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What is W-Power?

W-Power is a transnational programme which HIE has been participating in since 2018. The programme aims to help women overcome the challenges of remoteness and rurality to set up, develop and grow small businesses across a range of sectors.

W-Power is funded through the Northern Periphery and Arctic programme of the European Regional Development Fund.

Supporting one another through the challenges brought about by COVID-19 has become a strong focus of the programme during 2020. 

The core of the programme is an online network of business learning and support.

How will you benefit? 

Being part of the W-Power Female Entrepreneurs Learning and Development programme, you’ll have access to: 

  • An online networking platform
  • Monthly webinars to address your business and skills needs
  • Ask the expert sessions
  • Collaboration
  • Business support
  • Informal connections with other entrepreneurs
  • Events 
  • Online resources


Register today

Fill out our short form to start your journey with W-Power

W-Power form

Who's it for? 

W-Power is delivered by HIE in Argyll and the Islands, and is also open to women-led businesses in Dumfries and Galloway.

Any business led by a woman is eligible to participate in the programme.  There are no requirements in terms of size, stage or sector of business, though experience has shown that the programme tends to be particularly well-suited to start-up and early stage businesses.

How can I take part? 

Just sign-up! Please fill out our form, it's on the top right of this page and we'll be in touch. 

If you would like to chat to someone before signing up, please email - she'll be happy to answer your questions. 

Read more +
The W-Power network has been a lifeline, before and since the COVID-19 lockdown. It has helped me develop my approach to social media and online marketing. I do it all from home and it works around me.
Rachel MacNeill , Owner, Islay Whisky Academy

W-Power network supports rural businesswomen through COVID-19 crisis

Many of the 50-plus W-Power member businesses have been adversely affected by Covid-19 and are either on hold or working creatively to find new ways of trading, particularly online.

The W-Power network is helping them stay connected, share information and ideas about how to get through the challenges, as well as providing moral support to each another. 

Read more here



W-Power was instrumental in helping me set up my business, both with financial support as well as building my confidence. As a result I have made connections with key people that I may not have done otherwise.
Moira Newiss , SKIRR Skin Ltd

Read More

About W-Power

This online network is part of the wider W-Power project. Over the last two years we have tested a series of new approaches for women to support them develop their businesses:

  • International peer learning and exchange programme for female start-ups;
  • Gender sensitive business support;
  • Online innovation platform for women-led businesses.

You can read more below about each approach and don't forget to have a look at our video (on the right). 

International peer learning and exchange programme for female start-ups

The W-Power international exchange programme matches women-led businesses from Argyll and the Islands and Dumfries and Galloway with carefully selected peer businesses in the W-Power partner regions around the Arctic rim.

The aim is to share innovative ideas about approaches to business that help overcome the challenges posed by remoteness and rurality.

Whilst Covid-19 has restricted the actual physical exchanges during 2020, the women involved have nevertheless kept in touch and been able to support one another through this difficult time using digital technologies, for example online zoom calls between creative sector businesses sharing traditional crafting techniques. 

Gender sensitive business support

Ensuring business support provided in partner regions is sensitive to the differing experiences women and men often have setting up and growing their businesses is a key element of W-Power. The project has developed a suite of resources which are freely available to organisations and others looking to assess and improve the gender-sensitivity of their services.

The resources are free to download  

Online innovation platform for women-led businesses

Pitching your business for the first time can be a daunting experience. W-Power has helped women build confidence with their pitches by running small-scale international online innovation pitching competitions. Professional support for entrants takes away the ‘fear factor’ and helps businesses focus on the key messages they want to get across. Two businesses from Argyll were successful in winning money to fund innovative new business ideas as a result, and all participants gained valuable skills which will stand them in great stead for the future.

Read more +


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