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The Growing Club CIC was delighted to receive a visit from their constituency MP, Cat Smith, to meet women in business in celebration of the organisation’s fifth year of operations.

The Growing Club is based in Lancaster, and is a not-for-profit organisation, providing a wide range of entrepreneurial skills training and opportunities for women in business, using a creative and alternative peer support model.

Discussions centred around Ms Smith hearing the women’s stories of how they came to entrepreneurship, the type of business they run and how their businesses are battling through the pandemic.

Ms Smith said: “There’s no doubt Covid has disproportionately hit women more than men, with study after study to back this up. Women are more likely to carry out the home-schooling, caring for elderly relatives, reducing business hours…there is a clear gender divide and women are more likely to shoulder the burden.

“It’s been great to see such a diverse range of business women here today, hear their stories and the support that women within The Growing Club CIC provide to each other.”

Jane Binnion, founding director of The Growing Club CIC, said: “It’s been a pleasure to have Cat visit us today. With regards to women in business and the heavy impacts from the pandemic, we’d really like the government to ring-fence funding for women in business, particularly as part of the Covid recovery.

“Women running businesses are doing so with one hand tied behind their back. Some recognition and support for women in business that goes beyond Manchester, and actually reaches the whole of the north west region, would be much welcomed. It’s time to build back better with inclusivity and level out the gender divide.”

The Growing Club CIC is a not-for-profit organisation, providing a wide range of entrepreneurial skills training and opportunities for women in business, using a creative and alternative peer support model.

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