supports organisations which are actively working to ensure that women stay out of poverty and in employment.
The example below is illustrative of the sorts of projects Rosa has been able to support, giving women a step-up back onto the ladder.
“After leaving jail I thought my life was at a standstill. But after meeting Startup, they have motivated me and I would like to start my business in catering.”
Living in a hostel set up for homeless young women, Alice* had very low self-esteem and had lost hope for the future. She hadn’t been able to finish her education and lacked qualifications. She felt like there was nothing left for her in the UK and wanted to run away to another country to find work. When she received an offer of a job interview her lack of self-confidence meant she was terrified to follow through with her interview.
With one on one coaching on interview skills through a Rosa-funded project for young women, Alice passed the interview and secured the job. Not only is she now in secure employment, but she has also gained tremendous confidence in herself, faith in her abilities and has a renewed hope for her future.
Startup received a grant from Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls, supporting them to deliver a project for young women who were NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) or had a criminal record, through a series of sessions designed to empower them and help them to gain employment. The topics of these sessions included: life coaching, business advice and workshops intended to inspire the women in thinking of self-employment, such as a floristry workshop.
19 young women aged 16-23 participated in the Oxfordshire-based programme. Like Alice, many of them had little to no education, a majority of them were unemployed and none of them were fully employed. Some had mental health issues ranging from depression to anxiety. One woman had a Multiple Personality Disorder. Almost half of them were mothers or pregnant.
At the start of the programme the participants had low self-esteem and a lack of motivation to participate. They struggled to maintain eye contact and regularly put themselves down.
Through the sessions they were supported to identify their skills and strengths in order to utilise them; they learned how to make choices that would benefit them and help them to take control of their lives. Over half of the participants went on to secure or access an opportunity immediately after finishing the course, something that they previously never thought they could do.
“The Session with Startup was truly inspiring with a mix of information giving , practical demonstrations and motivating ideas around the opportunities for women becoming self-employed. The women really enjoyed making their personalised product and it was wonderful to hear their ambitions for the future.”
– Muiread Ambrose, CRISIS
*Not her real name