Prowess Flagship Award – Case Studies

The Prowess Flagship Award for best practice in women’s enterprise development has been achieved by organisations across the UK. Here some organisations explain how the Award has benefited their organisation.

The University of Bath‘s Division for Lifelong Learning

The University of Bath’s Division for Lifelong Learning has been running a ‘Women into Enterprise’ course since 2004 and in 2006 it was the first UK University to achieve the Flagship Award for Business Support Providers. Their programme offers a flexible timetable that takes into account school times and school holidays as well as providing evening classes.

Kirsty Lovell, Project Officer, says: “Achieving Prowess Flagship status gave us an internationally recognised quality mark based on the work we have and continue to do. It is also a valuable development tool, enabling us to measure what we are doing and look at how we can improve our services to still further”.

“The award is a reflection of the support we provide. A lot of women who come on our course say they would not be able to attend if we didn’t provide a free crèche. We see ourselves as part of the local community and want to enable people to develop enterprises and business skills of value to the local economy.”

Businessworks – Women’s Business Centre

The Women’s Business Centre is a flagship centre providing uniquely tailored, high quality professional business support services in a supportive and inspirational environment – offering real options for women wishing to improve their lives through business, education and training.

According to Director Gill Fennings, “Being a member of Prowess and a flagship organisation has helped us to set standards way above the average and that has brought us a notoriety within enterprise that precedes us. Often I go to a meeting and the person already knows all about what we do. This is invaluable as there is so much that you don’t have to explain once you mention that you have Flagship and are part of Prowess. It has opened doors and led to better partnership working for sure. The Flagship quality standard certainly helped us to secure the funds to build the first ever purpose built Women’s Business Centre in London. It also gives us a great benchmark for our services and a model for continuing improvement”.

Bolton Business Ventures

Established in 1983 BBV Ltd provides financial, technical and management assistance to help local people start, run and grow their businesses creating wealth and employment. According to CEO Sylvia Philips, “The Prowess Flagship Award has enabled BBV to demonstrate its commitment both to supporting more women in business and to service excellence in meeting the needs of our female clients. It has also enabled BBV to be at the forefront of championing women’s enterprise across the NW region which has been recognised by being invited to join the consortium which is delivering the regional business start up and survival contract.”


MENTA is a not-for-profit organisation that offers one-to-one business advice, workshops and master classes for pre-start up through to established small business. WoMenta provides women-only training and advice and networking events. There are also fully serviced incubation units and two locations in Suffolk.

“Undertaking taking ‘commitment to Flagship’ was the start of our Flagship journey'” explaines Business Development Manager Rosanne Kilbourn. “It focussed us as a team on what, how, why, when and where we delivered advice and support to our clients. The standard has helped to confirm out commitment to outstanding business advice and support to women and has led to a number of private sponsors supporting some WoMenta events”

“I would whole heartedly recommend the Flagship process to other organisations as it was a vital (and steep) learning curve that helped us look at our delivery and approach as a team and develop our strenths”.

(Prowess archive 2009.)

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