MERCHED MEDRUS (SKILLED WOMEN)
The Merched Medrus project consisted of animation activity undertaken by Hwylus Cyf, commissioned by Ceredigion County Council on behalf of Cynnal y Cardi, the LEADER Local Action Group for Ceredigion, to develop a women’s business network in Lampeter, Ceredigion.
The rationale for instigating the Animation of a Women’s Business Network in Lampeter was to achieve the following objectives:
- Providing opportunities for women to promote their businesses, and developing short supply chains within the regional economy
- Access to business support by bringing in specialist speakers and signposting to other schemes
- Sharing expertise and knowledge for businesses at different stages
- Mentoring between members
- Building new skills
- Increasing confidence and support for women to build better businesses
- Opportunities to collaborate and innovate
The animation was delivered in 3 phases: face to face engagement; trialling of three different networking activities; and developing a video case study highlighting the experiences of women entrepreneurs in Lampeter.
Three days of face to face engagement were undertaken across the town and through follow-up calls, followed by three networking meetings and completed with the development of a film highlighting the three case studies.
The Merched Medrus meetings brought women together who may not previously have had the opportunity to meet up and discuss business. Whilst the meetings have not had a focus on collaborating for a specific goal, they have certainly provided the foundation for relationships to become established and acted as a ‘spring-board’ for ideas to be developed further.
During the informal group discussions, it was made clear that many women benefited from the opportunity by being able to raise issues of concern, and to receive advice from more experienced businesswomen. Having a mix of businesses was also useful, where accountants, solicitors and HR specialists were able to provide guidance on queries for other retail or hospitality businesses.
Following the project completion, Merched Medrus group have evolved into a WiRE group, with Helen Howells and Nicola Doyle taking on the role of volunteer Network Leaders. The group meets at 6.00pm on the second Thursday of the month at Artisan’s Food and Drink Boutique.
To read the full report please click here - Merched Medrus Report (pdf)
This project has received funding through the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.