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Celebrating Women in the Know

by Lisa Bennett

A group of innovative and creative women from across Knowsley have come together to share ideas about creating a brighter, more equal future, as part of the Women in the Know.

The programme is led by social investment CIC Kindred and delivered in partnership with Shakespeare North Playhouse, local socially-trading organisations (STOs) and other local partners.

Almost 40 women joined five initial sessions at venues across Knowsley, hosted by local social businesses, to talk about their ideas, plans and the support they need to start or continue to develop them. Those ideas were showcased in a celebration event at Shakespeare North Playhouse, last week.

Both care and creativity are strong themes in the group of start-ups, which range from mental health, childbirth and childcare to illustrators and autism-friendly advocates. All of them have already taken the first steps to creating their dream social business and are now looking to take their ideas to the next level, providing a vital creativity talent pipeline for the borough.

As part of the programme, Kindred is providing the businesses with funding to take their next steps, alongside support that includes professional head shot photos to promote their brands, contacts and introductions.

Kindred supports social businesses – which trade commercially and create a positive social impact – with funding, expertise and peer support from other businesses who’ve been in the same situation. It has already invested more than £2m since 2021 and its work in Knowsley follows a similar programme in St Helens in 2022, which supported 21 social businesses and news ideas. For Women in the Know, it has partnered with Shakespeare Playhouse North, which hosted the programme’s celebration event on Friday 17 November.

Christine Spriggs is Kindred’s place lead and runs Women in the Know. She says: “Women in the Know has been a tremendous success and has really shone a spotlight on the talent there is in Knowsley. Working here over the past ten months we’ve met some really creative, passionate and entrepreneurial women – from Kirkby to Prescot and Huyton to Halewood.

They’re all doing brilliant things, and part of our role is to bring them together to create a community that can support each other. We’re looking forward to working with this dedicated and committed group – as well as all of our fantastic partners – so we can continue to support them as they grow and develop.”

Melanie Lewis, Chief Executive of Shakespeare North Playhouse, says: “I am thrilled to witness the remarkable success of Women in the Know, a programme that has brought together the innovative, resilient, and creative women of Knowsley. As we showcase their inspiring endeavours, it is evident that the care and creativity embedded in these start-ups and businesses are contributing to a vital talent pipeline for our wonderful borough of Knowsley.

Through Kindred’s support, both financial and professional, these women are taking the necessary steps to elevate their social businesses. At Shakespeare North Playhouse, we take pride in having a substantial presence of women leaders within our organisation. We are honoured to be a part of this impactful journey, fostering a community that supports each other’s growth and development.”

For more information, please contact Christine Spriggs at Chris@kindred-lcr.co.uk

Find out more about Kindred here.